Shakira Sings the Praises of Saving the Children to Obama

International pop star makes a big push for less fortunate children

By Jim Handly
|  Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010  |  Updated 1:01 AM PDT
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Shakira Addresses the World Bank

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Shakira Addresses the World Bank

Shakira and World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced a $300 million initiative to expand programs such as nutrition and healthcare and technical support for young children in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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Shakira took the nation’s capital by storm today with whirlwind visits to the White House, the World Bank and the Hard Rock Café.

The Colombian recording artist and activist met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to talk about early childhood education and universal education.

She called sitting down in the Oval Office with the President a “privilege” on her Web site.

“We agreed that investing in our children is the smartest strategy governments can use to boost economic growth, fight poverty and promote global security and peace,” Shakira said.

The international pop star first met Obama at his inauguration last year.

She had meetings with the National Security Council and the Domestic Policy Council before dropping by the White House to say hello to the president. Their meeting was not on Obama's public schedule.

Later, at the World Bank, she and World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced a $300 million initiative to expand programs such as nutrition and healthcare and technical support for young children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Later it was off to the Hard Rock Café in D.C. to unveil limited-edition merchandise including a T-shirt designed by her and a bracelet inspired by her. Proceeds benefit Shakira’s foundation, which finds opportunities for children who are victims of violence in Colombia.

Shakira is the founder of a coalition of Latin American artists and business leaders pushing early childhood development programs. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has been an advocate for children in poverty.

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