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via Twitter (@ClaraLionelFdn)

Rihanna donates bikes to Malawi schoolgirls to aid education

The move is part of Rihanna’s ongoing efforts to further education in the country, with scholarships and a new initiative to help students get to class

Yesterday Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation announced that they would be teaming up with bike-share platform ofo to not only offer scholarships to girls in Malawi (which they already do through their Global Scholarship Program), but to also donate bikes to students. The partnership, “1 KM Action”, will last for five years and will help struggling students to get to class.

Only eight percent of students in impoverished Malawi manage to complete secondary school, and for a large number of girls, issues getting to school massively contribute to those dropouts. In a press release, Rihanna says: “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”.

The ofo founder and CEO added: “We are delighted to work with Rihanna and the Clara Lionel Foundation on this innovative initiative as we are keen to help improve education accessibility for students living in poverty. We believe in unlocking every corner in the world with equal access to education as well as with our bike-sharing scheme.” The first load of ofo bikes are already in use in Malawi.

Rihanna’s efforts in philanthropy and education have been going on for a while – she was recognised at Harvard for her work – with the singer’s foundation funding education programs around the world. She also recently met with the French president to talk about how France can play its part in improving global education. The Clara Lionel Foundation, named in honour of the ANTI singer’s grandparents, and ofo have worked to provide scholarship funding elsewhere to students from China, Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, and Jamaica hoping to attend higher education in the U.S. 

On a recent trip out to Malawi, the singer met with teachers, the education minister and students. “It’s such a pity that they have to drop out because they are so smart, and everybody is learning together and learning at the same pace it seems,” she observes in the video above. “It’s sad that it has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”

To find out more about the Clara Lionel Foundation, click here