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Shakira Launches Early Childhood Initiative with World Bank
WASHINGTON, D.C. February 22, 2010—Grammy Award-winning artist Shakira and World Bank President Robert Zoellick launched a groundbreaking $US 300 million joint initiative aimed at expanding development programs for young children in Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank headquarters today.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs provide children with adequate nutrition, healthcare, and stimulating environments from the moment of conception through age 6—a period of development crucial for achieving a child’s full potential. The initiative will help expand ECD programs in a region where 9 million children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, and 22 million lack access to early basic care.
"If we want to build a better world, we have to give children the chance to improve their lives, no matter where they are born or how difficult their circumbstances. By giving every child a fair start in life, we are improving our collective future," Shakira told the an audience of 100 VIPs, including Latin American and Caribbean ambassadors and officials from the education sector, along with representatives from other international organizations.
Shakira Announces Haiti School Initiative to Aid Recovery
Barefoot Foundation will build new school for displaced children
NEW YORK—Prior to her performance on the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon, Shakira announced today an initiative to build a new school in Haiti through her Barefoot Foundation. The Foundation will work in partnership with Architecture for Humanity to build the school and NGO partners to provide education, school feeding, clean water and sanitation services. Foundation board member Howard Buffett, World Food Program Ambassador Against Hunger and chairman of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, will fund the school feeding component of the initiative and other related services.
“There is a great need for immediate aid in Haiti, but also for longer-term reconstruction” said Shakira. “For that reason, we are doing our small part to help Haiti rebuild and give the children affected by this disaster the chance to learn and thrive. I hope we can use some of what we’ve learned working in Colombia to help Haiti’s children recover. When we educate children we empower societies, and right now Haiti needs all of our help. ”
The Barefoot Haiti School will be modeled after the work of the Fundación Pies Descalzos, the Colombia-based Foundation Shakira founded which provides education, nutrition and psychological support to over six thousand Colombian children displaced by violence.
“School feeding will be a critically important tool to ensuring the health of Haiti’s children—and their attendance at school” said Buffett. “Our foundation is proud to partner with Shakira on this incredibly important effort.”
The Barefoot Foundation will partner with Architecture for Humanity, a nonprofit design services firm dedicated to building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. “It is vital to rebuild the educational infrastructure of Haiti. We urgently need to restore a sense of normalcy in these young hearts and minds and not allow this tragedy to dictate how they see their future. With this coalition of support we can build a holistic school that will inspire and encourage Haiti’s next generation of leaders” said Cameron Sinclair, executive director of Architecture for Humanity.
Shakira Talks About the Barefoot Foundation on CNN's Situation Room
December 16, 2009
CNN's Wolf Blizter talks to singer and education advocate Shakira about the Barefoot Foundation and our work to ensure that every child has the right to a quality education.
Shakira addressed the famed Oxford Union about the importance of assuring quality education is available to each child around the world:
"I was born and raised in a country marked by civil conflict, social strife and inequality. Growing up in the developing world, where education is perceived as a luxury and not as right; where children beg for an education and parents are desperate to provide it; where if one is born poor, one is destined to do die poor.
But the good news, is that there is an exit strategy to break the cycle of poverty in which millions are trapped because of lack of access to education. From the moment I turned 18, I decided to establish my own foundation in Colombia. And since then we have been working on providing high quality education, nutrition for children and occupational training for their parents, building schools that also work as community centers for families that have been displaced by violence that have lost everything they had."
Si Se Puede: Shakira Calls for Universal Education in the Economist
Nine years ago, at the Millennium Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, heads of state from around the world agreed on the Millennium Development Goals to reduce global poverty. One of the key goals was to ensure that by 2015 every child, boys and girls alike, would be able to complete primary school. This means that all those finishing primary school in 2015 will be entering school in 2010. It’s a daunting challenge, but if the G8, the G20 and other nations join together to establish a Global Fund for Education, we can make real progress towards this deadline...
The Barefoot Foundation on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Shakira spoke about her work with the Barefoot Foundation on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Shakira explained why we focus our work on education saying "I grew up in the developing world and I grew up seeing so much social injustice and inequality. I know for sure that education is the way to close that gap, it is the way to fight poverty."
The Barefoot Foundation Launches its Holiday Campaign
The Barefoot Foundation has launched a holiday campaign to give each of its students the supplies they need in the coming school year. For just $25, you can give a child the gift of learning. Donate today and help make a child's dreams come true this holiday season.