The singer accepted the prestigious university's Humanitarian award yesterday (February 28)
Rihanna delivered a moving speech last night (February 28) after accepting an award from Harvard University for her humanitarian efforts, remarking that “you should just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.”
The ‘Anti’ singer was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the prestigious US university, which has been awarded to the likes of Malala Yousafzai, former UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and Lionel Richie in recent years.
Taking to the lectern after being presented with the award by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, Rihanna opened by joking: “So – I finally made it to Harvard. Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”
She then moved onto discussing her views on humanitarianism, which she said had roots in her childhood.
“I would think to myself, ‘I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa?'” she recalled. “And I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up and I get rich, I’m gonna save kids all over the world. I just didn’t know I would be in a position to do that by the time I was a teenager.
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian,” she continued. “What that little girl watching those commercials didn’t know is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian, you don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t have to be famous, you don’t even have to be college educated. But it starts with your neighbour.
“You just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.”
Watch her acceptance speech below, which begins at 1:14:00.