by Pat Ashworth
TRUSTEES of the Malawi Orphan Fund, which supports the Mchinji Mission Orphanage from which Madonna adopted David Banda (News, 27 October), have challenged the way the singer represented the orphanage on the BBC’s Newsnight last week.
The fund, a UK-registered charity, raises money for the orphanage, also known as the Home of Hope, pays the salaries of the teachers at its associated secondary school, and has a child-sponsorship scheme. Children were fed and cared for properly, did not go about dirty, diseased, or in rags, and received secure love from the management and a team of foster mothers, the chairman of the trustees, Martin Lowdon, said on Wednesday.
No money had come to the orphanage as a result of the adoption “We are desperately worried that people will cease donating as a result of Madonna’s comments,” he said.
The Home of Hope is a 40-acre site with a nursery, primary and secondary schools, and an adjacent 58-acre farm, where most of the food is grown. It has its own health clinic. “The Home of Hope is not some grim institution where the children languish uncared-for, as we heard was the case at some of the Romanian orphanages some years ago.”