By Ano Shumba
BARBADIAN R&B singer Rihanna last week launched a fundraising initiative designed to help children in Malawi to attend school. Titled The Dollar Campaign, the drive was launched through the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), a philanthropic organisation named in honour of Rihanna’s grandparents, Clara and Lionel.
Through the campaign, the ‘Disturbia’ singer has asked her fans to donate money through the CLF website. Donors will be automatically entered in a contest to win a free trip to New York City to attend Rihanna’s upcoming show on 14 September. Fans have up until 5 September to make a donation. The winner will be announced on 7 September.
“I want to challenge each of you to make a commitment to help one person, one organisation, one situation that touches your heart,” Rihanna said at a recent CLF media event. “My grandmother always used to say: ‘If you have a dollar, there’s plenty to share.’
“It starts with your neighbour,” Rihanna said. “That person next to you in class, the kid down the block in your neighbourhood. You just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.”
According to the campaign website, a few dollars can go a long way:
* $1 could provide one brick to a school in Malawi.
* $5 could provide five bricks to a school in Malawi.
* $10 could provide 10 books.
* $15 could provide a girl with essential school supplies.
* $20 could provide a month of schooling for a girl.
In addition to raising money for pupils in Malawi, the CLF has launched other programmes that enable Rhianna’s fans to support her mission to use education in breaking down socio-economic barriers. The programmes include the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Programme, the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and the Barbados Micro Grants Program.
Rihanna’s new drive comes on the heels of the 1 KM Action Malawi campaign. The campaign is meant to provide pupils with bicycles to get to and from school.
“We are thrilled to join forces with ofo USA, the world’s leading bike-sharing platform, for a five-year partnership in support of our Global Scholarship Programme and quality education for hundreds of girls in Malawi,” reads a post on the CLF Facebook page. “We can’t wait to share more about this exciting new initiative in the months ahead.”
Rihanna is not the first popstar to provide aid for disadvantaged children in Malawi. In July, US singer Madonna opened a children’s surgery unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. – Music In Africa