‘It will help so many young people around the world receive a quality education’
Malawi is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, with over 40% of the population living on less than $1 a day. Though progress is being made, an area that needs significant improvement is school attendance, with education being a key method for aiding development and reducing poverty.
While initial school enrolment is relatively high in Malawi, with 4.6 million children attending primary school, the dropout rate sees a high percentage of girls abandon education by the end of year 6, with only 8% of children continuing on to secondary school.
The dropout rate is a lot higher for girls than boys, with early pregnancy and marriage playing a key role in the figures.
One of the most common reasons behind the female dropout rate however is the commute, with the lack of secondary schools in rural areas meaning that young girls have to travel long distances to get their education, with travelling alone making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
This week Grammy award-winning singer Rihanna announced a new initiative, 1 KM Action, aiming to tackle this very problem.
The new project will see the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation team up with Ofo, a Beijing based bike-share initiative, working together to help young girls in Malawi get to school safely. The partnership’s aims will be two-fold, firstly funding scholarships for girls in Malawi via the foundation’s Global Scholarship program, and then donating bikes to them to help them get to school.
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‘I’m so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation’s new partnership with Ofo,’ Rihanna announced in a statement. ‘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, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone.’
The first batch of bikes has already been delivered and we can’t wait to see the difference that it will make.