Source AP ©

Malawian toddler Madonna wants to adopt visits his old orphanage

The Malawian toddler Madonna is in the process of adopting visited his old orphanage with the star's nine-year-old daughter Tuesday.

David Banda and Lourdes were greeted by cheering children dressed in yellow uniforms, some chanting "Madonna, Madonna," at the church-run Home of Hope orphanage in the village of Mchinji, near the Zambian border.

It was not initially clear whether the singer, in Malawi to oversee her charity projects in this impoverished country, was among the visitors.

Security for Madonna and police tried to stop journalists and onlookers from entering the orphanage compound. But villagers, mainly children, clamored over the waist high wall and rushed in.

The orphanage has been the scene of much excitement in recent weeks with the road leading to it graded, new flowers planted and new uniforms for the children.

Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world, with disease and hunger, aggravated by periodic droughts and crop failure. Just over 14 percent of the 12 million population are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and an estimated 1 million children have been orphaned. In many villages, grandparents or older siblings struggle to feed orphans.

Madonna aims to provide food, education and shelter for up to 4,000 Malawian children.

Madonna visited Malawi last autumn and took custody of the then 14-month-old David, who was in an orphanage after the death of his mother. The move sparked controversy and raised concerns that regulations were being swept aside to benefit a pop star who has been generous to the country.

Madonna maintains she has followed the law.

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