Why Global Citizens Should Care
Without basic literacy and numeracy skills, millions of children — the future of developing nations around the world — will face barriers in completing school and getting into paid jobs. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) plays an instrumental role in ensuring that no child is held back from achieving their full potential. You can stand with Rihanna and join us by taking action here to support the UN’s Global Goal for education. 

Rihanna’s goal of getting every child a quality education has already been a bit of a Twitter world tour. 

Back in February, the pop queen tweeted at world leaders from the UK, France, and Australia; she tweeted Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in January; and last year, she also targeted Canada, Argentina, and Germany.

But no world leader is safe from Rihanna — and the Netherlands is the latest on her list. 

Take action: Tell the Netherlands Why Education is the Key to Girls' Health and Empowerment

On Monday, Rihanna sent a tweet to the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, and Sigrid Kaag, the minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, calling for greater investment in global education. 

And — even better — the Dutch government responded!

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is a global partnership and fund exclusively dedicated to education helping the most vulnerable children in some of the poorest countries. GPE brings together donor and developing countries, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector, and foundations. It works to reach parts of the world that face the greatest challenges in education — which is essential in tackling poverty and inequality.

World leaders met in Senegal in February for the GPE financing conference, which saw leaders pledge funds to support education around the world for 2018-2020. 

Thanks in part to the efforts of Rihanna and Global Citizens around the world, the conference was able to secure $2.3 billion to ensure that no child is held back because of where they were born. 

The Netherlands couldn’t make a financial pledge at the time because of a recent change in government, but a Dutch official for the Netherlands vowed that the country would make an ambitious pledge soon. 

They said the Netherlands is committed to ensuring everyone, “particularly girls", can access a quality education.

It’s an essential goal. Currently, 264 million children are out of school around the world, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

And girls disproportionately miss out on education.

Not only is that deeply unjust, it also perpetuates gender inequalities and ignores the immense potential of girls. 

In fact, if all girls went to school for 12 years, low and middle-income countries could add $92 billion per year to their economies — meanwhile, a girl who is educated is less likely to get married young, or contract HIV, and she’s more likely to have healthy, educated children. 

Quality education is one of the UN’s Global Goals, a 17-goal plan for ending extreme poverty by 2030. For many, education is one of the most key goals, because it ties into so many others. 

An educated person is more likely to lead a healthy life, for example, and is less likely to die in childbirth. Education also helps promote gender equality, reduce child marriage, and build peace. 

Rihanna became an ambassador for GPE in 2016, and since then she’s been working hard in support of the fund. 

In January 2017, she travelled to Malawi with Global Citizen and GPE, to meet children at under-resourced schools. 

Along with former Australian prime minister and GPE chairperson Julia Gillard, and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans, Rihanna visited students, teachers, government officials, and mentors, to better understand the issues and challenges surrounding education. 

“I’m really here to see it,” she said at the time. “It’s one thing to read statistics, but I want to see it firsthand and find out all that can be done and where to start.” 

As a result of her tweet, Rihanna also landed a face-to-face meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the critical issue.

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented for the very first time by Citi. MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson. Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, iHeartMedia, and NYC Parks. Associate partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship.


Defeat Poverty

Rihanna Just Tweeted the Dutch Prime Minister Because She Wants to Get Every Child in School

By Imogen Calderwood