Barefoot Foundation Projects
Education is a fundamental right, but it remains a distant dream for millions of children around the world. The Barefoot Foundation works with international organizations like the Global Campaign for Education to make education a top priority. We raise public awareness and educate policy makers about the importance of education. The Barefoot Foundation also lobbies donor governments to live up to their promises and close the $10 billion annual education funding gap. We support the establishment of a Global Fund for Education to ensure that there is unified, substancial and predictable international support for education.
Pies Descalzos Foundation School at Corregimiento La Playa, Barranquilla
On February 4, 2009, the Pies Descalzos Foundation opened its fifth school in a ceremony attended by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Shakira. The school offers state of the art facilities and more than doubles the number of children who will be able to attend school in the district.
Before the Pies Descalzos Foundation’s school, the Ministry of Education declared La Playa an educational emergency zone because of the constant influx of displaced people. Its over-burdened schools only had enough spaces for 16 percent of the neighborhood children. The Pies Descalzos School offers an unprecedented chance at quality education for some of Colombia’s poorest citizens.
The 13,000-square-meter (140,000-sq.-ft.) school has the capacity to directly serve 1,800 students and, through them, influence the broader community. It epitomizes the Foundation’s “open door” school philosophy by making the school the center of community life where the entire community can come to learn and improve their lives. Children and their families have access to vocational programs, health services and income-generating projects at the new facilities. The school will emphasize the arts and bilingual education for students who enter without English-language skills.
“I want to break the myth that quality education is the privilege of the few” said Pies Descalzos and Barefoot Foundation founder Shakira.
The school was built thanks to contributions by donors like Shakira, through proceeds from her 2006 Barranquilla concert, and contributors like the Howard Buffet Foundation, the German television network RTLTV, the city of Madrid, Hard Rock Café and SEAT.
Photo: Carlos Capella / EL TIEMPO