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    Madonna's School in Malawi Not Happening as Entire Foundation Falters

    Madonna Fame Pictures

    Don't tell Madonna her charitable efforts have failed.

    Raising Malawi, the foundation started by the pop icon after she adopted son David from the African nation, is in regrouping mode amid complaints that $3.8 million has been funneled into a now-defunct plan to build a girls' school and there is absolutely nothing to show for it.

    "A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived," the charity's cofounder, Michael Berg, said in a statement.

    So where does Madonna go from here?

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    Well, according to the New York Times, Raising Malawi's board of directors has been replaced by a caretaker board that includes Madonna and her manager. The foundation's executive director, Philippe van den Bossche, left his post in October after allegedly racking up expenditures for personal comforts, like a car and driver and a golf club membership.

    "There's a real education crisis in Malawi," Madonna said in a statement Thursday. "Sixty-seven percent of girls don't go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable. Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can.

    "While I'm proud of [other] accomplishments, I'm frustrated that our education work has not moved forward in a faster way," she added.

    Global Philanthropy Group founder Trevor Neilson, who Madonna consulted last year after learning of trouble within her foundation, told the Times that it's unclear where exactly all of the $3.8 million that was frittered away went, but that much of it was spent on commissioning designs, hiring an architect and other preliminary measures.

    The foundation has raised a reported $18 million over the last several years, with the Material Girl contributing upward of $11 million of her own money to get the effort off the ground.

    A few months after adopting daughter Mercy in 2009, Madonna was back in Malawi for what turned out to be a purely ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the proposed school in the capital city of Lilongwe.

    Now that plans for the school have been scrapped for the time being, Raising Malawi officials say that they will start distributing money in new ways to benefit children's education in the country.

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