Pies Descalzos Video
1997 to 2002
Shakira created the Foundation when she achieved her first international hit, from which the name of her philanthropic project was taken. It is inspired on her experiences as a young woman when she met the conditions of poverty of many children in Barranquilla.
Shakira was named as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, and this same year she called former Foreign Minister and Minister of education Maria Emma Mejía to assume as Executive Chair of the Barefoot Foundation, whose headquarters moved from Barranquilla to Bogotá.
The Foundation began its work with a massive program of nutrition for children in marginalized areas and displaced communities in Colombia.
Pies Descalzos Foundation opened its office in Quibdó (Chocó) and began the construction of the educational institutions in this city (Comuna 6, Montebello area) as well as in Altos de Cazucá (Soacha, Cundinamarca). In addition to this, since this year the Foundation has provided institutional support to the school Gabriel Garcia Márquez, located in the same area on Cazucá.
This period saw the beginning of the accompaniment provided by the Foundation to support the educational institutions called Las Américas and Siete de Abril in Barranquilla, where 1,565 children started to benefit from this alliance. Additionally, the nutritional program was strengthened with personalized follow up and the strategy for psychosocial support was created.
In order to achieve the goal of comprehensive care of children in vulnerable areas or of displacement, the Foundation developed its first Strategic Plan 2006-2008.
During this year, the educational intervention strategy was reinforced, achieving the well-being of 3,072 children and youngsters. Also, the model which places the school as an integral community development center was strengthened, taking care of 10,500 people in the neighboring districts and communes.
On that date, the Pies Descalzos Elementary Educational Institution in Quibdó (Chocó) was inaugurated, which provides comprehensive care to 550 children in the area of influence.
The Foundation opened its office in Barranquilla (Atlántico) and Soacha (Cundinamarca). It also established partnerships and agreements with national and multilateral organisms for the development of the different programs.
Thanks to the efforts accomplished, attention was extended to 3,610 children and young people in the venues supported by the Foundation. Also, education programs with a priority on literacy and mathematics were established.
The second facility of the district school Las Américas was built in Barranquilla with support from European foundations. And as an initiative to build a new school in Barranquilla, Shakira gave a concert in the city in December and started the campaign called "Donate a Brick for $ 15,000", reaching a record of 52,000 donor citizens who joined the initiative.
The nutrition program extended its reach to a concept of alimentary security, thus allowing for a greater sustainability of the beneficiary families. Besides, the programs for sustainable income generation were also launched then, and the first associations of parents and young people in Soacha (Cundinamarca) and Quibdó (Chocó) were formed.
The District of Barranquilla acquired the lands for the future construction of the Pies Descalzos school in the township of La Playa. With this the educational project in the area was started, which included the development of the educational census and outreach to the surrounding community.
As an incentive to encourage continuity in the studies, the Foundation awarded university scholarships to the top students from schools and implemented the strategy known as "Young Educators" (strategies for multiplication and training with young people).
After several years of work, the model for administrative, educational and community intervention was strengthened; external auditing processes were incorporated with the international firm Deloitte, as well as organizational processes with the firms Innovative Philanthropy and Compartamos. Thanks to these efforts, the Foundation established new cooperative partnerships with major donations from Spain and Germany.
The Foundation began the construction of a 'mega-school' in the township of La Playa in Barranquilla (Atlántico). At the headquarters in Quibdó and Soacha, pedagogical work based on a curriculum developed to the adequacy of the institutions was begun, provided with new teaching methods.
This same year the Second Strategic Plan for 2009-2011 was developed, whose mission was to implement a quality public model with private assistance. Furthermore, a new Directive Board was established, comprising renowned personalities from the private sector and philanthropy.
Inauguration of the Pies Descalzos Foundation school and Community Center in Barranquilla, with the presence of our founder and other personalities. Furthermore, first approaches were made to build a new school in Cartagena (Bolívar).
To complete the cycle of actions of the Pies Descalzos intervention model, the ambitious program for income generation as a sustainability strategy for the families of the children attending the schools was started.
It was also possible to strengthen partnerships with academia, private enterprise and the State for the development of an educational model of our own, synergy with which the mechanisms for early childhood intervention could be established according to the millennium goals.
After the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010, Shakira visited Port-au-Prince and pledged to support education in this country.
During the month of June the Mango-Waka Waka campaign led by Shakira was started, which collected funds to support a multipurpose room in a school at Soweto (South of Johannesburg - South Africa).
Shakira starred the traditional Christmas ad for Freixenet (a brand of champagne), which she donated in full to the Foundation for the construction of two new schools in Port au Prince (Haiti) and Cartagena (Colombia).
The new project in the city of Cartagena was begun: the construction of a mega-school in the area of Lomas del Peyé, which will benefit about 1,700 students and 58,000 inhabitants in the area. To begin with this construction, Shakira visited the city accompanied by philanthropist Howard Buffett, former Mayor Judith Pinedo, the Executive President of the Foundation Patricia Sierra, and Antonio Celia, Chairman of the Board of Directors, to put the cornerstone of the sixth Pies Descalzos school in our country.
In addition to this, eight new classrooms were delivered at the school Gabriel García Márquez located in Altos de Cazucá, in partnership with the Municipality of Soacha and the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF). In this area, with support from the Spanish NGO Ayuda en Acción, the government of Cundinamarca and the Mayor of Soacha, among others, the multi-sports facility Bosque de Esperanza-Pies Descalzos was given to the community.
On the other hand, an Early Childhood Center was built in Quibdó at the Educational Institution Antonio Ricaurte, with support from the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF). Additionally, two new classrooms and a play room were delivered at the Escuela Pies Descalzos, thanks to the support from the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and Royalco.
Through the implementation of the model, we at the Pies Descalzos Foundation support the achievement of decent living standards for the displaced population, especially children and youth. We promote strategies addressed to contribute to the integral development of children and school-age youth in vulnerable communities; we strengthen family development; we encourage community support networks and programs under the principles of community participation, quality, and self-management capacity.
At the last Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, our founder played an important role leading significant philanthropic actions:
1. Made substantial speeches in front of the most important political and business leaders of the region, in which highlighted the importance of investment in education.
2. Participated in the ALAS – BID Awards for the impulse to early childhood development.
3. At the Summit of the Americas, “De Cero a Siempre” program, the foundations Mario Santo Domingo, Latin America in Action ALAS, Pies Descalzos and AeioTU Carulla, came together with 30 public and private institutions to create the Alianza Primero Lo Primero for the children from 0 to 5 years, a national strategy for the early childhood, where the public and private sectors came together to build 13 early attention centers in Colombia.