Shakira is giving back to her Colombian hometown of Barranquilla: She'll perform a concert there on Nov. 15, and use the proceeds to build an arts school for 1,800 children forced from their homes by civil war.
Shakira Performs Concert to Build School
By Simon Perry and Stephen M. Silverman
The benefit performance is part of Shakira's "Oral Fixation" world tour, the Associated Press reports.
The planned art school will be funded by Shakira's foundation, Pies Descalzos (Spanish for "bare feet"), and will emphasize arts education, the foundation said in a statement. School Pies Descalzos will be in La Playa, a poor suburb of Barranquilla where 45 percent of the residents are minors – but only about half of them attend school, the AP reports.
According to the Pies Descalzos Web site, the foundation has already built one school, Barrio Las Americas, in Baranquilla, and estimates that the new school will cost $980,000.
Shakira started the foundation when she was just 18, after her first hit record. "As soon as I harvested that success, I created that foundation," she told PEOPLE last year. "Now it's really growing and has tangible results. It is as important as my musical career."
On Pies Descalzos's work, she told PEOPLE, "We are building schools in remote places and have designed this program that combines food and education. Food is an incentive to promote education, so parents send their kids to school.
"Most of the kids (in the schools) belong to displaced families because of the inner war between the right and the left wing's armed groups. And the kids are caught in the crossfire. It's a catastrophe. I believe strongly in education being the key to solve many of the problems we have in Colombia. It is the root of the problems – the needs of millions of kids are not being attended to."
Tickets for the Barranquilla benefit will sell at prices starting at less than $7, compared to $200 and more for tickets to Shakira's two other Colombian concerts, in Bogota and the southern city of Cali.
In Mexico on Thursday Shakira – who last month was nominated for five Latin Grammy awards in the U.S. – won five prizes at the Premios Oye! music award ceremony.
This is one of the many reasons us Shakira fans are so f-ing loyal. She is doing REAL charity and EFFECTIVE charity...not just swinging a hammer for a photo op. She cares about it so much and it's going to improve so many kids' lives. I love the part where she says, "It is as important as my musical career."