Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation was launched in 2012 and the world has never been the same ever since. It is a not for profit organization she named after her grandparents which funds education and health programs in the developing world. Rihanna has been so involved with her community development work that Harvard University’s Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations honored her with the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year accolade. Her commitment to developing African youths is undoubted but with the bicycles and scholarships, she has outdone herself.
Upon receiving her award at Harvard, Rihanna said, “We are all human, and we just want a chance: A chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. And at CLF (Clara Lionel Foundation), our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one.” She was serious!
Rihanna has since visited Malawi and captured everyone’s heart when she took a bit of time to teach kids a bit of mathematics, read with them and led chants in the playground. In this country, only 8% of 4.6 million primary students complete secondary school. The ultimate goal of Rihanna’s efforts, according to the Global Citizen, is to call on world leaders to increase education budgets and funding for the Global Partnerships for Education to help it reach $3.1 billion between 2018 and 2020. As if that was not enough, Rihanna’s CLF and ofo, a bike-sharing platform have partnered for the “1 KM Action” project which will donate bikes to scholarship recipients.
In a statement, the pop icon said, “I’m so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation’s new partnership with ofo because it will help so many people around the world receive a quality education, and also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone.”
In her visit earlier this year, Rihanna was touched by how intelligent but deprived the students were and she commented, “It’s such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart. 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.”
Ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei shared, “We are delighted to work with Rihanna and the Clara Lionel Foundation on this innovative initiative as we are keen to help improve education accessibility for students living in poverty. We believe in unlocking every corner in the world with equal access to education as well as with our bike-sharing scheme.”
The partnership is expected to run for five years. Billboard reports that similar projects have been carried out funding Chinese, Brazilian, Barbadian, Cuban, Haitian and Jamaican students’ studies in U.S. universities. Rihanna has also taken to Twitter to speak to world leaders about funding education in support of the Global Partnership for Education. She has since spoken to France’s Emmanuel Macron who she also met in Paris, Germany’s Steffen Siebert, Argentian’s Mauricio Macri and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.