Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shakira on Capitol Hill - now this is news

She was there advocating for the Global Campaign for Education. This NPR story, Shakira Lobbies Congress on Education for Poor 04/22/08, also has an audio link. See also Shakira brings education campaign to Menendez The Record 04/23/08; Shakira in Washington seeking US aid for universal education AFP 04/22/08; Embajadora de los niños sin educación El Tiempo 21.04.2008; Shakira visitó Congreso de E.U. El Tiempo 23.04.2008; La cantante Shakira promueve la educación infantil con el primer ministro británico El Mundo 23.04.2008.

This link is the site for an MP3 about the campaign, featuring Shakira and some lesser figures, like the British Prime Minister and the President of the World Bank.

Shakira is the chairwoman of Education Action Week, which is organized by the Global Campaign for Education. But her work on behalf of the poor is not a new passion. Thirteen years ago, she started the Barefoot Foundation, which aims to help impoverished Colombian children and those who have been displaced by violence.

"I grew up in a country where unfortunately education is sometimes seen as a luxury, as a privilege, and not as a human right," she says. "This always bothered me. So this is personal to me. In the developing world, people who are born poor will die poor, and that is because of the lack of opportunities, opportunities that come from education. Education can actually save lives."

Shakira says money is needed worldwide to hire qualified teachers; provide children with school meals, textbooks and uniforms; and abolish school fees.
Hey, if Shakira's for it, I'm a supporter, too!

Okay, she also supports the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and I'm not so thrilled about that. Not that I wouldn't love to discuss it with her.

Shakira is also an active supporter of la Fundación Alas (América Latina en Acción Solidaria) which aims at raising public consciousness of social problems in Latin America. See Vienen Shakira y Sabina Clarín 16.04.2008.

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