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We know how to address this, and it is within our reach. And we can truly be the cause of change and be the first generation in human history to bring education to all children everywhere so no child is left behind.
- Shakira -

Ferley didn't think he'd ever get to go to school. His thin frame is shrunken by congenital rickets, making him look closer to six than to his eleven years. Read Ferley's entire story >

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.