Following her trailblazing NYWF presentation and her recent Diamond Ball, Rihanna has penned an op-ed piece for The Guardian.
The piece, which was posted on Tuesday morning (Sept. 18), is titled “Growing Up in Barbados, School Was a Grind.
In the op-ed, the “Diamonds” singer asks global communities to reprioritize its efforts on education in developing countries, noting that socioeconomic factors and natural disasters often impact standard practices of teaching.
“Education is a lifelong journey. We never know everything, but we constantly evolve as we learn more about our communities, this ever-changing world and ourselves,” Rihanna writes.
“I’m not ashamed to say I’m still learning. I’ve grown tremendously as an individual through my formal education as well as the global education I have received by travelling the world through music.”
Calling the lack of access to education around the world a “massive problem,” Rihanna writes that rather than throw our hands up in surrender, we need to take on the challenge and work as hard as possible to rectify it.
“The lack of access to education for children around the world is a massive problem, but that does not mean we should throw up our hands in despair and surrender,” Rihanna writes.
“Instead, we need to take on as much of the challenge as we can manage to set an example and see the difference.”
The Pop star, whose Clara Lionel Foundation has been focusing on the lack of educational access for the more than 263 million young people not in school around the world, described growing up in Barbados and not always loving school.
Rihanna addresses how her upbringing and experiences have shaped her views on education and encouraged her to fight towards achieving universal education for children.
“Growing up in Barbados, I did not always love school. It can feel like a grind, especially when you’d rather be singing, playing sports or doing pretty much anything other than homework,” she wrote.
“I realise now that I often took it for granted that I was even able to go to school. Education can be stolen from you in a second.”
The musician and entrepreneur has been involved in various projects aimed at advocating for children’s education. She recently served as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) which saw her traveling to Malawi, and also traveled to Senegal for the GPE’s finance conference.
“We are grateful for the generous contributions of those such as the EU and France, and countries that doubled their contributions such as Canada and Ireland,” she shared.
“I look forward to seeing additional contributions from countries I know can step up even more, such as Germany and Japan, and seeing those that didn’t contribute – the Netherlands, Finland and New Zealand add their support to help us reach our target.”
The Clara Lionel Foundation was founded to raise money for disadvantaged young people across the globe.
“As an ambassador for GPE, I’ve met a number of these world leaders and witnessed first-hand how difficult it can be to commit money to education. Investment in education can be more challenging to quantify compared to something like healthcare, which has a more tangible return on investment,” she wrote.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s less important.”
Citing statistics that claim that each additional year of primary schooling can boost a girl’s prospective income by up to 20 percent, Rihanna chronicles the 2017 trip she took to Malawi as her role as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education to witness the work the GPE does to help children in 87 countries gain access to educational opportunities.
“Every voice counts, and limited knowledge is no reason to stay silent,” she says.
“We all have a stake in this. Imagine a world where millions of children, previously left to fend for themselves, are given the chance to learn. When it comes to helping the world’s poorest children, as well as the communities and societies in which they live, I’m still learning – and I need others to join me on the journey and use their voices alongside mine.”
Head over to The Guardian for the full piece!