Just days after Rihanna hosted the fourth annual Diamond Ball to benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, which works to give children all over the world access to education and health services, the artist and humanitarian has written an op-ed in the Guardian detailing the global education crisis and her desire to “be part of a solution that works.”
In the piece, published Tuesday, she describes “the lack of access to education for children around the world” as “a massive problem,” relating it to her own childhood in Barbados:
“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. As we’ve seen recently on an unprecedented scale, the Caribbean gets hit by natural disasters that wipe out schools, leaving thousands of children stranded.
In other parts of the world, conflict, poverty, deeply ingrained sexism, and bad public policy keep more than a quarter of a billion children and teens from getting an education. Almost a quarter of these children are affected by conflict or crisis, and girls are more likely not to complete school. But that’s just the surface of the problem.”
She goes on to describe the immediate benefits of education:
“Each additional year of primary schooling boosts a girl’s prospective income by up to 20%...Take Ethiopia, where a 15-year gender equality plan targeting girls’ education has more than doubled participation today. More than 93% of Ethiopian girls are in primary school and 96% in middle school. The price tag to the international community of educating a primary-aged child currently not enrolled in school is estimated at just over $50 a year.”
And includes a damn good kicker:
“Every voice counts, and limited knowledge is no reason to stay silent. 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.
If we can overcome the education deficit in the developing world, everybody wins.”
Also, this is the only honest way to identify Rihanna from here on out:
Read the full article here.