Madonna opening girls' school in Malawi
Multimillion-dollar project in the worksLILONGWE, Malawi -- Madonna plans to start building a multimillion-dollar girls' school in Malawi for underprivileged children this year, her local lawyer said on Wednesday.
"A task force of four prominent Malawians has already been formed to head the project which will be on the scale of what Oprah Winfrey has in South Africa," Madonna's lawyer Alan Chinula said.
"It is a multimillion-dollar project, and we will get the real costs in the next two weeks."
Billionaire U.S. television magnate Winfrey has built a $40 million all-girl leadership academy in South Africa which boasts state-of-the-art facilities including laboratories, a yoga studio and beauty salon.
Malawi's High Court is expected to approve Madonna's bid to adopt two-year-old Malawian David Banda on Thursday. Malawi's government and David's father -- his only surviving parent -- have endorsed the adoption.
Madonna will not attend the final court ruling on her adoption bid because she is busy with other engagements, Chinula said Tuesday.
The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been ravaged by an AIDS epidemic that has produced more than one million orphans.