Supports Haitian Reform To Broaden Access To Free Quality Education
The Inter-American Development Bank and Colombian artist Shakira's Pies Descalzos Foundation announced today that they will support the Haitian government in the reconstruction of the historic public school in the Haitian capital.
The Elie Dubois school, located in the center of Port au Prince, suffered serious damage due to the earthquake last year. Founded in 1913, they have offered secondary education and vocational training to generations of young Haitians under the guidance of the Catholic order Daughters of Mary.
The announcement of the contributions of a total of US$800,000 for reconstruction and new supplies to the school took place during a ceremony in the courtyard of the institution, with the participation of Haitian governmental authorities, guests of the international community, professors and students.
"Education is critical to the future of Haiti ", affirmed the President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno. "Today we are here not only to support the reconstruction of a school, but to manifest our support for the efforts of Haiti towards transforming its entire educational system".
The minister of Education, Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, stressed that with international aid, Haiti has been able to resume classes for more than a million students following the earthquake, which destroyed or damaged thousands of schools.
"I am convinced that the only thing that will change the fate of Latin America and the Caribbean will be governments placing themselves at the center of the investment towards a quality education for all boys and girls, from birth and thereon in", said Shakira.
The singer shares with the IDB a special interest in the integral development of early childhood development beginning in infancy. Through her foundation she promotes and implements educational, nutritional, and health-related programs for boys and girls affected by the poverty and violence in Colombia . Pies Descalzos has built 5 schools that serve over 6,000 children as well as their families and communities.
Architecture for Humanity (AfH), an NGO that specializes in the design and construction of schools, clinics and homes in areas afflicted by natural disasters, is also working on the Elie Dubois project.
This project was made a reality thanks to the donation of funds raised by Shakira and the Pies Descalzos Foundation with the Freixenet Christmas campaign in Spain , the Interamerican Development Bank, the CINA Foundation (Cement Company of Argos Colombia and of the Haitian government); Unesco, the NGO Architecture for Humanity (AfH), among other donors and benefactors.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll (born February 2, 1977), known professionally as Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, and philanthropist who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s. Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira revealed many of her talents in school as a live performer, demonstrating her vocal ability with rock and roll, Latin and Middle Eastern influences with her own original twist on belly dancing. Shakira is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent English and Portuguese and is proficient in Italian.