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Latin America: Basic Education Options Are Being Developed

Colombian singer Shakira knows more than hip-shaking and she has refused to believe that isn’t possible to educate every child in developing countries. Children and education are among the many acts of Shakira's philanthropy.

Shakira Writes to The EconomistRecently she represented ALAS at a Non-Profit Portugal Ibero-American Summit. ALAS is known for its prominent affiliations with Latin American artists, business leaders and intellectuals. Their goal is to mobilize Latin-American society towards the implementation of integrated early childhood public policies, so that every child from zero to six years old has access to health plans, education and nutrition.

Education is the only way to break poverty

Difficulties to find decent jobs and making a decent life are among the reasons marginalized people in Latin America, have to end doing things they never imagined. There isn't a single child that dreams of becoming a militant or a drug trafficker. "But in developing countries sometimes life doesn’t give you any other option," Shakira writes on The Economist.

And she continues to explain what is she doing with a foundation she has created:

My foundation in Colombia, Pies Descalzos (“Barefoot”), has proved that the poorest children can be educated. For less than $2 a day per child, our schools provide food, education and counselling services to thousands of students. Our schools help underprivileged children grow in sustainable ways and provide them with the tools they need to break out of the cycle of poverty.


If our foundation can bring quality education to some of the poorest children in the world there is no reason why governments can’t do the same thing. Our schools in Colombia are proving each and every day that no matter where a child is from, no matter how poor children are, they can thrive if given the chance.

Photo credit: cpozo

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