Colombian singer and philanthropist Shakira received an award from the International Labour Organization for her work in support of social justice.
The ILO, an offshoot of the United Nations which deals with labor issues, gave Shakira the award for her work with her charity Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet), which helps poor children in Colombia, especially those displaced by violence.
She received the award from the General Director of the ILO, Juan Somavia. Visibly emotional, he paraphrased Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez when he gave Shakira the award, noting that “sometimes wisdom arrives when it’s not useful for anything, but that’s not the case with you.” He further said that Shakira is “an example to follow and an inspiration to everyone.”
Shakira thanked Somavia for the award, and dedicated it to all of the children that suffer from violence and extreme poverty. She said that she has realized her dream as a little girl through her charity work, which was to help those children who were suffering, and who lacked the things she had while growing up.
Her speech ended with some advice from Gandhi that she said was her personal motto: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”