She may have been named the Latin Recording Academy’s 2011’s Person of the Year for her philanthropic efforts and singing talents… But Shakira isn’t resting on her laurels when it comes to her charity work.
The 35-year-old Colombian singer has formed an alliance of foundations to fund quality education for low-income children in her native Colombia.
The alliance, which will invest $24 million during the first two years, is comprised of Shakira’s Pies Descalzos foundation, the Colombian Culture Ministry and several other NGOs.
“It’s an alliance specifically for the construction of 13 early-education centers that will benefit 6,200 kids with quality teaching,” Shakira said at an event in Cartagena’s Bicentenario neighborhood.
The Grammy-winning singer, a native of the nearby city of Barranquilla, stressed the importance of the alliance, which is already instructing children under 6, “the most important years in human life, the ones that most shape their future,” she said.
At that age “the child’s brain, cognitive and motor faculties and the ability to form relationships with others begin to develop, so we’re convinced that we have to invest in them, the earlier the better,” said Shakira.
The 13 educational centers will be built in the Colombian provinces of Bolivar, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Atlantico and Choco, all communities with high rates of extreme poverty.