Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shakira Charity

In December 2007, Shakira traveled to Bangladesh to visit UNICEF-supported education projects. She also met with women and children affected by Cyclone Sidr.

"I am sorry for what happened to you," Shakira told cyclone survivors.

 "But things are going to get better again. I admire your resilience and your patience and how much you can still give when you have so little for yourselves" Shakira added.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira has met with a group of adolescent girls from impoverished parts of India to discuss the importance of educating and empowering girls to break the cycle of poverty and inequity, nationally and globally.

Shakira and global education advocate met the group of adolescent girls associated with the KGBV (Kasturba Gandhi Ballika vidalaya) residential educational programme in Udaipur, Rajasthan, who come from areas where the literacy level is around 5 per cent for women and some 20 per cent for men.

"My interaction with these adolescent girls was energizing and inspiring," stated Shakira. "It only reminded me, once again, that girls are a precious resource of intellectual and physical ability, a resource that can help to further society. They need the chance to be educated and empowered" Shakira continued.

The KGBV programme addresses the need for education for the most disadvantaged girls who are marginalized and often difficult to reach. The value of the girl child in the family is generally low, leading to boys being valued over girls – from nutritional intake to getting an education – and girls dropping out of school in order to look after the household. In addition, the school environment is often not conducive for girls, including the lack of sanitation facilities.
Shakira called for a collective push to ensure that girls have the ability, support and availability to get a quality education.

"For too many girls, the basic human right to education is denied," claimed Shakira. "Yet, educating adolescent girls and ensuring their participation in decision-making that affects them plays a significant role in enhancing their sense of self-worth."

Shakira’s meeting was part of the Colombian singer’s passionate advocacy work for global education, calling for the expansion and improvement of education, especially for the most disadvantaged children and youth.

 It has to be mentioned that nowadays 1.2 billion youth stand at the crossroads between childhood and the adult world. India is home to 20 per cent of the world’s adolescents. With 243 million adolescents in India, about a quarter of its population are adolescents. If this group flourishes, so will communities and countries. Although progress is being made, in India almost 40 per cent of young girls in the ages of 14 to 17 are out of school.

Shakira has been  in Miami to launch a new partnership between her Pies Descalzos Foundation ( her charity ) and the FC Barcelona Foundation.

The new Soccer for Youth Development and Healthy Living campaign will benefit more than 28,000 young people.

"It’s a great honor to be able to announce this alliance between the Pies Descalzos Foundation and the Fundacion Barcelona," said Shakira at a press conference.
 "Education is the most efficient and speediest tool that can be used to change the destiny of a child and that of his or her family; even of the entire community. In Colombia – working with Maria Emma Mejia – we’ve seen children in vulnerable situations and living in extreme poverty who could have easily followed a path of violence or delinquency, and instead we’ve accompanied these same children from elementary school all the way to university, where they are now on their way to becoming graduates, professionals, and the pride of their community. There are 54 million Latinos in the US, and as such we represent not only the largest minority but also the fastest-growing. Our community urgently needs all the tools possible so that our children may develop their potential, talent and intelligence. In this sense there is nothing better than education to achieve this goal; and together with sports even better, as a tool of integration and comprehensive development"Shakira added.

The initiative aims to help construct sports and recreational venues for young people in both Colombia and Miami.

"With Gerard [Piqué], I’ve learned something about football, and above all what it means to the development of a person when sports are a fundamental part of their early years: how it helps to develop skills in children who begin very early, skills in working as a team, respect for rules, discipline, tolerance, the desire to achieve your goals, to taste victory and to make dreams come true. He’s also explained to me how on Team Barca there is a true integration of players from all different nationalities, idiosyncrasies and religious beliefs. And how unity and wearing the same jersey is what really matters, above any other distinction. These chats with him as you can imagine have made me dream of the day when humanity as a whole can look beyond all that which divides us. That Latinos in this country, of every type and without distinction, receive the same opportunities. And that humanity—like Team Barca—can wear the same jersey and defend the same common goal, a goal of offering the opportunity of education to all children regardless of race or social class. If every child in the world can carry a book and a football with them, then this recipe, education and sports together, is infallible I am sure. The Hispanics of the US have all the talent and the desire we need; now all that’s missing is more education and sports to get the ball in our court and play the best game possible. I value in the most positive light this alliance for our club," added Ramón Pont, Vice President of the FC Barcelona Foundation. "Uniting the forces of soccer and music will assist the development of communities in dire social needs. It is a long road that is necessary, one that we will take together to succeed as far as possible."

Shakira has also visited Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, via a private jet and met children at the planned site of her Barefoot Haiti school, which her charity will help build. She toured a camp on a golf course that serves as home to some 50,000 people, according to a story by Reuters.

"We've come to make all the preparations to be able to start the building of a Barefoot school here in Haiti," Shakira told Reuters in a brief interview. This school, according to the singer, will be modeled on similar establishments created by her Pies Descalzos [Barefoot] Foundation, a charity that provides education, nutrition and psychological support to over 6,000 Colombian children displaced by violence.

Shakira also stated  that providing education to Haitian children would be a key part of the reconstruction of the ravaged country, which is also one of the poorest in the world, pre-quake. 

 Just for the record, Shakira has received a medal from the U.N. labor agency for her work to help impoverished children.

At a small ceremony in Geneva, U.N. labor chief Juan Somavia called Shakira a "true ambassador for children and young people, for quality education and social justice."

Shakira stated that social, economic and environmental policies must focus on children and their education.

It has to be mentioned that Shakira also spoke with President Barack Obama about U.S. policy on children.

Shakira is undeniably a role model, a true humanitarian. We hope that many artists will be inspired by her charity work and use their power in a useful way just like Shakira does.

What do you think?

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Source: and UNICEF.


  1. This is such a decent thing that Ms Shakira did here. Such a noble cause. Praise you. Please continue doing this.
    Feeding the Homeless Broward County


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