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March 26, 2011  | by: Vanessa Douglas

Madonna

Apparently, the trendy thing to do nowadays is to be charitable and, you know, care about things. Madonna, the eternally cool singer/actress/designer/mom/what doesn’t she do?, is all over being charitable, but it seems like her efforts are going down the drain.

Raising Malawi, an organization founded by the performer, is reportedly having some trouble after having spent $3.8 million on a particular project that just never came about. According to the New York Times,

The board of directors of the organization, Raising Malawi, has been ousted and replaced by a caretaker board, including Madonna and her manager, officials with the organization said Thursday. Its executive director, who is the boyfriend of Madonna’s former trainer, Tracy Anderson, left in October amid criticism of his management style and cost overruns for the school. These included what auditors described as outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars, office space and a golf course membership, free housing and a car and driver for the school’s director.

Basically, promises were made to raise money, build a school, and provide resources, but unfortunately, it seems like the people in Malawi are not going to see anything change. Now that money that was raised was spent on who knows what, and the individuals who were going to benefit are being left int he dust.

While I applaud Madonna on her efforts to make some sort of change, I do take issue with what she is trying to do. I’m definitely not opposed to trying to provide people with the things that they deserve. What I find irritating is that Madonna, as well as many other celebrities in the United States, feel the need to go to “Third World” countries and help those who are “less fortunate”.

This is problematic for various reasons. Firstly, why do people assume that they have to go to other countries in order to help? Madonna has said there is an education crisis in Malawi, but what about the one in the U.S.? Not every single school in this country provides students with what they need (right, Geoffrey Canada?) Shouldn’t we try to fix our problems here so that we know how to prevent them elsewhere?

Secondly, if aid from outside countries continuously tries to do something, and just happens to not do anything at all, not only does that not allow a country to develop on its own, but it gives a bad name to the people that tried to help and actually changed nothing. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t help other people. I just believe that offering help and trying to make a change in the world is easier said than done.

One decision (good or bad) can make a huge difference and affect various individuals, and trying to take actions not only requires money and a desire to help. People need to be organized and have to know what their doing so that the incident in Malawi doesn’t become a trend.

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