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Shakira Mebarak

Goodwill Ambassador

© Shakira/UNICEF 2003
“I trust that as time goes by, there will be more and more people who want to help those in need. When that happens, the world will definitely come to know peace.” – Shakira Mebarak

Shakira Mebarak, Colombian singer/songwriter, Grammy-winning artist, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador is also a devoted advocate for education, particularly ECD (Early Childhood Development). At age 18 she founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which presently has 6 open-door, state of the art schools providing access to quality education for displaced and underprivileged children in her native Colombia. In addition to building projects which ensure that children have safe and well-equipped learning facilities, the foundation supplies nutritious meals; educational enrichment through art, music and recreation; and economic opportunities for families. Currently the schools serve over 6,000 students and impact over 30,000 members of the communities at large. Shakira is also the co-founder of ALAS, a movement that advocates for placing ECD on the political agendas of territories in Latin America and forms private-public partnerships to build ECD centers throughout the continent, to date over 35 centers in total throughout Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. In 2011, President Obama appointed her to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
As a Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, Shakira has expanded her child advocacy efforts on the global level, having done field visits in Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and India, leading two global fundraising campaigns to help life-saving supplies reach the world’s most impoverished and at-risk children, and during UN Week 2015, hosting a high-level meeting of advocates, private and public sector representatives to discuss the importance of additional investment in ECD on a global scale.
Since 2015 she has also served as a member on former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s International Commission on Financing Global Education, which seeks to find a worldwide solution and funding to provide universal access to quality education. Additionally, in 2015, she was appointed an SDG Advocate with a mandate to support the United Nations Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Activity highlights



Activity Highlights

Related links

Shakira appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador (press release)

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