ended their protest and agreed to move. Madonna's planned Raising Malawi Academy for Girls can now move forward.
Look, I'm all for empowering women in developing countries through education, but something about this whole thing strikes me as icky. Madonna thinks what they really need on that land is a school; the people that live there think that what they need is to, well, live there. Madonna has the money, so she gets to make the call. But if she's doing this in the name in the name of philanthropy, shouldn't the preferences of the local people come first? Couldn't she have negotiated with village leaders to find the most appropriate site for the school, that would displace the fewest people? To me, this feels like vanity aid, which is the last thing developing countries need.
Madonna's money might have been better spent on a preexisting educational charity with local connections, but then she might have gotten less of a reputation boost, I suppose.
[Hat tip to the Msungu Malawian]