2009 February

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Shakira and Barefoot Foundation Honored by President Uribe

As a teenager, the pop star Shakira fought illiteracy, teaching reading at a parochial school in the humble La Playa district of her hometown on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Her gift to La Playa is now considerably bigger.

Shakira and the Pies Descalzos Foundation were honored by President Alvaro Uribe at the opening of the Foundation's flagship school. The school, located in the impoverished La Playa district, will provide world class facilities for 1,800 students. President Uribe called Shakira a "great leader in the world of philanthropy."

"I want to break the myth that quality education is a privilege of the few," said Shakira. The 13,000-square-meter (140,000-sq.-ft.) school is the fifth the singer-songwriter's foundation has built.


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Shakira and Mayor Fenty call for service on NBC

By Alfredo Flores

Shakira and Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty visited the Oyster-Adams Bilingual Elementary School in Washinton D.C. to share a day of culture and service with students. Shakira announced a sister-school relationship between Oyster-Adams and Shakira's Barefoot Foundation.

"Every child, no matter where they are in the world, deserves access to a high quality education," said Shakira. "I was thrilled to visit the Oyster-Adams School today as a part of President-Elect Obama's call to service and to meet the amazing students who will begin a pen-pal relationship with the schools run by my foundation in Colombia."

"It was an honor to join Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Shakira today in support of Oyster-Adams students," said Mayor Fenty. "Both embody the commitment and passion needed to ignite true education reform. Their efforts are a true testament to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and an example of their unrelenting desire for public service."

Click here to see NBC's story


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NEWSWEEK magazine features Barefoot Foundation: Education, the Song of Hope

The Barefoot Ones: The singer has helped Colombia's poorest youth get an education
By Shakira | NEWSWEEK

Often you don't know what you have until you lose it. When I was 7 years old, my hardworking father's jewelry business went bankrupt. I didn't know what the word "bankrupt" meant, and when my parents sent me to stay with family friends in Los Angeles while they addressed the situation, I assumed that I would return home to my normal routine...Despite our situation, my parents wanted me to know that it could be far worse.