Madonna was welcomed in Malawi on Tuesday for the official opening of a hospital children's wing funded by her charity and named after one of the four children she has adopted from the impoverished southern African nation. She adopted David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere. The children's wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.
"You started by adopting four Malawian children, now we are adopting you as the daughter of this nation," President Peter Mutharika declared at the ceremony.
"There are so many things I never imagined I will do. I never imagined one day I will build this kind of a hospital," said Madonna, who explained that she grew up without a mother and wanted to give the best to Malawian children. "Never give up on your dreams," she added.
The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, was built in collaboration with Malawi's health ministry. It has already started some activities, and Madonna said last week that the institute had completed its first surgery.