Pop star Rihanna put in some time in the nation of Malawi, to gain knowledge on the state of the education system in the landlocked country. Known for soaring rates of HIV/AIDs, attacks on its albino population, it seems that the nation referred to as “the warm heart of Africa” is working its way through the many challenges it faces. Education has been key to the growing nation. With families living below the poverty line, the children of Malawi just like in many African states go to class hungry and often study in difficult conditions to the benefits of education.
Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty visited schools in the rural countryside of Malawi in January 2017, learning from local officials about the education system. Partnering with the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen, Riri’s charity Clara Lionel Foundation hope to improve the education system in collaboration with local government. Announcing their joint partnership in late Septemeber 2016, Rihanna has been working towards improving education support programs globally.
Touring, teaching and learning from Malawi’s bright minds, the Barbadian beauty was accompanied by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to learn more about the diverse challenges in the education system. Rihanna had the chance to join in a Mathematics lesson, even teaching some primary students. She later visited a high school where she played football with the young girls. In her reflection on the struggles students face, bad girl gone good Riri said “it’s such a petty that they have to drop out because they are so smart and everyone is learning together and at the same pace, it seems … they could do so much if they could continue and complete.”
Unlike many other celebrities reaching out to do good in the world, Rihanna can definitely relate to the struggles of the children she interacted with. Miss Fenty is no stranger to struggle, growing up on the Caribbean island of Barbados. Her story is one of the rags to riches for the now millionaire, who once sold clothes in a stall on the island. It seems that her charity Clara Lionel Foundation hopes to change the narrative for the world’s less fortunate and give many the chance to excel.