There's a lot more to Shakira than meets the eye! She is, of course, famous for her hit pop songs, but what she’s doing for children in her home country of Columbia has got to add to your love and respect for her. A quality education is hard to come by in Cartagena, Columbia for children growing up in poor neighborhoods, so Shakira is working to create schools that give them the opportunity to learn in a healthy environment.
The singer had this to say about what motivates her: “I wanted to become relevant. I always felt that I could make a change, a difference, even if it was a small difference, I knew that I could do something.”
It was two years ago that construction began on the first school, which is now ready to provide up to 1,700 children a good education, with meals included, and give their parents the support and training they need as well. “It is like an oasis, where the kids can actually grow up, feeling protected, healthy, away from drugs, away from trouble. Where kids can be kids,” Shakira says. “It’s a dream come true. I put a lot of effort, and a lot of time, and convincing, but it’s finally happened.”
Early childhood education has always had a special place in Shakira’s heart. She was inspired to start a charity called the Barefoot Foundation when she was just 18 years old. The foundation has already created six new schools in her home country, and also lent financial support for schools in South Africa and Haiti too. Shakira is justifiably proud of these accomplishments, saying, “This fulfills me in another way, a deeper set of ways—just gives purpose to my life.”
Good for You, Shakira, for not only wanting to make a difference, but actually doing it–fulfilling your dream to build schools that give kids, who otherwise, as you say, may not get a “fair start in life”, the gift of a quality education! Why not join us in sending Shakira a Good for You Message.