Madonna has laid the first brick of her charity school in Malawi, describing it as "not just the bedrock to a school" but "the foundation for our shared future."
The Queen of Pop was watched closely by her daughters Lourdes, 13 and four-year-old Mercy whom she adopted from the African country last year.
The 10 million pound Raising Malawi Academy for Girls is scheduled to open next year. The school, located in Chinkhota village about 15 kilometres outside the capital, Lilongwe, will welcome 450 students.
As she officially launched the project, Madonna said: "Knowledge is power and every child deserves to have an education, for me there's no other way to end poverty and suffering in the world and to end ignorance and to allow and advocate education for the children everywhere."
It is thought Mercy will be reunited with members of her birth family on the trip before returning home to New York.