MALAWI, Africa, Monday June 12, 2017 – Barbados’ superstar Rihanna and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard first came together for a good cause in 2016 and were reunited earlier this year while doing philanthropic work in Malawi.
Last week, a video of their January trip was released, showing the multiple Grammy award-winner and the former politician meeting with community leaders and schoolchildren as they seek to raise US$3.1 billion between 2018 and 2020.
“I’m really here to see it. It’s one thing to read the statistics, but I want to see it first-hand and find out all that can be done and where to start first,” Rihanna said in the clip.
“We’re here really to get a sense of the dimensions of change and what more needs to be done, and we know these challenges are profound,” Gillard added.
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillardGPE) June 7, 2017
The pop princess and the politician previously joined forces for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a campaign designed to improve the quality of education in developing countries.
Gillard joined the charity in 2014 as chair of the Board of Directors, while Rihanna, who founded The Clara Lionel Foundation in honour of her late grandparents, is an ambassador.
Also present on the trip was Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, an organisation committed to helping GPE raise money and help children access education in more than 60 impoverished nations.
Various issues impact the education system in Malawi, including a lack of skilled teachers and limited access to education.
“Statistically 70-75 percent of students get into primary school, but only eight percent get to complete secondary school,” said Angeline Murimirwa, Regional Executive Director of Camfed.
There is approximately one teacher to every 100 students in the south-east African nation.