Singer Rihanna (RiRi) has often been honoured for her music, but this time she is being honoured for her humanitarian work. On Wednesday, Harvard University announced that the 29-year-old singer has been named the Humanitarian of the Year 2017.
Rihanna has been honoured for having done charity work in Bridgetown, Barbados, by building a "state-of- the-art centre for oncology and nuclear medicine" for breast cancer patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
"She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program [named for her grandmother and grandfather] for students attending college in the US from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today," S Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation's director, said in a statement.
The award will be presented to Rihanna on February 28 at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. The past honourees of the Humanitarian Award include actor James Earl Jones, anti-child-labour spokesman Kailash Satyarthi, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Taliban attack survivor Malala Yousafzai and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Rihanna's charity work
Rihanna is not only known for her music, but also for charity work. She has supported several charities, including Alzheimer's Association, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Designers Against AIDS, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Stand Up to Cancer, The Black Eyed Peas Foundation and UNICEF.
In 2015, she held her second Diamond Ball event and raised over $3 million for her charity Clara Lionel Foundation that funds students. In 2012, she donated $1.75 million to Barbados Hospital honouring her grandmother and also made a $100,000 food bank donation for Hurricane Sandy relief.
She is also known for performing at an auction benefiting Mission Australia and at Madonna's Raising Malawi/UNICEF fundraiser.