Barefoot Foundation
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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. 

Click here to watch the video

Shakira Addresses the Oxford Student Union

Date: December 7, 2009

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."

Click here to watch Shakira's speech

Click here to see an interview with Shakira after the speech

Si Se Puede: Shakira Calls for Universal Education in the Economist

By Shakira

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...

Published November 13, 2009

Click here to read the full article in The Economist

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." 

Click here to watch video of the interview

The Barefoot Foundation on The View

Shakira appeared on ABC's The View on November 16, 2009.  She talked to the ladies of The View about the importance of universal education and the work of the Barefoot Foundation. 

Click here to watch the video!

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. 

Click Here to Donate!


Shakira and the Barefoot Foundation in Conde Nast Traveler

By Dorinda Elliot

Because she proves you can shake your booty and save the world at the same time

Best Trip Ever: Last February, I went back to Colombia to open a school in one of the neediest neighborhoods in my hometown, Barranquilla. I was overwhelmed with joy to see it filled with students and to know what a difference it will make...

---Are you worried that, in light of the economic crisis, giving will decline?
"Sure I'm concerned that donors will give less, but I'm still optimistic. We have to invest in the potential of children for the sake of our collective future. Research shows that a single year of primary education creates a 10 to 20 percent increase in a woman's wages later in life. It lowers the risk of disease and decreases the likelihood that a child will turn to a destructive, violent life.

Published September, 2009

Click here to read the full story from Conde Nast Traveler


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