If you don't count yourself as one of the many millennials obsessing overRihanna's every move,here's a reason to join the bandwagon: The 29-year-old R&B singer has recently leveraged her star power to urge world leaders to financially commit to educating children in developing countries around the world.
Attending an international conference in Senegal at the end of last week,the star (and fourth-most-followed person on Twitter) cohosted an event alongside Senegalese president Macky Sall and French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Global Partnership for Education,an organization for which Rihanna became an ambassador in 2016,Agence France-Presse reports.
"We have made tremendous progress today,but of course our work is never done," Rihanna told attendees at the conference in Dakar on Friday."We have a long way to go,and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting,until every boy and every girl has access to education."
According toUNICEF's United Nations Children's Fund,there are approximately 264 million out-of-school children and adolescents around the world due to extreme poverty,political conflict,and social barriers,including gender bias against young women and girls.(Glamour's own nonprofit initiative,The Girl Project,works to help combat these same socioeconomic barriers,particularly as they pertain to young girls,in international academia.)
After connecting on Twitter last summer,Rihanna and Macron had discussed the state of global education and agreed to work together to increase educational access to children around the world—a social media power move that ultimately led toRihanna visiting the Elysée Palace in France last summerto further discuss the issue with President Macron and his wife,Brigitte.
On ThursdayRihanna used her audience of 86 millionto press British prime minister Theresa May,Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull,and Macron to demonstrate their backing of girls' education by funding Global Partnership—specifically calling upon the U.K.to pledge $542 million,Australia to contribute $160 million,and France to pitch in $312 million by week's end.All countries have since responded,increasing their donations toward education.Additionally,Erna Solberg,prime minister of Norway,tweeted Rihanna with a pledge of her own.
The overall goal for the Global Partnership conference is to raise $3.1 billion from donors by 2020 to support the education of 870 million children across 89 developing countries,and ensure that developing countries will rightfully allocate 20 percent of their overall budgets for education,Timereports.And it seems that,with Rihanna on their team,this goal might very well be reached.