Shakira urges world leaders to take action for kids schooling

Shakira urges world leaders to take action for kids schooling
Singer and UNICEF Ambassador Shakira attends the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Updated 18 January 2017

Shakira urges world leaders to take action for kids schooling

Shakira urges world leaders to take action for kids schooling

DAVOS, Switzerland: Lebanese-Columbian music star Shakira suggested an antidote for violent conflict and divisive populism: Get more kids in pre-school.
She urged world and business leaders at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum on Monday to support efforts to feed, educate and care for underprivileged children.
“Today’s babies will drive tomorrow’s business. Their capacity to contribute will shape tomorrow’s societies, will solve tomorrow’s problems,” the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador devoted to early childhood development, said in an impassioned speech.
Shakira, who was given a Crystal Award in Davos for her humanitarian work, is the founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which works to provide underprivileged children in Colombia with access to quality education.
“In this room there are some of the most powerful people in the world, and definitely I’m convinced you know what it means to be ahead of the curve,” she added.
“We need to apply the brains and strategies of business and the assets and human resources and talents of your companies to do social good and to solve social problems.”
Asked if she had a message for US President-elect Donald Trump, she urged solid education policies that instill “inclusiveness and tolerance” for future generations.
Recalling a childhood in Colombia marred by war, she said: “If we really want peace, we need to invest in education.”
The World Economic Forum also gave awards to violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who runs a foundation providing scholarships for young musicians, and actor Forest Whitaker, who has worked as a global advocate for peace, focusing on empowering youth as leaders and entrepreneurs in communities touched by violence and poverty.