Shakira and the Inter-American Development Bank have teamed up to rebuild a 98-year-old girls school destroyed in the Haitian earthquake last year, reported Haiti Libre on Friday.
During a ceremony in the courtyard of the ruined Elie Dubois girls school, officials from the IDB announced that in association with Shakira’s Barefoot Foundation, they will donate $800,000 to rebuild the historical institution.
“I am sure that the only thing that will change the course of Latin America and the Caribbean’s destiny is for governments to make it a priority to invest in quality education for all boys and girls, from the moment they are born and forever,” said Shakira.
The Elie Dubois Catholic school in downtown Port-au-Prince suffered heavy damage when the earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked the country on January 12, 2010. It had provided secondary and vocational education to young women since its founding in 1913.
Donor countries along with the IDB have been investing in Haiti’s educational future since the earthquake with Haitian Education Minister Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, highlighting how international aid allowed over 1 Million Haitian students to resume classes after the disaster. Haiti’s education reform plan will also construct some 2,500 schools over the next five years.
Shakira’s Barefoot Foundation, founded in 1997, aims to provide children in Latin America (specifically Colombia) with the education that they need. Since 2003, the foundation has built six schools, serving disadvantaged children and their families through education, nutrition, income-generating projects and counseling.