Shakira urges Davos elite to nurture future leaders

Music star and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira talks about her campaign for early child education at a meeting held at the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 15, 2017)(REUTERS) – Music star Shakira, attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday (January 17) called for more efforts to feed, educate and care for underprivileged children.

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.

Speaking at a panel held at the sidelines of WEF after receiving the award, Shakira said she hoped the award will promote the cause she has been campaigning for.

“I think that it’s a reflection on the global understanding of the importance of investing in the early childhood development. I hope that it means that the issue is becoming top of mind for everyone,” Shakira said.

Talking about the foundation she had set up in her native Colombia, Shakira said poverty and lack of infrastructure meant the foundation had to work twice as hard to provide quality education.

“But not only that”, she said “Also the kids we attend to, most of them belong to families that have been directly affected by violence, that have lost even family members, so you can imagine the challenges that we encounter when we try to provide that education,” she said.

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.