Shakira is urging fans to make an effort to bolster access to quality education for children around the globe.
The star, who is founder of the Barefoot Foundation, wrote an article published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday about the issue.
In the piece, the 36-year-old Colombian singer discusses how citizens of the world can collectively expand opportunities available to children, particularly those in poor nations.
“In Barranquilla, where I came from, it seemed as though many around me had their fate decided for them since even before birth. Those who were born poor died poor, and unfortunately, the same holds true today in Colombia as well as in many other parts of the developing world,” she wrote.
“Even as a child, I knew that seeing those kids in my hometown, living in the streets with little hope of changing their fate, was wrong. No matter what the circumstances.”
That experience, Shakira says, is what inspired her to form her foundation Pies Descalzos, or Barefoot Foundation, in her homeland in 1997.
She is now working with government officials in Colombia to build the organization’s sixth school, helping 6,000 children to obtain access to learning centers.
She has since co-founded ALAS in an effort to take the movement global, and spoke about the practice of philanthrocapitalism, in which business methods are applied to the private sector “to pick up where governments leave off”.
“For every dollar invested in a child’s basic education, $17 are eventually returned to the state. That’s an incredibly healthy return on investment if you ask me,” she explained.
Shakira adds that she is inspired every day to continue the fight for children’s rights by her son, Milan.
The six-month-old, whom she shares with partner Gerard Piqué, serves as a beacon of hope to her for the future of millions of children around the globe.
“When I look at him I see limitless possibilities. I feel what I think all parents feel, and hope for their children’s futures, regardless of their own background,” she writes.
“My hope is that those who read this are encouraged to find their own ways to contribute to improving our children’s futures through education. Whether that means helping to spread the word to parents about the resources available to them, applauding our world leaders for the strides they are making in education while holding them accountable for continued progress, or being one of those business leaders who see investing in education as an innovation and not simply charity.”
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