NEW YORK CITY — People throughout the world know Rihanna for her music, makeup and lingerie brands and fashion icon looks. Yet, aside from developing these worldwide brands, she also has developed an organization to help those in need. In 2012, Rihanna created the Clara Lionel Foundation, and two years after, a charity event known as the Diamond Ball. Rihanna’s philanthropy work is making a change in vulnerable communities throughout the world.
The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF)
Rihanna created the Clara Lionel Foundation “in honor of her grandparents.” It supports educational initiatives, responds to emergencies during “natural disasters and advocates for policy systems change” for different communities throughout the world.
In countries such as Malawi, Senegal, Barbados and the United States, Clara Lionel’s educational programs are said to be making a difference. The foundation has funded educational programs for students in primary and secondary schools in Barbados since 2016. In addition, Clara Lionel partnered up with the Campaign for Female Education in Malawi — a pan-African movement to get girls into classrooms so they can become leaders and affect change within their communities.
This partnership hopes to have a positive impact on more than 7,500 girls and women by developing scholarships, a bicycle donation program, micro-grants for women striving to be entrepreneurs and a professional development program.
Clara Lionel’s Emergency Response and Climate Resilience
Furthermore, Clara Lionel has developed climate resilience programs to prepare Caribbean communities for natural disasters. For instance, health facilities are used to serve as emergency response centers for girls and women but can be transformed into “long-term recovery” centers after a natural disaster. Currently, there are nine active projects in six countries.
In addition, the foundation has developed an emergency response program. When Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas in September 2020, Clara Lionel provided more than $1 million in emergency response relief efforts. The grant paid for food distribution, reconstruction of health care centers, waste management and more.
The coronavirus pandemic impacted many communities over the last year or so. Clara Lionel helped by offering a $5 million grant to organizations such as Direct Relief and Partners in Health. The funds went to food banks in the U.S. and equipped frontline workers in Native communities. It also helped maintain virus prevention protocols among other things. Rihanna’s philanthropy work is said to help communities come together during difficult times.
Apart from developing the Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna created an annual event she called the Diamond Ball in 2014. It attracts “A-list” celebrities invited to give generously to her foundation. For instance, the 2017 charity event raised more than $5 million. Besides collecting donations, Rihanna uses Diamond Ball to spread the word about important issues happening in different parts of the world, letting people know why it is essential to donate.
Rihanna has used her fame to break down different barriers. With the Clara Lionel Foundation and Diamond Ball, she is said to have had a positive impact on vulnerable communities. Hopefully, Rihanna’s philanthropy work will continue to change lives.
– Carolina Reyes