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Rihanna elevated her activism and passion for fighting for global education access in 2016, when her Clara Lionel Foundation began a multi-year partnership with Global Citizen and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), with Rih taking on the role of GPE's first-ever Global Ambassador.
Throughout the past couple of years, the beloved humanitarian has used her platform to advocate on behalf on various education initiatives, whether she is helping raise money, awareness or legislative support.
Most recently, the multifaceted entrepreneur decided to take a moment to pen an op-ed (published by The Guardian) to continue amplifying the issues at hand, calling for the international community to step up its collective efforts to aid in providing worldwide access to education.
"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," she writes. "Instead, we need to take on as much of the challenge as we can manage to set an example and see the difference. This is what has driven me to prioritize global education in my philanthropy and advocacy work. The notion that millions of children are desperate to go to school and are not given the opportunity is something I cannot accept."
Elsewhere throughout the op-ed, she draws on her experiences growing up in Barbados and what she has learned since beginning her journey as an ambassador for the GPE. She goes on to name a few specific examples of her advocacy efforts, such as reflecting on her experiences attending February's GPE Finance Conference, during which $2.3B was pledged toward global education efforts between the years 2018 and 2020.
"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 continues. "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."
Rihanna then explains how she's met with a number of world leaders to discuss such matters, witnessing "first-hand how difficult it can be to commit money to education" but that this shouldn't equate not even trying.
"Investment in education can be more challenging to quantify compared to something like healthcare, which has a more immediate return on investment ($1 will purchase critical vaccines, for example)," she explains. "But that doesn't mean it's less important."
Rihanna closes the op-ed with the reminder that "every voice counts," further reinforcing how much of an impact joining forces can truly have.
Take a look at Rihanna's latest op-ed focusing on global education, via the Guardian.