9th of Av. 🦁😱This is a Day to stay inside. 💤💤💤lay low. ⛱ Keep Quiet😷 🙏🏻.read more →
Madonna performed Ray Of Light, 4 Minutes, La Isla Bonita, Ghosttown and Open Your Heart at last night’s gala in St. Tropez
US pop superstar Madonna on Tuesday took her four adopted Malawian children to the opening of a paediatric hospital wing that her charity has built in their home country.
Standing alongside President Peter Mutharika, she unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the 50-bed facility in Malawi’s second city of Blantyre. The Mercy James Institute of Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care — named after one of her children — has taken two years to build and includes three specialist operating theatres.
It is the first health unit for children in the southern African nation, and will doubled the capacity for paediatric care at the Queen Elizabeth hospital.
Earlier this year Madonna, 58, adopted twin girls from an orphanage in Malawi, where she has been a regular visitor for several years. Twins Estere and Stella, four years old, joined her other Malawian children Mercy James and David Banda, both aged 11.
Madonna, who set up her Raising Malawi charity in 2006, was greeted by traditional dancers and given a one-hour tour of the hospital, which was decorated with national flags and bunting. The wards have been designed with murals including images of Nelson Mandela and archbishop Desmond Tutu, while US actor Leonardo DiCaprio was listed on a wall as a major benefactor.
Mutharika cut a blue ceremonial ribbon, and held it up to the cheering crowd.
My old friend and collaborator Bruce Gaitch just sent me this cassette. It’s the demos for Like a Prayer. Haven’t heard them since we did them. Should be interesting. #likeaprayer #madonna #demos
Patrick Leonard via Instagram
Tracks are: Like A Prayer, Angelo (Angels With Dirty Faces), Spanish Eyes, Cherish, Little Girl (Promise To Try), Out Of Time (Till Death Do Us Part), Dear Jessie, Bossa Nova, 205 Jazz, Mid Tempo, #11, #12 and Dance.
He also revealed that Oh Father was not on the tape because it was recorded before these demos.
Thought I’d better break down the cassette before somebody losses their mind. They’re first day versions. So the day we wrote it. They have a lead vocal and some backgrounds. We worked from these versions and they became the records. The titles you recognize are what they say they are. Not produced. Without live players and strings and choirs etc. “Angels” is a song called Angels with dirty faces. It’s complete. And was never released. Good too. LIttle Girl is Promise to Try. Piano vocal like the record but not that version. Out of Time is Till Death do us Part. Boss’s Nova is a Latin feel idea that never got there. No vocal. Just an idea. 20’s jazz, the same, as is Mid Tempo. Sparks that made no fire. It happens. Side two of the tape is blank so #11, 12 and dance don’t exist. I can NOT release or put up snippets. I’d be drawn and quartered. Maybe I’ll try and organize some kind of private listening. It would have to be in space so let’s hit up Elon Musk. Wish I could release it all because I know how happy it would make you all. But, I can not. Respectfully. PL
Patrick Leonard via Instagram
Madonna says the children’s wing at a hospital in Malawi she has been building for two years completed its first surgery last week and will officially open July 11.
The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, had a soft opening and is the first of its kind in Malawi. It was built in collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health.
“When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,” Madonna said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without your support,” she added.
Madonna adopted four children, David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere from Malawi. The children’s wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.
The pop star’s charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in Malawi and has funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.
The children’s unit includes three operating rooms dedicated to children’s surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward. It will enable Queen Elizabeth hospital to double the number of surgeries for children and will provide critical pre-operative and post-operative care. It also includes a playroom, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and other artists.
Sarah Ezzy, executive director of Raising Malawi, said the charity has been working with Queen Elizabeth hospital since 2008, helping the hospital’s chief of pediatric surgery, Dr. Eric Borgstein, develop a training program.
“Pediatric intensive care is not something that has formally existed in Malawi. There hasn’t been any training on it. It’s not part of the curriculum in nursing school (or) medical school. People had to leave the country to train … now people don’t have to leave the country to train,” Ezzy said in an interview. “This facility is attached to the college of medicine and nursing so it will be a learning, teaching hospital.”
Trevor Neilson, who works at Charity Network and has been advising Madonna’s philanthropic efforts for the last six years, said “only someone like Madonna could do this. If you weren’t Madonna, you would have given up a long time ago.”
“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, will be saved by the hospital in the course of it operating,” added Neilson, who has worked on charity projects with Bill Gates, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Bono and others.
Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children.
“Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined. It’s important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together as humans we have the power to change the world for the better,” Madonna said.