Shakira Calls for Education Fund

Posted by Nikhil Swaminathan

shakiraWriting in The Economist's "World in 2010" issue, pop star Shakira pleads with the world's leaders to establish a "Global Fund for Education" in order to help attain the Millennium Development Goal of getting every child a primary school education by 2015. The fund, she explains, will be similar to one previously created to help eradicate AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide in uniting the developing world and "civil society" to work together against a common ill."A lot is at stake. In the past two years over 600 schools in Afghanistan have been bombed, burned or shut down by extremists. Eighty percent of these have been schools for girls. Why? Because the education of a child is the most powerful form of national security-and that's why it is such a threat to militants everywhere."Shakira has long been involved in fighting for increased access to education through her Barefoot Foundation. The organization has developed a system not unlike Geoffrey Canada's Children's Zone in Harlem that provides not only instruction but also health services and support to the three Colombian communities it serves. According to her Economist piece, the cost of freeing children from a continuous cycle of poverty is fewer than $2 per child per day.The Barefoot Foundation is now expanding its approach to other parts of the world.Photo from Flickr user kindofadraag