annual report

All photographs featured in this report are CLF-funded projects and partners.
Left to right, top row: Ava Rampersad from the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Felipe Leonardo from Profamilia, Kurissa Augistin and Pearleter Felix from Helen’s Daughters, Ashley Lashley from the Ashley Lashley Foundation

Left to right, bottom row: Anderson Langdon and Sonya Alleyne from the Barbados Family Planning Association, Paula Agbowu from Queen Elizabeth Hospital,  Rosalind Gittens from Westbury Primary School Keithlin Caroo from Helen’s Daughters

Supporting and Funding

Climate Resilience + Climate Justice Work
in the U.S. and Caribbean


The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) was founded in 2012 by Robyn "Rihanna" Fenty in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. CLF invests in climate justice initiatives in the Caribbean & United States and helps communities prepare for and withstand natural disasters.

Black Feminist Fund Convening
Photo: Jabulisile Tugwana

Our work is centered around three key programs:


Our goal is for the Caribbean to become the world’s first climate-resilient zone by helping communities prepare for and withstand natural disasters.


We combat climate change’s effects by providing unrestricted grant funding to climate justice organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.


We support a variety of initiatives in our Founder’s home country of Barbados.

CRI Project at Paix Bouche
Primary School in Dominica

what’s in
this report?

Our Report Covers:

Photo: Rocky Mountain Institute
Photo: Helen’s Daughters

Climate Challenges
in the Caribbean

Caribbean Small Island Developing
States are 7 times more likely to be
impacted by natural disasters.1

We invest in emergency preparedness and climate adaptation projects across the Caribbean to reduce the loss of critical social and economic capital.

90% of island energy
projects fail
in the
project preparation stage.2

100% of our renewable energy projects reach completion— meaning our partners have access to life-saving power during and after a storm. We do this by providing project management and technical support to our grassroots partners.

Only 2% of global philanthropy
goes to the environment, 3.5% of which
is focused on equity and justice.3

100% of our projects and partners are grassroots-led and prioritize equity and justice. Our grants simultaneously address multiple social inequalities whenever possible.

1 Caribbean Countries Will Be Seeking Climate Justice At COP27, Forbes
2 The Caribbean Climate Smart Fund, Rocky Mountain Institute
3 The Solutions Project

our programs

Our approach
to grantmaking

Intersectionality is the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping rather than isolated.

Our grantmaking aims to tackle multiple social inequalities whenever possible.

Climate Resilience initiative

CLF’s goal is for the Caribbean to become the world’s first climate-resilient zone by helping communities prepare for and withstand natural disasters.

To position the Caribbean as a model for emergency preparedness, we focus on improving the critical infrastructure necessary for healthcare services, shelter, and pre and post-disaster crisis communications.

CRI Health project with the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) which includes various resilience upgrades including seismic retrofitting
Ava Rampersad, Project Lead and Executive Director of FPATT
This photo and above:
Emergency preparedness
training at Paix Bouche
Primary School in Dominica

88% of our Climate Resilience projects are BIPOC-led

We work with grassroots organizations in the Caribbean from project preparation to project completion, providing technical and project management support every step of the way.

Photo: Jake Dyson

partner feature

Primary School


Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou

Westbury Primary School was designated as a Category 2 Hurricane Shelter for Barbados, meaning it could be used after the passage of a storm, but lacked the key amenities to be operable during the passage of a storm.

the grant

CLF is transforming Westbury into a Category 1 Hurricane Shelter, doubling the shelter’s capacity, by working with local engineers, architects, and project managers on the following improvements:

  • Grid-tied solar PV system with battery and generator backup
  • A complete roof replacement
  • Upgraded hurricane shutters
  • Increased water storage
  • Installation of fire / emergency exits
  • Disability access and overall
    structural reinforcements
Principal Rosalind Gittens
Photo: Jake Dyson
Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou
the impact

Once CLF’s work is completed, Westbury Primary School will serve as a critical emergency shelter able to withstand up to a Category 5 hurricane, serving as a model for emergency preparedness. The school is located in the Parish (region) of St. Michael, which is home to over 88,000 Bajans. During a disaster event, the school will provide reliable shelter, water, and power for the surrounding community. After the passage of the storm, the school is expected to be able to resume operations and get students back into the classrooms quickly since the upgrades aim to reduce damage to the infrastructure.

Generator and PV battery
storage building
Photo: Marbella Services Caribbean Ltd.
Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou

"Working with CLF on this project has proven their commitment to a 360-model to improve the resiliency of the Caribbean. If the roof of a school cannot withstand a hurricane, any other efforts would not lead to a fully resilient project. We fortified the school’s structure with reinforced walls, replaced the timber roof with steel, ensured the school could provide drinkable water, added an emergency generator and alternative solar power, incorporated disability access and emergency exits, all to ensure this school is fully equipped to be a hurricane shelter if and when a storm comes."

— Terrence Sobers


Director, Dursor
Chartered Architects Inc.

Climate Justice

In 2022, we created a fund to support transformative, frontline work led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in order to address the root causes of climate injustices.

Sharon Lavigne
Photo: Molly Tarrant
How the Funding Works

We fund BIPOC-led organizations in acknowledgment of their deep understanding of what is necessary to achieve climate justice in their communities.

Instead of restricted giving with strenuous reporting requirements attached, our grants are unrestricted. These unrestricted grants allow our partner climate justice organizations to:

  • Focus on strategic growth and capacity building that sustains
    their mission for the long-term.
  • Operate in innovative and adaptive ways.
  • Direct more time and resources directly towards impact rather
    than reporting.

In the inaugural year of the Climate Justice pillar, we committed $15 million to nineteen climate justice organizations* across the U.S. and Caribbean.

* Grant amounts varied amongst organizations
Indigenous Environmental Network COP27 delegation. Photo: Jullian Melvin
Center for Popular Democracy
Climate Organizers
Photo: Samantha Rivera

Top philanthropies are
giving only 1.3% of their
U.S. climate dollars to the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led environmental justice groups
who are doing the most to fight climate change.

Patricia Sonny,
"FarmHer" with Helen’s Daughters
Photo: Wyndell Neptune

partner feature



St. Lucia
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Photo: Helen’s Daughters

Helen’s Daughters works at a grassroots level to provide capacity-development training, mentorship, micro-investment, access to high-value markets, and a structured care-system for rural women farmers in the Caribbean.

the grant

Helen’s Daughters works at a grassroots level to provide capacity-development training, mentorship, micro-investment, access to high-value markets, and a structured care-system for rural women farmers in the Caribbean.

  • An Agri-Apprenticeship Program which provides seed funding to women who wish to open agricultural businesses upon completion of the apprenticeship.
  • A Water Tank Initiative to combat water insecurity that threatens agriculture production in the Caribbean.
  • A Women Farmers’ Academy that gives women access to agricultural training and empowers farmers to become agricultural entrepreneurs.
Photo: Helen’s Daughters
Keithlin Caroo and CLF Team
tour the Helen’s Daughters’
Agri-Apprenticeship Program
at Hotel Chocolat in St. Lucia
the impact

In 2022, St. Lucia went through two climate shocks, a national drought in the summer months which dried up the island’s national dam, and then flash floods which caused $7M worth of damages. The CLF x Helen’s Daughters partnership allowed us the flexibility to quickly partner with a local water tank manufacturer to purchase and install ten 1,000 gallon-tanks for farmers in our network. By supplying this water, we prevented two weeks of crop losses (valued at $15k) while also ensuring women farmers did not have to put themselves in danger to collect water from remote, unsafe locations. And because Helen’s Daughters is building resilient communities, not just climate-resilient projects, they provide training on climate-resilient agriculture, financial awareness, and mental health support for farmers in their network.

Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou
Photo: Helen’s

"Working at the intersection of gender, climate justice,
and agriculture is not typically understood by most funders, it’s either you’re one or the other. For far too long, funders have focused on improving agriculture productivity while negating the external impacts of climate change or gender-based violence that can affect individual farmers. The type of support CLF provides has allowed us to transform the support structures for women in agriculture while also validating our approach, opening doors for us to partner with new regional and global entities, like Hotel Chocolat."

— Keithlin Caroo

Founder & Executive Director
of Helen’s Daughters

legacy projects

CLF Legacy Projects support causes in Rihanna’s home country of Barbados—dating back to the founding of the organization in honor of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.

Devonte Coppin, CLF Barbados Scholarship recipient, is pursuing his degree in Electrical Engineering to one day work on renewable energy projects in Barbados
Photo: Jake Dyson
Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou
We are currently supporting:
The Only Public
Hospital in Barbados

The Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital was named after Rihanna’s grandmother who passed away from cancer. Our partnership began with a donation of state of the art radiotherapy medical equipment and has expanded to support climate resilience projects throughout the hospital.

Primary and Secondary Schools

We give micro-grants to primary and secondary schools that allow them to fund key needs, including meal programs, technology, and educational materials that support Bajan youth. Through these grants, we are honored to support the schools Rihanna attended.

Talented Bajan Youth

We believe in the youth of Barbados, which is why we support performing arts programs while also providing tuition scholarships for students who wish to attend university through the CLF Barbados Scholarship Program.

Photo: Tom Lucy

partner feature

triple threat


Photo: Jake Dyson

Operation Triple Threat (OTT) is a developmental performing arts program that trains students to become a ‘triple threat’ – someone who is skilled in each of the three disciplines of singing, dancing, and acting. Through OTT’s training, students are able to excel and compete at internationally recognized standards, bringing artists from Barbados to the world.

the grant

OTT utilized CLF’s unrestricted grant to support their general operating expenses, empowering 26 young performers (between the ages of 12 and 21) to participate in
a live production of Fame JR. Between
OTT staff, the creative team, and crew,
the production involved 40+ professionals supporting  students in a full-scale production before a live audience, many
of which had not performed live for 3 years due to the pandemic.

Photo: Operation
Triple Threat
Claire LaCorbiniere, OTT Student
Photo: Ashley Zafaranlou
the impact

CLF’s approach to funding OTT has ensured the show goes on. Over the years, OTT has received interest from donors asking them to create new productions specific to Bajan culture and history. While OTT is proud to foster Bajan talent, they know in order to best prepare their students to be marketable, they need to provide students with the opportunity to perform in globally-recognized productions. CLF trusts OTT’s vision for bringing Bajan talent to the world, which is why our funding is unrestricted. This year, CLF was thrilled to see OTT student Claire LaCorbiniere audition and play a supporting role in "Run This Town" - The Road to Halftime Starts on Rihanna Drive Apple Music trailer. Claire is grateful to OTT because it inspires her to dream bigger, improve her acting, and build friendships in the process.

Photo: Operation
Triple Threat
Apple Music - The Road to
Halftime Starts on Rihanna Drive

"We are proud of how Rihanna continues to lift Bajans up through her music, philanthropy, advocacy, and fierce commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are also super proud of our OTT student Claire LaCorbiniere, who auditioned to be part of this monumental project and is one of the trio of girls confidently walking on Rihanna Drive in the video."

— Janelle Headley

& Creative Director


a decade
of impact

Since 2012, we have given over $100 million in grants.

and Milestones

+35 Caribbean countries
and nearly all 50 states

Over the course of the decade, we have funded education, health, and climate-related projects from Barbados to Burkina Faso.

150 Projects

We not only funded innovative climate justice and climate resiliency programs around the world–we’re redefining what is possible through strong philanthropic partnerships.


has been disbursed towards supporting  justice initiatives across the globe.


Happy 10th anniversary, Clara Lionel Foundation! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we planted the seed that is CLF, which has now grown into a trusted organization with remarkable global impact.

I am so proud of the work we have accomplished in partnership with communities and organizations that are equally committed to shifting inaction to action, inequity to equity, and injustice to justice. Through our partnerships, we know that our collective work over the years in health, education, emergency response, and now climate resilience and climate justice movements, will make a lasting impact.

We are forever grateful to be in collaboration with all of you and thank you for celebrating this milestone with us.

With love,

—Robyn Rihanna Fenty


thank you

Thank you to every person that gave to CLF at any level over the past year. We are grateful for every contribution.

anchor donors

Fenty Beauty
Panta Rhea Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
Savage X Fenty
The ELMA Caribbean Foundation

Donors above $100k
community of supporters

Abeni M
Airyka T
Alexander W
Alison A
Ana R
André G
Andrei K
Andy R
Angela D
AP Studio
Ashley G
Ashley Z
Beauty Positive
Benjamin K
Brian B
Brian D
Brian Daniel S
Buca-Arie M
Celine T
Chaunyce D
Claire W
Claudia D
Crue W
Crystal T
Damian S
Danielle D
Danny K
David D
David J
Denise G
Dessislava A
Devika N
Dieter W
Edward S
Erika P
Evan J
Eyitemi O
Freddie C
Gabrielle D
Genilaura G
Giovanni C
Glenn S
Haydn P
Heather C
Hustle and Clothes
Inderpal G
IRunMe Self Evolution LLC
Israel C
Janet I
Janet M
JaShauna M
Jasmine W
Jérôme B
Jordyn C
Joseph C
Julisa M
Karen L
Katie N
Keely K
Kent B
Khiehhxeh A
Kim C
Kisha B
Korla F
Kristi C
Kyndall R
Latifah D
Laura T
Lia D
Luisa F
Mackenzie G
Marcus Y
Margareta A
Maria Elena M
Melissa B
Michael L
Nadene P
Nadine M
Natalie G
Natalie U
Paul A
Paulette S
Peter P
Piers B
Rachel A
Reno S
Richard A
Richard L
Rickard J
Robin G
Roger W
Sahar Z
Shara A
Sharon R
Sierra D
Simbiat O
Sony Music Group
Steven J
Tamira C
Teddy T
Timothy M
Victoria B
Vivy D
Wagner E
Yasmine N

Share our projects!

Because this work could not have been done without your support, we invite you to celebrate what we have accomplished by sharing project highlights from this report!

CLF has received thousands of individual gifts.

We also appreciate those who’ve helped amplify our message!

the clf team

Our Team

Jo Opot

Interim Executive

Krystle Francis

Program Manager: Climate Resilience Initiative

Devika Nohar

Administrative Associate

Ivan Rosales

Chief Financial & Operating Officer

Ashley Zafaranlou

Program Manager

Our board of directors

Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty


Jessie Schutt-Aine

Board Vice President

Jay Brown

Board Member

Monica Fenty

Board Member

Mai Lassiter

Board Member

Tamara Larsen

Board President

Cheryl Alston

Board Member

Kawanna Brown

Board Member

Lukas Haynes

Board Member

© 2023 Clara Lionel Foundation.
Design: Futurehaus
Author: Ashley Zafaranlou