Mensaje de Shakira desde el campo

Shakira's Note From The Field

12/20/07

From: SHAKIRA

I had planned on visiting Bangladesh prior to the cyclone to learn about the work being doing by BRAC and UNICEF on education. After the cyclone hit my trip became more urgent--over 3,500 people were killed, 8 million people have been affected, and over 3,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed.

Now that I've seen with my own eyes the destruction everywhere, I feel it's critical that the people of the world support Bangladesh. They desperately need international support to rebuild their country and their lives.

Let's not forget there are people who've have been living in extreme poverty before the cyclone hit. Over a 100 million people in Bangladesh live on less than 2 dollars a day.
Colombia as you know is a country that also faces many difficulties, and I have learned from my foundation the impact that education has in people’s lives. I'm a student on universal education issues so I came to learn about education and its possible impact in other parts of the world. I'm going to dedicate time this next year to know and learn more about education and see what I can do in my own small way.

We visited one of the areas most affected by the cyclone, a town that was wiped away. Everything was gone; houses, schools, crops --everything was turned upside down. I visited some pre-primary and primary school programs BRAC has developed over the years, and also a UNICEF program for basic education for hard to reach working children in urban areas of Rajshahi, as well as a program for street children in which UNICEF is also involved.
During my visit to Patuakhali I'll never forget the faces of the mothers who have lost their children, or the story of Shahnaz, the girl who died holding on to her books, or the marks on the arms of a young mother who survived holding on to a tree but couldn't save the lives of her two only sons.

In particular I will never forget the voice of Nipah the girl who when I met her sang to me a song of grief, because she had lost both of her parents and was now alone in the world.
While she sang the words "mother wherever you are take me with you" Her pain as well the pain of her community was so clear and definite, so tangible I could almost touch it.
When I asked Nipah about her feelings, she told me the school was the only place where she felt better. Their school was in ruins but still was pretty much everything they had left. While I was there I realized that that school was the only place where I could see kids smiling, and singing, and playing.

If there is something I learned during my visit to Bangladesh it is that amidst all that suffering and devastation, there was an oasis, where children could be children again, and forget about their troubles for a few hours. The school is the one place where Nipah the orphan girl feels safe.
After this visit, I'm more convinced than ever that rebuilding schools destroyed by the cyclone, building new schools and offering a quality education, along with proper nutrition is the exit to the many difficulties children face in Bangladesh and developing countries like mine.

Education, nutrition, and psycho-social support can make a huge difference to every child in the world, especially to those who have lost it all, the people they loved and every hope they had.
A school is the space where children can just be children, a space that is only theirs where they grow in a healthy environment. Where they can not only learn but play, sing, dance socialize and communicate with other children who share the same problems they have, a place where they can feel as a part of a group, feel they belong somewhere and that something actually belongs to them.
I'm no expert and I'm just learning about these issues, but education seems to be the only exit and the key to a better future and safer world.

As I've said before, I'm no expert I'm just a student on these issues, but it seems to me that preparing our kids for life, teaching them skills, and giving them a quality education, with proper nutrition will be the only way we will break the cycle in which they are trapped, of low skills, low income, and intergenerational poverty.
Every cent we invest in educational programs will be an investment that will pay off with great rewards for society.
If we invest in our children we are investing in having a more equal, more secure and safer world.

I want to encourage every NGO, government, and every person of my generation, to do everything is in our hands to send every child to school and improve education around the world. There is no reason that we can't provide universal access to high quality education for the children of the world.
I was devastated by what I saw, but I'm also struck by the sense of hope I saw on these children eyes, who still have dreams. If these kids are given a little help they would be able to achieve amazing things.

Someone is going to educate these kids. Do we want them to be caring and nurturing schools and adults, or do we want it to be street gangs, subversive, criminal, or radical groups. If we want a safe world then children should be our priority.

The choice is ours.


Yours truly, Shakira
Un beso grande los quiero mucho.


lo pongo en inglés porque aún busco la traducción al español, solo la he encontrado en su sitio pero espero postearlo completo en español.
La verdad, tiene muchas cosas interesantes sobre la educación que vale la pena rescatar...
Sinceramente, vale mucho la pena leerlo, y darse cuenta de las necesidades del mundo.
No porque yo sea fan de ella, sino porque soy un ciudadano del mundo que cree y aprecia la diversidad humana, que sabe que la Paz no sólo es posible, sino INEVITABLE, y además, que vale la pena aportar para su logro.

Gracias Shaki por hacernos ver desde otro punto de vista las cosas...
Nos vemos!

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