rihanna is giving scholarships and bicycles to girls in malawi

Badgal continues to do remarkable good for global education.

by Hannah Ongley
02 August 2017, 4:36pm

Bicycle enthusiast and Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Rihanna is finally combining both those titles into one. The benevolent badgal's Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered with bike-sharing company ofo for a new initiative to support girls' education in Malawi. The five-year partnership, "1 KM Action," will provide students in the developing southeast African country with scholarships, plus bikes to help them get to school safely, Rihanna said. She founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, naming it after her grandparents.

Rihanna has long championed the importance of youth education. Ahead of the G20 summit in June, she started tweeting at world leaders urging them to fund schooling. "I know you had our backs during the #GlobalCitizen Festival, will you recommit Canada to #FundEducation?" she tweeted at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who replied that Canada has "got your back!" and shouted out MP Marie-Claude Bibeau for "making sure girls' education is in our feminist international development policy." However, no world leader came through as hard as France's Emmanuel Macron, who invited Rihanna to Paris's Élysée Palace so he and the First Lady could hear the singer out IRL.

Earlier this year, Rihanna visited Malawi with Clara Lionel and Global Citizen to raise money for education in the country. Clara Lionel reports that there are approximately 4.6 million learners in primary school students in Malawi, but only 8% of them finish secondary school, and the drop-out rate amongst girls is particularly concerning. Luckily Riri's got their backs. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Paolo Roversi [The Music Issue, no.335, 2015]
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm

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