The international pop sensation Shakira is not the first celebrity to do high-profile philanthropy, but she’s certainly attention worthy. Her organization, ALAS, works to ensure early childhood nutrition, education and medical care for the children of Latin America and sets itself apart from other private charities with its keen focus on policy.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank 46 million children in Latin America under the age of 6 lack basic heath care or education and since ALAS (Spanish for “wings”) is aware that you need government to mandate and fund such a comprehensive effort they work in close contact with the heads of state and other key policy leaders.
Shakira, who grew up in Barranquilla, Colombia has already funded several schools in her country. She recently told the New York Times:
I’ve also seen that, in countries like mine, when a child is born poor, he will die poor, unless he receives an opportunity. That opportunity is education.
ALAS is hoping that Central and South American leaders will put early childhood development at the top of their agenda.
The Anti- Bono: Shakira’s Crusade for Early Childhood Development [Jezebel]
Shakira Makes Education Her Mission [NY Times 6/7/09]
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