You can always count on Rihanna to show up, shut down everything, and make you reconsider what you’re doing with your life. When the music icon isn’t busy slaying the Met Gala or starring in the female-centric Oceans 13, she’s heading to Malawi to save the world.
Rihanna just dropped a new short film as part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness for education funding in developing countries that focuses on her January trip to Malawi. Together with The Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen, the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation visited Muzu, a school in one of the poorest countries in the world. In Malawi, half of the population lives below the poverty line and daily income averages out to 90 cents a day.
In the doc, she’s seen teaching a math class, cheering on a girls’ rugby team, and observing the problems facing the kids who attend the school: a single teacher for up to 100 students; 26 kilometer treks to get to and from school; limited resources; HIV/AIDS; arranged marriages; and more. “It takes away the sense that you’ve got control over your destiny,” notes Angeline Murimirwa, the regional executive director of Camfed.
Although 70-75 percent of students in the country get into primary school, only 8 percent make it to secondary school. “It’s such a pity that they have to drop out because they are so smart, and everybody is learning together and learning at the same pace it seems,” she observes. “It’s sad that… that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”
For Rihanna, the Malawi trip is one of many humanitarian missions she’s embarked on lately. The ANTI singer has also founded a scholarship program for Carribean students to attend U.S. colleges, done work on education in over 60 developing countries, and, in February, was chosen by Harvard University as the recipient of the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work.
Watch the film and then head to Global Citizen to learn how you can lobby your government to increase their education budgets and funding to the Global Partnership for Education to help it reach $3.1B between 2018 and 2020.