Singer- songwriter and incredible dancer, Shakira, is a pop star from Columbia, known for all the aforementioned traits, along with her incredible voice. But aside from managing her wildly successful career in the spotlight, Shakira spends her time giving back to kids in impoverished countries. A recent article in Shape Magazine tells of how Shakira helps change the lives of children who have nothing.
Through her foundation, called Pies Descalzos Foundation, which she started when she was 18, Shakira aims to spread awareness of the lack of education for children in third world countries and make it so that it is a part of every child’s life, not only those who live more privileged lives. Shakira’s motivation for founding this campaign came at young age when her family suffered some economic setbacks, causing them to have to get rid of their air conditioning. When an 8-year-old Shakira lamented about the heat, her father took her to a poor neighborhood where young, starving children were doing drugs. She remembered this experience and vowed that when she became successful, she would do something to make this right for these children.
Shakira kept that promise. Her foundation has since constructed 6 schools within Columbia and a seventh school is in the works. So far, over 6,000 children who would not have had a chance at education are now able to attend school, thanks to the Pies Descalzos Foundation. She is aiming to expand the areas of impact of the Foundation, Haiti being one of the next locations they will begin to build schools.
While her efforts are undoubtedly making an impact, Shakira says there is always work to be done. “ I feel like I’m racing against the clock,” says the singer in an interview with Shape Magazine, “There is so much to do, and time is merciless. So I focus on the solution rather than the problem. Investing in education is the most efficient tool to fight violence.”
Undoubtedly, we will continue to see great strides of success from this driven woman and her foundation. While this kind of progress takes time, it is comforting to see that there has already been a great deal of progress, with no plans by the foundation to slow down anytime soon. It will be exciting to see how many children are given access to education through the Foundation as it continues to expand in the future.