What are the names of Madonna’s children, how many are adopted from Malawi and who are twins Stella and Esther?

MADONNA has settled onto life with her adopted twin girls from Malawi and is “overjoyed” about the latest additions to her family.

Here’s everything you need to know about Stella and Esther, plus the singer’s other children…

 Madonna shared this picture of herself with her two adopted daughters

Instagram

Madonna shared this picture of herself with her two adopted daughters

What are the names of Madonna’s children?

Now the process of adopting her twins from Malawi has been approved, Madonna has six children.

Four of her current brood have been adopted, David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009, and twins Esther and Stella Mwale in 2017.

She also has a biological daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, now 21, who she had with Carlos Leon.

And the singer also has a son, Rocco Ritchie, 17, who she had with ex-husband Guy Ritchie.

Last year, Rocco commented on a video his mother had posted to Instagram of her and her adopted son and daughter doing the mannequin challenge, to which he said: “So glad I don’t live there any more.”

This came just days after police found cannabis in the 17-year-old’s rucksack near his north London home after neighbours reported him to cops.

 Pop Star Madonna sitting with her biological and adopted children (left to right) David Banda, Lourdes, Mercy James, and Rocco

Getty Images

Pop Star Madonna sitting with her biological and adopted children (left to right) David Banda, Lourdes, Mercy James, and Rocco

How many of Madonna’s kids are adopted from Malawi?

Out of her six children, four of them are adopted.

All of the singer’s adopted kids, David Banda, now 11, Mercy James, 11, and four-year-old twins Esther and Stella were adopted from Malawi.

The adoption has led to some controversy in the past.

She was stripped of her VIP status in 2013 after a spat with former president Joyce Banda, who claimed the star wanted eternal gratitude for adopting David and Mercy.

But Banda was ousted in 2014 elections and the new president Peter Mutharika moved to repair relations, saying “my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country”.

On July 4, 2017, Madonna posted a celebratory selfie with her Malawi-born children, writing: “Happiness is Contagious!! Happy Independence Day!”

Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi has helped her open a new children’s wing at a hospital in the country.

 Madonna posted a July 4 selfie with her kids Madonna posted a July 4 selfie with her kids

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What do we know about twins Stella and Esther?

Madge’s fresh adoptions of Esther and Stella came after ex-husband director Guy Ritchie won a nine-month custody battle over their teenage son Rocco in September.

Stella and Esther have reportedly lived together in Home of Hope orphanage in Mchinji for two years.

Madge shared a video of the girls getting to grips with a piano – suggesting they could follow in the footsteps of their multi-award winning new mum.

Madonna’s trip to Malawi last year was the first time in nearly two years that she visited the country.

 The twins join Madonna's family that includes fellow adopted Malawians David and Mercy

Splash News

The twins join Madonna’s family that includes fellow adopted Malawians David and Mercy

In July 2016 the Queen of Pop – who is the best-selling female singer of all time – took David back to his remote home village in Mchinji.

Madonna has been ensuring the latest additions to her family adjust to life in the spotlight after sharing an adorable shot of one of her newly adopted twins on social media.

Sharing a cute pic of one of the twins on Instagram, Madge wrote: “Chill out people!!! My mom is thinking about releasing her Rebel [Heart] DVD for her birthday.”

Source

Job Opportunities in Malawi | World Vision






















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World Vision began working in Malawi in 1982 with community infrastructure projects including schools, under five health centres and water systems. By 1992, World Vision had established longer-term community-based Area Development Programmes, and is now helping close to one million people.


Currently, World Vision is working with communities in 23 districts through 37 long-term Area Development Programmes (ADPs).


Current Opportunities















Response Programmes Director








*Country location to be determined based on response.

*Please make sure to answer all questions on the application in order to be considered for the Emergency Response Roster.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:

The Response Programmes Director oversees/leads the Sector Programming Team, including Program Officer(s), Design Monitor Evaluation (DME), Humanitarian Accountability and Information Management. The Programme Director supports the Response Director (RD) and Operations Director (OD) in designing the response strategy and operations plan and works in close coordination with both.

The Response Programmes Director is responsible to manage grant acquisition, assessments, monitor and humanitarian accountability and liaises with Support Offices (SOs), and international donors.

Response Programmes Director is part of the Response Senior Leadership Team. Response Programmes Director will coordinate/advise with Response Director (RD)/Senior Leadership Team (SLT) go or no go for proposals.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Establish, lead, resource and staff the programmes unit to meet response needs:

  • Lead team/individual development and provide direction and support as needed to enable effective performance.

  • Contribute to National Office (NO) capacity building in the area of emergency response in coordination with NO leadership and Human Resources (HR).

  • Determine Programmes organisational structure and staffing plan with HR.

  • Work with HR to recruit and deploy Programmes staff and plan for capacity development.

  • Ensure Programmes staff handovers are conducted.

  • Develop Programmes budget in coordination with Finance.

  • Support RD and Finance in developing Response Budget, ensuring strong alignment and coordination with Operations team during budgeting and budget management process.

  • Plan for Programmes Unit transition/integration with NO, where applicable.

Lead the programme planning process to ensure alignment with context, humanitarian needs, response strategy as well as operational feasibility and technical quality:

  • Support development of operational intent plan to align with funding allocations ensuring operational feasibility and

  • technical quality.

  • Support Sectors and Operations Director to draft response plan.

  • Work with Grants, Acquisition and Management (GAM) to coordinate grant acquisition.

  • Write Operational Intent inclusive of targets.

  • Prepare project RACIs (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) for new grants.

Oversee donor liaison and advocacy is undertaken to resource operations plan to address humanitarian needs. The Response Programmes Director will ensure that the GAM team undertake the following activities:

  • Monitor and analyse donor opportunities to ensure they align with operational intent.

  • Communicate humanitarian needs identified through assessments, monitoring data and community feedback to in-country donors and Support Offices International Programmes Groups.

  • Represent World Vision with potential donors (ECHO, DFID, EU, OFDA, etc.) including bilateral, multilateral and corporate.

  • Collaborate with Advocacy to influence donor funding strategies when appropriate.

  • Liaises with SOs regarding donor priorities and opportunities for funding.

  • Support Finance in the allocation and tracking of response funding to ensure response strategic priorities are funded and effective leveraging of available funding.

  • Support mapping of all funding sources with Finance.

  • Support funding allocation process (Private Non Sponsorship & grant opportunities) in coordination with Finance, Response Director and Operations to reflect response strategic priorities, operational realities and ensure compliance with relevant funding regulations.

  • Support Finance to track donor funding allocation and commitments to ensure response strategic priorities are funded.

  • Oversee development and submission of project proposals to donors to resource operations plan.

  • Develop project proposals with Operations, Advocacy, Finance and relevant Support functions and ensure stakeholders have the opportunity to review proposals and raise issues prior to submission to donors.

  • Ensure proposals are aligned with the operational plan, sector DADDs and standards.

  • Ensure proposals are aligned with accountability standards and basic DME requirements.

  • Maintain donor and SOs communications to facilitate funding acquisition.

  • Support Finance to ensure an up-to-date funding matrix.

Ensure support for Finance to establish grant management system to guarantee fulfillment of donor requirements:

  • Support Finance to conduct grant orientation or grant start-up workshops for relevant staff.

  • Plan and manage donor reporting to ensure that all donor requirements are met.

  • Support Finance with monitoring of grants for compliance with grant requirements.

  • Oversee planning, implementation, analysis and sharing of findings from assessments and program monitoring.

The Response Programmes Director will ensure that the DME team undertake the following activities:

  • Design and implement community consultation processes to ensure understanding of World Visions role, planned interventions and provide opportunities for input and feedback into programme and project designs.

  • Design and implement Information Provision plan to ensure that accurate and reliable information about the programme is made available and shared with communities in a timely and accessible manner.

Establish and support implementation of complaint and feedback mechanisms:

  • Document, implement and monitor complaint and feedback systems to ensure timely responses to communities.

  • Consolidate and analyse community complaint information to inform Operations and response management of key issues raised by beneficiaries.

  • Coordinate Humanitarian Accountability planning and learning with other accountability focused INGOs and LNGOs.

KNOWLEDGE,SKILLS & ABILITIES:

Required:

  • A minimum of 3-5 years in leadership role in the humanitarian assistance and development sector, with a significant portion of this in INGOs.

  • 5 years experience in humanitarian assistance work.

  • Demonstrated understanding of key humanitarian principles, standards and best practices.

  • University degree in Humanitarian Studies or relevant field. Masters degree preferred.

  • Experience in program management and implementation of multi-sectoral emergency response projects.

  • Intensive experience in leading a multi-cultural team of professionals.

  • Experience working in a cross-cultural environment.

  • Experience working in war zones / fragile contexts.

  • Experience in engaging with governmental institutions and multilateral agencies.

  • Experience in managing humanitarian operations that facilitate innovation and calculated risk taking.

  • Work experience as Program Officer at least for 1-3 years in a country other than the home country.

  • Strong team leadership skills.

  • Emotional Intelligence (self awareness, managing emotions and those of others, remaining calm/composed, dealing with ambiguity and change).

  • Understand Humanitarian Industry and have proven experience within a relief setting.

  • Effective in written and verbal communication in English.

  • Ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred:

  • Previous experience working in complex emergency/rehabilitation settings.

  • Experience coordination with INGOs and other key stakeholders-High degree of negotiation and persuasion skills.

  • Ability to work with a reasonable level of comfort in high tension and high security risk situations.

  • Ability to maintain performance expectations in diverse cultural contexts psychologically stressful environs and physical hardships.

  • Ability to facilitate the creation of cross-functional project teams and the development of national strategies.

  • Excellent time-management and prioritization.

  • Demonstrates openness and transparency.










Response Director








*Country location to be determined based on response.

*Please make sure to answer all questions on the application in order to be considered for the Emergency Response Roster.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:

The Response Director (RD) has primary responsibility for directing the response from strategy to implementation, inclusive of performance and oversight of all aspects of the response. She/he should develop and maintain an efficient, cohesive team, while ensuring effective coordination and relationships with the other agencies, officials, beneficiaries, donors and all areas of the Partnership.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Develop and monitor implementation of response strategy that addresses WV strategic goals to meet humanitarian needs:

  • Lead response strategy development with National Director (ND), Regional Leader (RL), Partnership Executive Team

  • (PET) and other senior stakeholders.

  • Ensure primary and secondary information on needs inform strategy formulation.

  • Ensure context analysis informs strategy development.

  • Consult with ND and RL to ensure National Office (NO) strategy and plans (including Child Wellbeing targets) are taken into account in

  • response strategy formulation.

  • Ensure strategy aligns with anticipated capacity.

  • Monitor appropriateness of strategy in addition to implementation of strategy and transition plans.

Ensure response is staffed to meet response needs:

  • Lead team/individual development and provide direction and support as needed to enable effective performance.

  • Contribute to NO capacity building in the area of emergency response in coordination with NO leadership and Human Resources (HR).

  • Determine response organization structure with ND and HR.

  • Conduct high-level workforce planning with HR and mobilise surge functions as required.

  • Oversee the recruitment of the RDs direct reports.

  • Ensure defined accountabilities under the Emergency Management System (EMS) are clear for each function including Term of Reference (TOR) objectives and qualitycriteria.

  • Ensure HR works with EMS functions to identify workforce requirements.

  • Ensure HR plans for capacity building with EMS functions.

  • Ensure HR develops performance planning and review processes that include quality criteria.

  • Ensure HR establishes a staff care function and mechanisms that support staff well-being.

  • Consult ND to plan Response team transition/integration.

  • Ensure adequate internal communications mechanisms are in place to ensure policies, information and decisions are shared with staff as appropriate.

Establish and maintain effective working relationships with humanitarian actors, government representatives, World Vision stakeholders, the media and general public:

  • Represent the response in Partnership Executive Team and Partnership Coordination Team (PCT) (where activated).

  • Identify and highlight areas of conflict to Response Senior Management Team (SMT), ND, RL and Partnership

  • Executive Committee (where activated).

  • Create and maintain collaborative relations and where appropriate partnerships with government, other NGOs, UN

  • agencies, civil society, churches, bi-lateral missions and donors.

  • Participate in consortium meetings and Response related national coordination meetings.

  • Ensure World Vision is represented at relevant technical and coordination mechanisms in-country.

  • Serve as an organizational spokesperson for media interviews, advocacy initiatives and other public events.

Develop and plan response to achieve response strategy goal and objectives:

  • Provide oversight to funding allocation (i.e. Private Non-sponsorship or PNS, grants, etc) to ensure alignment with

  • strategy and humanitarian needs.

  • Ensure response programme development meets World Vision and international standards.

  • Ensure that adequate funding to address humanitarian needs is acquired.

  • Ensure Advocacy staff are empowered to integrate advocacy across sectors and to develop child-focused advocacy positions which are aligned with strategy and organisational priorities, in strong alignment with NO and Response

  • Operations teams.

  • Facilitate the signing of MOUs and contracts, with donors, Support Offices (SOs) and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Ensure appropriate waivers are in place to facilitate timely response implementation.

Implement response programme in accordance with commitments to meet international and WV standards:

  • Ensure that accessible beneficiary feedback mechanisms are established and functioning.

  • Ensure staff establish community accountability methods across all of the response program.

  • Monitor and identify risks to programme quality and coordinate resources to address them.

  • Ensure that all programmes are implemented, monitored and evaluated according to set plans and that agreements

  • with donors, SOs and other stakeholders are adhered to.

  • Ensure management meetings address quality risks, relevant monitoring data and community feedback.

  • Initiate resourcing mechanisms and ensure financial and material (in-kind) resources are managed according to WV

  • standards, donor and SO agreements.

Initiate response funding mechanisms with support of ND, RL & Regional HEA Director (RHEAD):

  • Ensure that funding is managed and accounted for in compliance with donors and Support Offices agreements and WV standards.

  • Ensure that programme and projects audits are planned and conducted as per WV audit regulations and donor government requirements.

  • Ensure that audit reports are responded to and recommendations implemented.

Ensure that response meets World Vision minimum quality standards and supports program improvement, reflection, learning and innovation:

  • Ensure previous response learnings from Global learning facilitator are reviewed in program design.

  • Encourage the incorporation of best practice and innovation in program design.

  • Ensure all functions have quality planning sessions to meet quality objectives of their TOR.

  • Ensure achievement level of all function quality objectives is monitored monthly and reported.

  • Ensure risks that prevent the achievement of quality objectives are reported and rapidly addressed.

  • Ensure mechanisms are established to identify, document, and share lessons learned with Partnership.

Oversee Security function, planning and implementation to ensure response staff and organisational safety and security:

  • Ensure staffing of Security function.

  • Provide oversight to implementation of security protocols as per CSR.

  • Facilitate inter-agency coordination for information sharing and intelligence sharing.

Ensure response internal and external reporting requirements are met:

  • Liaise with Programmes and Info Management to ensure internal and external reporting requirements are planned for

  • and reports are prepared.

  • Review and submit partnership programme reports.

  • Prepare and submit monthly management reports.

  • Ensure internal response coordination & information sharing mechanisms are functioning.

Ensure that response staff have appropriate housing, offices and information/communication systems:

  • Ensure that staff have access to appropriate office space/equipment, information/communication systems/equipment

  • and other facilities which enable them to carry out their responsibilities.

  • Ensure that all response vehicles and other equipment are well managed and maintained.

  • Where necessary, ensure that relevant staff have access to appropriate housing.

KNOWLEDGE,SKILLS & ABILITIES:

Required:

  • A minimum of 5-7 years in leadership role in the humanitarian assistance and development sector, with a significant

  • portion of this in INGOs.

  • 5 years experience in humanitarian assistance work.

  • Demonstrated understanding of key humanitarian principles, standards and best practices.

  • University degree in Humanitarian Studies or relevant field. Masters degree preferred.

  • Intensive experience in leading a multi-cultural team of professionals.

  • Experience working in a cross-cultural environment.

  • Experience working in war zones / fragile contexts.

  • Experience in engaging with governmental institutions and multilateral agencies.

  • Experience in managing humanitarian operations that facilitate innovation and calculated risk taking.

  • Experience in serving as an organizational spokesperson to media and other external audiences.

  • Effective in written and verbal communication in English.

Preferred:

  • Ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders as well

  • as staff.

  • Ability to work in coordination with other humanitarian organizations.

  • Ability to analyse and make decisions in challenging situations in the absence of specific guidance and/or full

  • information.

  • Ability to communicate and model to staff positive behaviours which help them remain resilient and effective in dynamic and high pressure environments.

Work Environment:

  • Work hours are often in excess of 12 hours per day during difficult periods of the response.

  • Responses are often mounted in insecure or natural disaster-prone contexts, which may disrupt normal work patterns

  • and generate staff safety issues.

  • Work and housing environments may at times be well below normal standards in terms of facilities, equipment, food availability and hygiene.










Response Operations Director








*Country location to be determined based on response.

*Please make sure to answer all questions on the application in order to be considered for the Emergency Response Roster.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:

Response Operations Director leads the Operations team and oversees the implementation of the response activities. He/she transforms the response strategy into implemented reality, managing day-to-day sector activities and providing technical guidance to the Programmes team for design and programme quality.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Ensure program planning is informed by technical standards and operational viability:

  • Contribute to planning of sector requirements for people, funding and supplies.

  • Ensure all program designs are based on needs assessment findings (primary & secondary data) and analysis,

  • targets the most vulnerable/chronically and is operationally viable.

  • Ensure all programs refer to technical standards, consider government standards and are aligned with Strategic

  • Guidance and Do-Assure Dont Do (DADDs) for the First Phase of Emergency Responses and Sector Packages.

  • Ensure inclusion of advocacy issues and cross cutting themes are considered in design.

  • Ensure programs and projects are measured according to technical standards and Child Well-being targets.

  • Ensure Operations Plans are developed and implemented with community engagement, taking into account local capacities and utilising Do No Harm/Local Capacities for Peace (DNH/LCP).

Establish, lead, resource and staff Operations unit to meet response needs:

  • Lead team/individual development and provide direction and support as needed to enable effective performance.

  • Contribute to National Office (NO) capacity building in the area of emergency response in coordination with NO

  • leadership and Human Resources (HR).

  • Determine Operations organisational structure and staffing plan with HR.

  • Monitor recruitment and deployment of Operations staff and plan for capacity development.

  • Ensure Operations staff handovers are conducted.

  • Develop Operations budget in coordination with Finance, ensuring strong alignment and coordination with

  • Programming team during budgeting and budget management process.

  • Plan for Operations transition/integration.

Conduct response operational planning to ensure effective coordination and timely delivery of response activities:

  • Plan and facilitate detailed operational plan and delegate responsibilities to carry out plan.

  • Ensure Accountability mechanisms are in place for Community and stakeholder feedback.

  • Planning process considers community requirements (i.e. timelines) and progress is monitored by Design, Monitoring & Evaluation (DME).

  • Facilitate planning between sectors to meet overall program goals.

  • Facilitate requirements planning with Support Services.

  • Ensure collaborative planning with external stakeholders such as UN Agencies, other NGOs and Government ministries where possible through coordination mechanisms.

Oversee implementation and monitoring of operations to ensure achievement of response goals and objectives and inform operational improvement:

  • Monitor results against sector plans and address identified issues.

  • Monitor expenditure reports and take corrective action with Finance and Programs.

  • Review Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Accountability data with Sectors and Programs to identify and address any issues for operational improvement.

  • Review context analysis with Programs and Liaison for Operational Intent adaptation.

  • Review findings of learning events and evaluations with Programs to make operational improvements.

  • All evaluations of sector interventions are planned with DME to assess effectiveness and timeliness.

Oversee development and implementation of operations reporting systems to support timely and accurate reporting:

  • Establish and implement internal reporting system in coordination with DME.

  • Ensure Operations provide input for grant/donor and program milestone and reports to Programs.

  • Write report on quality risks and their resolution and submit to Response Director on regular basis.

  • Ensure that Operations meets reporting requirements for Clusters, Ministries and/or in-country stakeholders.

Ensure implementation of response operations according to safety standards with support from the Security function:

  • Organise security assessments for all field operations that inform a security plan.

  • Implement the recommendations of the security plan for all field operations.

  • Ensure security incident reporting protocols are complied with by operations staff.

  • Ensure Operations staff adhere to security standards for staff movement and communications.

  • Work with Security to ensure safe and effective Civil/Military relationships with armed actors.

Ensure operations meet WV minimum quality standards and support improvement, reflection, learning and innovation in sectors:

  • Ensure previous sectors learning from Global Learning Facilitator are reviewed.

  • Encourage the incorporation of sector best practice and innovation.

  • Ensure sector have a quality plan to meet quality criteria and minimum sector standards.

  • Ensure achievement of all function quality criteria is monitored and reported regularly.

  • Ensure risks limiting achievement of objective to quality criteria are reported & rapidly addressed.

  • Ensure mechanisms are established to identify, document, and share function lessons learned.

Coordinate with Support Services function for ongoing provision of funds, staff, equipment, vehicles and supplies to ensure timely implementation of operations:

  • Ensure Ops submit clear and timely budgets and funds requests to Finance.

  • Ensure Ops submit clear and timely staff plans to HR and immediately advises on changes.

  • Ensure Ops follow Finance procedures to rapidly process payments to suppliers.

  • Ensure Ops submit vehicle requirements to logistics and follow vehicles management guidelines.

  • Ensure Ops submit communications requirements to ICT and follow ICT procedures.

  • Address delays in Support Services to Response Manager for rapid resolution and waivers.

Identify, report and refer operational blockages caused by external actors to Liaison to be addressed through external advocacy:

  • Establish operation team protocols where sector and geographic leads identify and report where external actors are

  • delaying/preventing implementation.

  • Refer issues delaying implementation to Liaison to resolve through inter-agency coordination and/or government

  • relations.

  • Ensure protection issues are reported and addressed in coordination with Advocacy.

KNOWLEDGE,SKILLS & ABILITIES:

Required:

  • A minimum of 5-7 years in leadership role in the humanitarian assistance and development sector, with a significant

  • portion of this in INGOs.

  • 5 years experience in humanitarian assistance work.

  • Demonstrated understanding of key humanitarian principles, standards and best practices.

  • University degree in Humanitarian Studies or relevant field. Masters degree preferred.

  • Experience in program management and implementation of multi-sectoral emergency response projects.

  • Intensive experience in leading a multi-cultural team of professionals.

  • Experience working in a cross-cultural environment.

  • Experience working in war zones / fragile contexts.

  • Experience in engaging with governmental institutions and multilateral agencies.

  • Experience in managing humanitarian operations that facilitate innovation and calculated risk taking.

  • Strong team leadership skills.

  • Emotional intelligence (self awareness, managing emotions and those of others, remaining calm/composed, dealing

  • with ambiguity and change).

  • Effective in written and verbal communication in English.

  • Academic and on-the-job training in at least one of the support services or response-sector relevant areas.

Preferred:

  • Understanding of the international humanitarian system, particularly the systems, structures and key actors.

  • Understanding of the key accountabilities that must be maintained in a response (beneficiaries, donors, peers).

  • Ability to lead operational planning processes.

  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with

  • senior internal and external stakeholders.

  • Ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders as well

  • as staff.

  • Ability to work in coordination with other humanitarian organizations.

  • Ability to analyse and make decisions in challenging situations in the absence of specific guidance and/or full information.

  • Ability to communicate and model to staff positive behaviors which help them remain resilient and effective in

  • dynamic and high pressure environments.






















Source

The Music of Zomba Prison

The following is a script from “The Music of Zomba Prison,” which aired on Oct. 30, 2016. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Michael H. Gavshon and David M. Levine, producers.

Something unusual happened on the way to the Grammy Awards this past year: an album was nominated from Malawi, a small country in southern Africa not exactly famous for its music. The artists weren’t polished pop stars but prisoners and guards — men and women in a place called Zomba, a maximum-security prison so decrepit and overcrowded, we heard it referred to as “the waiting room of hell.” How could such beautiful music come from such misery? We went to Malawi to find out.

prisonsign.jpg

Zomba Central Prison, Malawi

CBS News

This is the music that brought us to Malawi, one of the least-developed nations on the planet. It’s a place of staggering beauty. There’s vast mountains, lush forests, and a long, idyllic lake. Drive through the countryside however, and you quickly see poverty is widespread. For the country’s 17 million people, life is full of hardships.

Zomba is Malawi’s only maximum-security prison and the music you’re hearing comes from behind these walls. This prison was built to hold around 400 inmates. Today, there are 2,400 here.

What’s so startling when you walk into the prison yard on a Sunday morning, is that everywhere you turn, there is music. A cacophony of choirs.

zomba-prison.jpg

Members of the Zomba prison band practice

CBS News

Many here are hardened criminals. Robbers, rapists, murderers. Others are casualties of a legal system that can be chaotic and arbitrary, where court files are routinely lost and most suspects have no legal representation.

In a small room off the yard, there’s a prison band practicing every day on donated instruments. Those men in green are guards. They play side-by-side with inmates. Ian Brennan, an American producer who travels the world recording new music in unlikely places, heard about Zomba and, three years ago, flew to Malawi to check it out.

Anderson Cooper: You’re taking a gamble. Because you go to places you don’t necessarily know what’s there, right—

Ian Brennan: No, no, no. We have no idea. It’s a leap of faith every single time.

His was not the only leap of faith. Officer Thomas Binamo took one too. He helped found the prison band eight years ago, and wasn’t sure what to think the day Ian Brennan showed up.

brennanwofficer.jpg

Officer Thomas Binamo, left, and Ian Brennan

CBS News

Thomas Binamo: I was quite surprised because I couldn’t understand how this guy knew about us. And why would he be interested in our prison?

Anderson Cooper: It’s not every day a white American knocks on the prison door and says he wants to come in?

Thomas Binamo: Yah it’s true, it’s not every day.

[Ian Brennan: What took you so long?]

The Malawi Mouse Boys

Brennan saw promise in this prison, and the possibility of an album so he set up his microphones and asked anyone interested to write and sing songs about their lives – men and women, inmates and guards. It was something most had never done before.

Anderson Cooper: What were you hoping to find?

Ian Brennan: Well, you know, the thing we look for everywhere, which is, you know, music that resonates with us.It’s just– just this is– this is what moves me. And hopefully it’ll move someone else.

Anderson Cooper: And when you hear it, you know it.

Ian Brennan: Yeah. You feel it, usually.

Anderson Cooper: Even if you don’t understand the words right away?

Ian Brennan: It’s better when you don’t understand the words. Because when you don’t understand the words, you have to listen to what somebody means, not what they’re saying. And if they mean it.

“I Will Never Stop Grieving For You, My Wife”

[Binamo in front of microphone singing “My Wife.”]

Officer Binamo was reluctant to write and sing about his life, but when he did, Ian Brennan knew his music would be on the album. Just listen to what he came up with one morning when we were there — a softly-sung ballad about the sudden death of his wife.

“You left without saying goodbye,” he sings.

“You left behind the children too”

“They no longer cry”

Ian Brennan: He writes songs and plays as beautifully as someone can. He’s reached that level of transcendence where it can’t be better than it is. It just is. It’s something that just hits you.

To fully appreciate the music here, you have to see the misery, but when we arrived at Zomba, authorities didn’t want us to show what life is like for the prisoners. So, much of what we filmed, we had to record secretly, without the guards knowing. Inmates in Zomba are fed just one meal a day — a small bowl of gruel made out of cornflower. The menu, we’re told, rarely changes. On good days they get a few beans. On bad days, inmates say, there’s no food at all.

Chikondi Salanje sang on the album nominated for a Grammy. He’s doing time for burglary.

Anderson Cooper: Do you eat meat, chicken, beef?

Anderson Cooper: You’re laughing. That’s not good. When was the last time you had meat?

Chikondi Salanje: 2014… 25 December.

Anderson Cooper: Two and a half years ago on Christmas Day?

Chikondi Salanje: Yah

It’s not just the lack of food, Zomba is so overcrowded prisoners say they only have enough room in their cells to sleep wedged against one another lying on their sides. Stefano Nyirenda also sang on the album.

Anderson Cooper: So you’re sleeping on your side?

Stefano Nyirenda: When you want to turn, you have to do it together.

Anderson Cooper: Right next to each other?

Anderson Cooper: How do you sleep?

Stefano Nyirenda:: We just sleep. We have no choice.

Stefano is in for robbery and he is HIV-positive, as are around a quarter of Zomba’s inmates. They occasionally get visits from an Italian nun, Sister Anna Tommasi who runs a small charity providing some food and legal aid to prisoners.

anna2.jpg

Anderson Cooper and Sister Anna Tommasi

CBS News

Anderson Cooper: If you were writing a postcard to somebody who had never been to this prison, how would you describe it here?

Sister Anna: Oh. I think it’s impossible for somebody outside to get– there are no words which could explain because–

Anderson Cooper: What life is like here?

Sister Anna: Yes, I think before you came, three days ago, if I had written anything, would– do you think you could have had a clue?

Anderson Cooper: No.

Sister Anna: Sometimes I call it, it’s the waiting room of hell.

Anderson Cooper: That’s what this prison is like? Sometimes.

Sister Anna: Yeah.

If it is the waiting room of hell, salvation for Chikondi Salanje comes from music.

Chikondi Salanje: When I’m singing, I feel like I’m in another world. I don’t feel like I’m in prison at all. It’s only when I stop that I realize ‘Oh, I’m still in prison.’ When I’m singing I forget about everything else.

Anderson Cooper: When the music stops, that’s when you realize you’re in prison?

Chikondi Salanje: When we’re singing the walls are no longer there. But when we stop, the walls return. And then we’re back to counting the bricks again.

Chikondi wouldn’t have to count the bricks much longer. After 5 years here, he was about to get released and when we were there, recorded a new song for Ian Brennan.

“Jealous Neighbor”

It’s about leaving prison…and his fears of life as a free man.

[Chikondi (and Elias) singing “I Paid My Dues.”]

“Don’t call me a criminal, he sings.”

“When I get home they’ll reject me.”

“When something goes missing, they’ll accuse me of stealing.”

“It hurts badly when you call me a criminal.”

In the men’s section of this prison, there are rooms where prisoners take classes taught by inmates and guards. There are also two small libraries where they pour over faded books, and a rundown computer room. But in the women’s section, there is no library, no computers. There is little else but music.

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Women’s section of Zomba prison, Malawi

CBS News

Until Ian Brennan came along the women didn’t have their own instruments, and they couldn’t understand why he was interested in listening to their singing at all.

Ian Brennan: They really– were– believed that they were not singers or songwriters. I mean, they were pretty adamant about this. And just at the moment, I– I was gettint pretty close to feelint like, “Well, you know, we– we tried”– one person stepped forward and said, “I’ve got a song.” And then the minute she did that, they literally lined up.

Rhoda Mtemang‘ombe was one of those women who stepped forward. The song she wrote for the Zomba prison album is called “I am alone.”

Anderson Cooper: What does that mean?

Rhoda Mtemang‘ombe: I have no parents. I have no husband, and I’m here in prison. So I realize there’s no one who can help me. So I ask God to help me. He’s the only one who can guide me across this huge river.

Rhoda is serving a life sentence here in Zomba. She’s in for murder.

Anderson Cooper: Do you feel like you’re glorifying criminals?

Ian Brennan: No. No, no, no. it’s humanizing them–

Anderson Cooper: Humanizing–

Ian Brennan: –not glorifying them, at all, right? They’ve committed crimes. Many of them have learned from their experiences. This is about humanizing individuals–

Anderson Cooper: Wha– wha–

Ian Brennan: –and that’s for the benefit not of them; that’s for the benefit of the listener.

The album Ian Brennan recorded at Zomba did not end up winning the Grammy this past year, and it hasn’t turned a profit either. Brennan has paid the musicians and they have a contract to receive more money if there are future earnings. When he showed up at Zomba with his wife Marilena in May to present the prisoners with some gifts and their Grammy nomination certificate, it was cause enough for celebration, though some of the singers like Stephano Nyrenda still had questions about what a Grammy award really was.

Stephano Nyrenda: Can I ask a little question?

Anderson Cooper: Yeah, of course.

Stephano Nyrenda: This trophy, does it have any money inside of it, or is it just a small prize?

Anderson Cooper: It’s just a token, there’s no money inside the, inside the award.

Being nominated for a Grammy has not changed life for the inmates inside Zomba or for guards like Thomas Binamo living just outside the prison walls. But they are still writing music, and in September, released a whole new album. It’s called “I Will Not Stop Singing.” Inside this prison, it’s the only promise they have the power to keep.

To donate to the Zomba Prison Project, visit http://www.sixdegreesrecords.com/zomba-prison-project-donations/

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Julia Gillard and Rihanna continue their enviable friendship during charity visit in Malawi

Julia Gillard and Rihanna continue their enviable friendship during charity visit in Malawi

By Nicole Economos

7 June 2017 — 6:45pm

Julia Gillard has proven once again she no longer has time for the perils of Australian politics or another comeback, as she continues to run the world in collaboration with her BFF Rihanna.

After making their friendship official while tearing up the stage at the Global Citizen Festival last year, the pair have let their hair down on dance floors, coined the name #Gillianna, and visited Malawi together to continue their work with the charity the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Global Citizen. OK, maybe the first two things only happened in our dreams, but let’s roll with it.

As the founder of the Clara Lionel Foundation and ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, Rihanna enlisted Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, and ex-PM Gillard, who’s also board chair of the Global Partnership of Education, to join her in highlighting the need to educate Malawi youth as part of a political pop-philanthropy remix like no other.

The trio spent time in January with key educators, government officials, mentors and students who are working collaboratively to build a better future for the next generation of Malawians.

Hugh Evans, Rihanna and Julia Gillards have teamed up for a global education campaign.

Hugh Evans, Rihanna and Julia Gillards have teamed up for a global education campaign. Credit:Twitter/Julia Gillard

As pointed out in the video by Angeline Murimirwa, regional executive director of Camfed, the uptake of children who attend primary school moving on to high school is dismal, with only 8 per cent of the 70-75 per cent who attended the first stage of their schooling having the opportunity to move on.

It was these statistics that sparked the visit by Gillard and Rihanna, with the pair wanting to experience first-hand the challenges faced by youth and communities.

“Met the bravest, most humble kids and young women this week! I can’t wait to share more,” Rihanna wrote in an Instagram post in January.

Global Citizens has now released a video of their time in Malawi, with Rihanna declaring she and Gillard wanted to “see first-hand” the challenges faced in terms of education, and find out what can be done.

The trio in Malawi.

The trio in Malawi.Credit:Global citizen

“We’re here really to get a sense of the dimensions of change and what more needs to be done, and we know these challenges are profound,” Gillard said in the video, which showed the trio helping in classrooms with a ratio of one teacher to every 100 students.

This is one of the initiatives in the multi-year campaign, which will help children access education in more than 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by conflict. Part of the initiative is a call of action for world leaders to increase their education budget and funding to help the Global Partnership for education reach its $3.1 billion goal between 2018 and 2020. These funds could help GPE bring quality education to over 870 million children in 89 countries between 2018 and 2020.

Perhaps it’s time for RiRi to start thinking about running for president in 2020 (opposite Kanye, perhaps) – after all she has Gillard, the perfect best friend to show her a thing or two about running a nation.

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Help save elephants in Malawi

Challenge

More elephant tusks were seized in 2011 than in any year since 1989, when the ivory trade was banned: more than 23 tons, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,500 elephants.The growing demand for ivory products in China is once more driving elephant poaching across Africa. For more than 15 years the Wildlife Action Group is providing protection for Thuma’s remaining elephant population by deploying a small but dedicated local anti-poaching scout team.

Solution

Right now 12 scouts cover an area of 197 km, making each scout responsible for almost 20 km of rugged, mountainous Forest in the African Rift Valley in Malawi. This project will increase anti-poaching and conservation activities in Thuma Forest Reserve by providing financial as well as material support to pay for urgently needed scout and ranger salaries, allowances and field equipment, like boots, sleeping bags, backpacks and binoculars.

Long-Term Impact

Funds will ensure that brave wildlife rangers, who come face to face with armed elephant poachers, will be provided with the necessary equipment and training. By expanding and building up Wildlife Action Group’s capacities, an even more effective anti-poaching team in Thuma Forest Reserve will ensure the future of Malawi’s declining elephant population and its habitat for future generations.

Resources

http:/​/​www.wildlifeactiongroup.org

Our websiteWAG Malawi websiteWildlife Action Group International on FacebookWAG Malawi on Facebook

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Kulczyk Foundation

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We help educate children to save Malawi

Back in 2008, Malawi saw 10 people die in every hour of every day. AIDS caused the deaths of hundreds, thousands of locals, who left their children behind. Because of this, the fight for them to survive, to grow up, to gain a profession, and to realise that they can avoid infection is so important. Dominika Kulczyk’s international Kulczyk Foundation helps improve living conditions and education of the children of Malawi.

Malawi is infamous for being in the top ten countries with the highest AIDS mortality rate. The residents of this small country often have no idea that they have been infected and unknowingly spread it to others. Because of this, Malawi has its share in a horrifying statistic. Over 7 thousand people in the world are infected with the HIV virus every day, while 5 thousand die of AIDS-related diseases.

When parents die in Malawi, they leave behind helpless children, who all too often are also carriers of the deadly disease. Fortunately, the state is starting to pay more attention to proper diagnostics and free treatment. The awareness of the locals is slowly changing, but the horrible price paid by the previous generation will never be compensated.

In Malawi, Kulczyk Foundation provides support to an amazing venture, which is the Jacaranda Vocational School headed by Jacaranda Foundation. Malawi is in dire need of professionals, engineers, scientists, and craftsmen. On the other hand, this is the only way for these children to escape poverty. The school operates as a social venture and makes wonderful things – from bread to furniture!

Republic of Malawi

How we help:

We adapted the Jacaranda Vocational School building and equipped the carpentry workshop:10000 USD

We adapted the Jacaranda Vocational School building for the needs of the bakery and catering:10000 USD


Case title

Marie Da Silva
Director and founder of Jacaranda Foundation

Marie was born and raised in Chigumula, Malawi. She lost 14 relatives to AIDS, including her father, who contracted the disease during a blood transfusion. For 19 years, Marie worked as a nanny in the United States. She opened the Jacaranda school for orphans in her family home in Chigumula. For years, she donated one-third of what she made as a babysitter in the States towards maintaining the school and paying the teachers. She returned to Malawi in 2010. For her activity in 2008, she received the CNN Hero award.

Case title

Luc Deschamps
Executive director of Jacaranda Foundation

Luc is from France. He graduated journalism from the Sorbonne University and then ended up on an internship in Malawi, which was when he met Marie. Luc claims that he immediately realised that Marie would be someone special in his life. He later lived in New York for 10 years and, as fate would have it, he ran into Marie once again. In 2007, he moved to Malawi for good to supervise the Jacaranda School for Orphans. After the death of Marie’s mother, the foundation needed someone to operate it on the spot. He and Marie got married 19 years after they first met.

Case title

John Samson
Student of the Jacaranda School for Orphans

John is 16 years old. His parents died of AIDS when he was 4 and it later turned out that he was HIV-positive. He begged for food. Things changed when he came to Jacaranda. When he was twelve, he won the Royal Commonwealth Junior Essay Competition when he wrote about the day, on which he put on his best clothes. The clothes were his school uniform, because when he was wearing it no one could tell that he was poor or HIV-positive. He was rewarded with a trip to London and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

Case title

Tadala Mawindo
Student of the Jacaranda School for Orphans

Tadala is 17 years old and in the second grade of Jacaranda School. She attends the foundation’s make-up classes. She is already an experienced make-up artist and also teaches her own classes. She learned the secrets of applying make-up from the famous Hollywood makeup artist Tracey Anderson, who visited Jacaranda two years ago. Tadala also applies makeup outside of the school classes, e.g. for weddings. She lives with her mother and siblings. Her father, Tadali, died of AIDS. Her mother is HIV-positive.

Case title

Flomina Mawindo
Mother of a student of the Jacaranda School for Orphans

Flomina Mawindo is the mother of the 17-year-old Tadala and participant of a special social programme in Jacardanda, which is based on microcredits. The programme aims to give women a chance at professional activation. Tadala’s mom sells the vegetables she raises on the field at her house and makes enough to support her family. Flomina has five children. Her husband died of AIDS like thousands of other men and women in Malawi and infected Flomina with HIV.

Become a donator

Our account number: PL92 1090 1362 0000 0001 2274 9213. SWIFT: WBKPPLPP

Kulczyk Foundation will allocate 100% of collected funds to supported humanitarian and medical projects.


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INGO Cash Transfer Programme Learning Event: Mchinji District – 12th Feb 2015 | Malawi

On 12th February 2015, a delegation of donors, INGO partners, the UN, private sector and other development partners attended a Learning Event in Mchinji on the MVAC Emergency Cash Transfer response which is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid and Save the Children Italy. The event was co-hosted by INGO partners Concern Worldwide and Save the Childrenat the Kamwendo Model School in Traditional Authority (TA) Kamwendo, Mchinji District. Representing government departments were guests from the German Embassy, Irish Embassy, the PS for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and the District Representative for TA Zulu. From the private sector, representatives were present from Standard Bank and the programme’s implementing partner, Airtel. The event served as a means to demonstrate details of the emergency response, including objectives, aspirations, good practices and lessons learnt; and act as a forum for an exchange of constructive feedback.

The MVAC emergency cash transfer programme commenced in December 2014 and is expected to run until March 2015. As of January, 10,735 households have been reached –and by the end of the programme, the total target of 44,926 households will be met. The consortium, consisting of lead organization Save the Children, Oxfam, Goal Malawi, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide and Christian Aid are responding in 10 districts based on findings from the MVAC’s2013/14 assessment that 640,009 households will be food insecure during the lean season between December and March. However, it is expected that the lean season may be prolonged due to the recent late rains and devastating floods. Depending on DoDMA’s assessment of the situation, this may require the Cash Transfer Programme to be extended for at least an additional month.

The Cash Transfer Programme aims at addressing short-term emergency food needs for vulnerable households through monthly cash transfers and aims at creating links with longer-term programmes in order to build household resilience. The provision of cash is designed to promote household flexibility, choice and dignity in an environment of functioning commodity markets. The links to longer term programmes have been designed to help households create a stronger buffer to cushion future shocks. Special emphasis has been placed on creating links with Village Savings and Loans (VSL) groups, nutrition programmes and the promotion of fuel-efficient technologies.

The Learning Event demonstrated how monthly transfers of cash can be delivered electronically through mobile phones. The Delegation was shown how beneficiaries could ‘cash out’ money from local agents once the amount had been ‘blasted’ by Airtel. They were also shown a solution of a manual cash distribution process in instances where beneficiaries were unable to cash out from local agents due to challenges of network, literacy or liquidity. In addition, the complaints response mechanism was demonstrated to show how beneficiary and non-beneficiary complaints and feedback is recorded and dealt with.

Photo Caption: Selvi Vikan from Save the Children explaining the Cash Transfer Programme’s, Complaints and Feedback Mechanism.

With respect to links with longer term resilience programmes, the delegation was shown examples of a community VSL group in session; a nutrition awareness and interactive cooking demonstration to highlight the importance of dietary diversity and use of local ingredients; and promotion of fuel efficient stoves by comparing benefits of fuel-efficient methods versus traditional methods.

Photo Caption: Learning Event guests, Bjarne Garden of the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Aine Hearns of the Irish Embassy viewing a demonstration on nutrition and dietary diversification.

The Learning Event promoted an interactive style where the delegation could witness the activities, ask questions and provide feedback on immediate impressions. A debrief event was also organised following the event to allow for more in-depth discussions of what was working, what could be improved and what could be taken forward for future emergency programmes.

On reflecting on the programme, Bjarne Garden, Head of Development at the Royal Norwegian Embassy commented that, “we hope to reach the most vulnerable and the poorest in a cost-effective way, so that our inputs can benefit as many as possible. We anticipate that the intervention will build resilience and limit effects from future shocks.” Further reflections included the effective coordination, collaboration and learning between the INGO consortium members; and the potential of cash transfers and electronic payments in emergencies in light of security and multiplier effects. Delegation members expressed an interest to continue the learning in order to further develop innovations in response to food insecurity in emergencies.

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Protea Accommodation in Southern Malawi

A gateway to the warm heart of Malawi

This hotel is situated in the central business district of Blantyre and ideal for business travelers and holidaymakers alike. Since Protea Hotel Blantyre Ryalls is in the financial hub of Malawi and only 15 minutes from the airport, corporate guests don’t need to travel far to get their business done. We have spacious, elegant and comfortable en suite rooms with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and a satellite TV. In fact, it is one of the most technologically advanced hotels in the country. It’s a hotel that complements your travel style. The hotel has excellent wining and dining facilities, and offers an ideal venue for conferencing and banquets. Guests can also relax by our pool or work up a sweat at our fitness center.

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Key Amenities

  • Free high-speed internet
  • Fitness center
  • Pool
  • Airport shuttle

Highlights

  • Placed in the commercial capital of Malawi, ideally situated in the CBD of Blantyre, and among the most tech-savvy hotels in the country.

  • Modern, stylish en suite deluxe and executive suite accommodations, excellent wining and dining facilities and sparkling pool.

  • Boasting the most modern, up-to-date conferencing venue in Malawi providing business centre services for the most discerning traveler.

Awards & Accolades

trip advisor 2018 certificate of excellence hotel logo

Guest Rooms

Modern Elegance in the Ryalls

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Protea Hotel by Marriott® Blantyre Ryalls

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Raising Malawi: Celebrity Supporters – Look to the Stars

Volunteer organisation which helps orphans in one of the poorest countries in the world (Malawi) by providing water, food, medical care and schooling.

Causes

Adoption, Fostering, Orphans, AIDS & HIV, Children, Health, Poverty

Celebrity supporters
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Raising Malawi has received support from the following celebrities listed on this site:

Other charities with the same supporters

Related charity news and events 27

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