Madonna appeals to fans for Malawi

Pop diva aims to build girls' school for underprivileged

Pop diva Madonna is asking fans to donate money so she can build a girls' school in Malawi for underprivileged children.

In a video posted on her Web site, the singer described her inspiration for the multimillion-dollar project.

"There are very few girls in Africa in general who are encouraged or allowed to go to secondary school, so after spending a lot of time there, I realized that one of the ways I could help is to build a girls' school," said Madonna, who adopted a Malawian boy, David Banda, in May.

"I would really be grateful if you would get involved and help me in any way that you can, with donations, spreading the word, visiting my Web site, reading about the progress that we've made so far," Madonna said in the appeal, posted Thursday.

Madonna, 50, is on the U.S. leg of her world tour and is going through a divorce from British director Guy Ritchie.

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey also has sought to improve the education of African girls, building a $40 million all-girl leadership academy in South Africa.

Madonna calls her project the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. She also has established Raising Malawi, a charity for Malawi's orphans, and produced a documentary this year about the plight of children orphaned by the AIDS crisis in one of the world's poorest nations.