Madonna welcomed in Malawi as ‘daughter of this nation’

The Associated Press

BLANTYRE, Malawi — Madonna was welcomed in Malawi on Tuesday for the official opening of a hospital children’s wing funded by her charity and named after one of the four children the pop star has adopted from the impoverished southern African nation.

“You started by adopting four Malawian children, now we are adopting you as the daughter of this nation,” President Peter Mutharika declared at the ceremony.

“There are so many things I never imagined I will do. I never imagined one day I will build this kind of a hospital,” said Madonna, who explained that she grew up without a mother and wanted to give the best to Malawian children.

“Never give up on your dreams,” she added.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, was built in collaboration with Malawi’s health ministry. It has already started some activities, and Madonna said last week that the institute had completed its first surgery.

The four children she adopted from Malawi are David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere. The children’s wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

Madonna’s charity, Raising Malawi, was founded in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by the country’s orphans and other vulnerable children. It has built schools and funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015 and includes three operating rooms dedicated to children’s surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward.

Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

“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 last week.””

US musician Madonna, kisses one of her adopted daughters Stella, as son David Banda, right, looks on at the opening of The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, Malawi, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Madonna was in Malawi on Tuesday for the official opening of a hospital children’s wing funded by her charity and named after one of the four children the pop star has adopted from the impoverished southern African nation.

AP Photo Thoko Chikondi””

Pop star Madonna, left, and Malawian President Peter Mutharika, unveil a plaque at the opening of The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, Malawi, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The children’s wing facility is named after Madonna’s adopted child 11-year-old Mercy James and building funded by her charity Raising Malawi in collaboration with Malawi’s health ministry.

AP Photo / Thoko Chikondi

Business

Driftwood still a go, according to Tellurian

Crime

Three injured in Sunday shooting

Business

New trial date set in dispute involving Capital One Tower

Crime

10/3: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

Mitchell convicted in murder of Baton Rouge man whose body was found on DeQuincy road

Crime

Sulphur man accused of sexual battery

National News

Feds vow major aid for Ian victims amid rescues

Local News

Ada O’Quain: Being able to give back has never felt like work

Local News

World War II vet Edward Carter will celebrate a century of life on Tuesday

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Juvenile Justice making news

life

Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles wants this year’s Coats for Kids Drive to be the best ever

life

Walk aims to end bullying in and out of schools

Business News

Venezuela releases 7 jailed Americans; US frees 2 prisoners

Local News

BREAKING: Woman, three dogs killed in Moss Bluff house fire

life

Rosary Around the Lake to be recited in three languages

life

Opening of Community Kitchen celebrated

life

Expect carnival rides, games, food and more at Jeff Davis Parish Fair

Crime

Two female students accused of battery against teacher

Local News

Ian lashes South Carolina as Fla. toll climbs

life

SW La. school lunch menus Oct. 3-7

life

Bourbon, Bacon, Brisket and Brims: It’s an evening of eating, drinking and wearing wild hats

life

McNeese Preview Day set for Saturday

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Stearman Fly-In

Crime

Former CEO of health clinic convicted of Medicaid fraud