"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, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone," Rihanna said in a statement released today.
The "1 KM Action" partnership has already sent its first set of bikes to Malawi and it will also fund scholarships for these female students through Rihanna's Global Scholarship Program.
Although 4.6 million children attend primary school in Malawi, only 8% complete secondary school. More girls drop out than boys due to a number of issues, transportation being one of them.
"We are delighted to work with Rihanna and the Clara Lionel Foundation on this innovative initiative as we are keen to help improve education accessibility for students living in poverty," ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei said in Tuesday's press release. “We believe in unlocking every corner in the world with equal access to education as well as with our bike-sharing scheme."
Rihanna visited Malawi earlier this year with the Global Partnership for Education in order to speak with students, educators and government officials about the best way to "build a better educational future for Malawians."
In a previously released video, Rihanna shared footage of her trip and spoke about the experience. "It's such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart," she said. "Everybody's learning together and learning at the same pace, it seems. It's sad that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete."
Providing young girls with a way to get to school quickly and safely is definitely a step in the right direction.