Monday, January 08, 2007

Madonna and the man from the ministry

With all the TV appearances she's been doing to try and shore up her image following the rule-bending adoption, it's curious that Madonna didn't take the opportunity to demonstrate her commitment to other good causes in Malawi. For example, she never mentioned her sponsorship of Willard Manjolo's social work degree at Swansea.

Perhaps she was slightly concerned that having made a large cash commitment to a programme officer at the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Community Services in Malawi shortly before the ministry suddenly abandoned their rules and ignored the law to allow her to adopt David might have looked a little murky.

Manjolo says that he had no direct input into David's case, and from the ministry's point of view, Madonna was just trying to help:

Adrina Mchiela, principal secretary at the country's Ministry for Gender and Child Welfare, said: "Madonna is paying for everything and we are extremely grateful.

"We had talks with her in June about adopting a child. She asked us whether we had any problems and we saw a chance. We told her the ministry lacked trained personnel and asked if she could help. We told her about Manjolo, who is a social welfare officer, and she immediately responded.

"Madonna indicated a willingness to sponsor more officers. We just have to inform her of our need."

A very generous offer indeed. And, we're sure, well meant. After all, if this was about, say, aeroplane contracts, and a defence ministry, and someone looking to sell aeroplanes offering to pick up the defence ministry's training costs, we wouldn't think that looked odd, would we?