Rihanna pens powerful op-ed calling for universal education for children

September 2018

Rihanna gives powerful op-ed letter for universal education.

By Kia Morgan-Smith


Rihanna is foot soldier fighting on the frontlines for education for children around the world and penned a new op-ed for the Guardian calling for her legion of fans to join her push for universal 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,” Rihanna said in the piece published by the Guardian Tuesday.

“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.”

Superstar Rihanna, who was born and raised in Barbados, wrote even though she wasn’t a fan of school, she soon learned that it was necessary.

“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. I realize 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. It does not have to be this way,” she wrote.

She also pointed out the disparities that exist for women and girls. As an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), she called for people to continue to support its efforts.

“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 said of this year’s GPE financing conference.

“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.”

And even as the pop-princess-turned-beauty-mogul reigns in her respective business areas, she admits that she’s still got a lot to learn even as she champions for this important cause.

“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 traveling the world through music.”