Recently Rihanna released a video highlighting her last trip to Malawi. The premise of the trip was tackling the issues surrounding education for a country where half of the population lives in poverty and only 8% of children has the opportunity to go to secondary school. You can see more highlights on rihanna’s instagram, and it’s worth checking out.
In the video, Rihanna makes it clear at her meeting that she knows the statistics but she came to see it for herself.
“I’m really here to see it. It’s one thing to read statistics, but I want to see it firsthand and find out all that can be done and where to start first,”
Read below via Billboard:
Rihanna says in the video, sitting alongside former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, a board chair for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE); Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, in Malawi; and Hugh Evans, the co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen.
The Global Partnership for Education works with more than 60 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality education, prioritizing the poorest, most vulnerable and those affected by war. Rihanna formed a partnership with GPE and social advocacy platform Global Citizen in 2016.
The Barbados-born singer, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is an ambassador for GPE and the founder of Clara Lionel Foundation, whose mandate is “teachers and students, advocates and allies, reaching across borders to fight together for the basic right to education.”
Rihanna is encouraging her fans to support her and other GPE members to help raise the $3.1 billion from donors around the world, including from the major economies that comprise the G20 countries. These funds could help more than 870 million children in 89 countries receive quality education between 2018 and 2020.
In the Malawi video, Rihanna talks with government officials, educators and even teaches a classroom full of kids mathematics. She is told by the Minister that many kids drop out of school because of poverty.
“It’s such a pity that they have to drop out because they are so smart,” Rihanna reflects. “And everybody is learning together and learning at the same pace it seems. It’s sad that has to end for some of them because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”
One boy talks about often not having food but he doesn’t worry because “I believe in the future when I will be a businessman I will have more food.” He later says “this is a beautiful school with beautiful learners” but there is a lack of chalk and books.
Rihanna helps one child do some addition on the chalkboard, sweetly using her fingers as an aid, and then teaches the entire class, who shout back answers to her. She also plays soccer with the students and leads the girls in an empowering “girls, girls, girls” chant. Many girls are married off at a very young age.
“Its amazing,” Rihanna says. “The way they learn though, I love that they learn in melody. That’s like my favorite thing because kids, they adopt melody really, really quickly and so if you can use that as a learning tool, I think that’s the most brilliant brilliant thing.”
Rihanna’s influence has already been proven in fashion and music and with her commitment to education, her influence is no different. She issued a call to action on social media and according to Global citizen Canada “inundated with demands to commit to the Education Cannot Wait Fund”
“Just three weeks after Rihanna’s rallying cry on Twitter urging Global Citizens to call up PM Trudeau to make a change, which prompted 185,000 actions, a US$15.3 million commitment was made at the Global Citizen Festival on Sept.
24 by the Canadian government to grant over 98,000 children and youth all over the world desperately needed access to education in emergencies,” according to the press materials. She made the same plea to the French government, which committed $2 million to the fund.
Watch the below:
Awesome work Rihanna, to whom much is given, much is expected! #blackgirlmagic – (We still have so much to do)