If you say perfection doesn’t exist, you clearly don’t know Rihanna. When the multi-hyphenate icon isn’t busy creating hits, slaying at the Met Gala, starring in the new women-centric Oceans 13, or laying poolside with a perfectly rolled blunt in her hand, she’s also making the world a better place.
A new short film just dropped documenting Rihanna’s January visit to Malawi to raise awareness for education funding in developing countries. 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.
Over nearly 10 minutes, the doc shows Rihanna teaching a math class, cheering on a girls rugby team, and overserving the problems facing the kids who attend the school. At Muzu, the odds of success seem nearly insurmountable: a single teacher for up to 100 students, 26 kilometer treks to get to and from school, limited resources, arranged marriages, and more. “It takes away the sense that you’ve got control over your destiny,” Angeline Murimirwa, the regional executive director of Camfed, observes.
While 70-75 percent of students in the country get into primary school, only 8 percent make it to secondary school—a sobering statistic that hits hard for the ANTI singer in the doc. “It’s such a pity that they have to drop out because they are so smart,” she notes. “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.”
The trip to Malawi is just one of many humanitarian missions Rihanna has embarked on over the past few years. She’s founded a scholarship program for Carribean students to attend U.S. colleges, done work on education in over 60 developing countries, and, in February, she was chosen by Harvard University as the recipient of the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award for her work.
Watch the film and 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.