Global pop star Rihanna visited Malawi as part of her duties as the ambassador for Global Citizen and Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The pop star whose philanthropic activities started with the establishment of her foundation, Clara Lionel Foundation, spent her time with students and the board of directors of GPE.
The pop star who started her foundation in honour of her grandparents in 2012, partnered with Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen in September 2016. Her visit to Malawi comes at a time when there is global focus on improving education, particularly for young girls in Malawi.
The Clara Lionel Foundation started a scholarship scheme in May 2016, to help needy students attending colleges in the U.S. The foundation says its committed to the fight against injustice, inequality, and poverty, through education.
Rihanna’s advocacy work to promote girl’s right to education on the continent is not the first by a U.S. celebrity. There are various initiatives which involve global personalities advocating for girls’ rights to education. During her visit, Rihanna was seen touring the classes and interacting with the students.
Malawi continues to face serious challenges in efforts to address the underrepresentation of girls in schools. Many young girls continue to face the practical challenges in their quest to attain education. School dropout is high among adolescent girls in the country because of economic reasons, social, cultural and religious attitudes that hamper the girls’ opportunities to access education.
Early child marriage also remains an issue in Malawi and marriage is often perceived to be the ultimate achievement for girls. Efforts by Rihanna and other women/girls’ rights activists who are tirelessly working to promote and increase access to education for girls are commendable.