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I Am Because We Are

March 26th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Always famous for reinventing herself, pop icon Madonna recently shifted some of her focus to the small nation of Malawi in southern Africa, becoming an activist for this often overlooked part of the world. She made headlines after adopting a 1-year-old boy, David, in 2006, and her experience there inspired her to raise public interest through a documentary, I Am Because We Are.

“People always ask me why I chose Malawi,” Madonna says at the start of the film, “and I tell them I didn’t, it chose me.” Her interest in the country came as the result of a phone call from a woman born and raised in Malawi, who challenged Madonna to use her resources to call attention to 1 million children orphaned by AIDS. Though she didn’t know where to find Malawi on the map at the time, “I ended up finding out much more than I bargained for,” she says, “about Malawi, about myself, about humanity.”

Though it features insight from Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu, I Am Because We Are is the story of children like Fanizo, an orphan from Khanda village who misses the love of his mother, but his biggest problem is the lack of food: like many in his village, he eats just once a day. The experts in the film discuss how raising awareness, building orphanages, diversifying crops and providing access to medicine can all help the people of this small nation, but the film asks if it’s enough, calling on the need to empower the people of Malawi and provide them the tools to eradicate poverty in their nation as well.

If you’re inspired by I Am Because We Are, there are many ways to help, including Raising Malawi, an NGO started by Madonna to provide direct physical assistance, support sustainability and create education in Malawi. You can find more information about the organization online.

Rebecca (),

Last comment: Apr 6th 2009 3 Comments
  • Motivational says:

    Only when you live life without fear, risk with bravery, strive for your grandest dreams, can you be in a position of influence like Madonna and other philanthropists to help change the world on a massive scale. Don’t live small, you were meant for great things, we all are.

  • John says:

    Rebecca, would love to see Hulu create an education channel where videographers could post their videos with eduational content. Of course, much discussion necessary. What do you think?

  • Josh says:

    Suggestion– add a category in the left-hand side filter for “Expiring Soon”. Will get people to come back to view a movie or show if they know they won’t be able to get it if they wait too long.

    Another suggestion– hire me?? Haha. No, seriously.