Rihanna is on a quest to ensure children across the world can get an education.
In an op-ed for The Guardian, the “Love On The Brain” singer passionately encouraged the developed world to care about the schooling of children in impoverished countries.
“The lack of access to education for children around the world is a massive problem, but that does not mean we should throw up our hands in despair and surrender,” Rihanna wrote. “Instead, we need to take on as much of the challenge as we can manage to set an example and see the difference.”
Rihanna reminisced about her childhood in her native Barbados and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to go to school. She also empathized with Caribbean nations that have been devastated by hurricanes.
“Growing up in Barbados, I did not always love school,” she wrote. “It can feel like a grind, especially when you’d rather be singing, playing sports or doing pretty much anything other than homework. I realize now that I often took it for granted that I was even able to go to school. Education can be stolen from you in a second. As we’ve seen recently on an unprecedented scale, the Caribbean gets hit by natural disasters that wipe out schools, leaving thousands of children stranded.”
The Fenty Beauty mogul also dropped knowledge about the education crises facing other countries. According to the piece, a quarter of a billion children are unable to be formally educated. Girls are less likely to be educated than boys and a quarter of children aren’t in school due to war and conflict.
Rihanna shared some encouraging statistics as well. Every year a girl is educated adds 20 percent to her future income. A 15-year gender equality program in Ethiopia led to high enrollment rates for their girls, with 93 percent being enrolling in elementary and 96 percent in middle school.
She also visited Malawi and Senegal to do advocacy work with the Global Partnership for Education. Rihanna wants world leaders to prioritize education and is thankful for those who have done the work. Rihanna also contributes through the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization she founded in 2012.
“As an ambassador for GPE, I’ve met a number of these world leaders and witnessed first-hand how difficult it can be to commit money to education,” she wrote. “Investment in education can be more challenging to quantify compared to something like healthcare, which has a more immediate return on investment ($1 will purchase critical vaccines, for example). But that doesn’t mean it’s less important.”
Rih-Rih has been a great source of advice this week. When E! News asked her what she would tell her younger self, her answer was a mood.
"Sleep," she said. "Because you're not gonna get to do it in your twenties or your thirties, the way my thirties are starting out."
The 30-year-old is a wise woman.
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