Pop music superstar Rihanna is teaming up with the world’s leading bike-share program, China-based ofo, to give girls in the African country of Malawi an education and bikes.
In a new “1 KM Action” partnership announced on Monday, the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation will fund scholarships for girls in Malawi through the foundation’s Global Scholarship Program, while ofo will donate bikes to those students to relieve transportation challenges in getting to class.
“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,” Rihanna, a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress, said in a statement.
She stressed the importance of ofo’s contribution in “cutting down those very long walk they make to and from school all alone,” Rihanna said.
Before starting ofo and becoming its chief executive officer, Dai Wei said he had worked as a volunteer teacher for one year in one of China’s most impoverished regions.
“We believe in unlocking every corner in the world with equal access to education as well as with our bike-sharing scheme,” Dai added.
This announcement is part of a five-year plan that will also provide scholarships for girls to help with their higher education pursuits.
Earlier this year Rihanna, a global ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, visited Malawi where only eight percent of the 4.6 million students in primary school go on to a secondary one.
The Chinese firm ofo is also helping the Foundation to offer scholarships to students from China, Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica who are accepted to colleges or universities in the U.S. The company is particularly interested in students focused on the environment and sustainability.