Colombian Pop Princess Brings Charity Work Home

Posted: November 26, 2010 by akl5086 in Children, Education
Tags: , ,

Colombian singer Shakira has agreed to tape  a Christmas television ad for a Spanish sparkling wine under the conditions that the proceeds go to her Colombian-based charity, Pies Descalzos.

In addition to paying Shakira’s foundation $660,000, Freixenet, the company behind the ad, will also produce a video for Shakira’s “Sale el sol” and make a documentary about her charity. The money will be used to build a school in Haiti and another in Colombia.

As a child growing up in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira made a promise that one day she would help the children she often saw living on the city’s streets. At the age of 18, Shakira fulfilled that promise. In 1995, she launched  her Pies Descalzos Foundation,  which  is dedicated to improving education, nutrition, and the lives of the thousands of  children living in dangerous conditions because of the violent internal conflict in Colombia.

How is Shakira able to do this work?

Shakira asked former Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Education María Emma Mejía to preside over the Foundation in 2003. She wanted Mejía to help expand its works across Colombia. The first school was then built  in Quibdó, which is a city along the Pacific coast. the forced forced displacement rates in Quibdó  are 35%. Since then, Pies Descalzos Foundation has gone on to open six additional schools.

In 2008, Shakira founded the US-based Barefoot Foundation. It is a separate entity from Pies Descaloz, however the two organizations work close together to support the same universal mission. The Barefoot Foundation supports universal education in developing countries.

I think Shakira’s extensive efforts to improve the education, nutrition, and lives of the children in her homeland show a true passion for her work and the goodwill of Colombia. Her success thus far demonstrates a drive in the superstar. I think often we see people donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to global charities, however, we don’t see exactly where the funding is going and that makes us question whether the money is in fact being put to proper use rather than solely creating a good reputation for the celebrity.

With the groundbreaking work Shakira has thus far achieved, I applaud her with her and wish her success with the building of her new schools in Haiti and Colombia.

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