Shakira's humanitarian and advocacy work is focused on universal education and early childhood development, particularly the health, nutrition and stimulation of children who are not yet in school. Shakira has a three-part strategy which includes foundations dedicated to development advocacy in Colombia, Latin America and the World. In October 2011, President Obama appointed Shakira to the President¹s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, a commission dedicated to advising Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan on issues of educational success related to Hispanic students.


The Pies Descalzos Foundation was founded in Barranquilla, Colombia, during the late '90s when Shakira, only 18 years old at the time, decided to take up the social duty of collaborating on efforts to improve the education, nutrition and health of the most vulnerable: the children. The organization consists of support programs for children and their families and offers real solutions to increase quality of life and give these kids and their families the opportunity to exercise their right to an education, which will later determine their growth and development in society.

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As one of Unicef's Goodwill Ambassadors Shakira has advocated for the importance of establishing political initiatives that put an end to the higher number of children without access to education. According to the international institution, UNICEF, over 120 million children around the world are without any formal education or schooling.