In the East African country of Malawi, there are approximately 4.6 million students who attend primary school. Sadly, only eight percent of those students will go on to complete secondary school.
This incredibly vast difference in the numbers is not only shocking but also very heartbreaking to hear. Although poverty is a widespread issue for the citizens of Malawi, it is usually the distance that a student must travel that contributes to the high dropout rate. With a low number of schools placed in the rural areas, students are forced to walk as much as 16 miles (26 kilometers) round-trip to attend classes.
Rihanna and her organization the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) have been working to improve education in Malawi since her visit back in January with the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen.
“Founded by Rihanna in 2012, CLF supports and funds groundbreaking and effective education, health and emergency response programs around the world,” states the bio on the Clara Lionel Foundation’s Instagram account.YouTube
On August 1, Rihanna announced that CLF would be working with bike-sharing company ofo to combat the problem of the long distances that Malawian students face each day.
The goal is to fund scholarships for girls in Malawi, as well as donate bikes to female students who are facing challenges with transportation to their schools.
We are thrilled to join forces with ofo USA, the world’s leading bike-sharing platform, for a five-year partnership …
“I’m so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation’s new partnership with ofo because it will help so many young people around the world receive a quality education, and also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone,” Rihanna said in a press release.
This is not the first time that Rihanna and ofo have worked together to improve education around the world. In the past, they’ve provided numerous scholarships to students from China, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, Barbados, Jamaica, and Grenada.YouTube
All of these students have been able to attend various U.S. universities after receiving their scholarships.
Watch the video below of Rihanna’s trip to Malawi and share this article to spread awareness for improving education in poverty stricken areas of the world.