When she’s not lighting it up at the Billboard Music Awards, rapper Nicki Minaj is giving back on a much smaller stage.
According to her Instagram page, Minaj has been partnering with a nonprofit for the past couple of years to provide water wells, sewing machines, and a computer center to an Indian village.
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The details of her philanthropic venture are not clear, and the location of the village has not been reported. But this gesture shows that Minaj’s commitment to giving back to the global community is more than ephemeral.
Earlier this month, Minaj helped 30 students pay their way through college after starting an impromptu Twitter campaign. A week later, she announced that she would be starting a foundation to help straight-A students pay off their loans.
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Now, she’s showing that her charitable work extends beyond the borders of the United States.
In India, her donations are helping women and girls in particular by providing access to clean water, education, and technical training.
“I'm so proud of our sisters in India,” she wrote next to a picture of a group of women seated in front of two new sewing machines. “God is so good. Their desire was to have water wells & places where they can worship, places where they can learn technology, computers, reading, etc. We're just getting started. These women are us and we are them!”
For rural Indians, a lack of access to clean water can hold women back from attaining an education and entering the workforce. According to the nonprofit WaterAid, 63 million rural Indians do not have clean water.
This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud. The money I've sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS. We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some ppl don't even have clean water. Blessings to India. Our work is far from done. I'll tell you guys more about my charity work in the near future in case you'd like to be a part of it. Love🙏🏽
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Gender inequality in India is rampant, and the country was ranked 136 of 186 in the UN’s gender equality index. When it comes to education and technical training in India, women also lag behind. One study found that while three in four Indian men are literate, just over half of Indian women are.
Initiatives like Minaj’s address these issues on a small-scale, but the message of women’s empowerment rings clear. Keep up the good work, Nicki!