Barefoot Foundation (Pies Descalzos Foundation) is a Colombian charity founded by pop artist Shakira in 1997, with the aim of helping poor and impoverished children. The Pies Descalzos mission statement is "The Barefoot Foundation works to ensure that every Colombian child can exercise their right to a quality education. Our model targets displaced and vulnerable communities by addressing their unique needs."
The foundation's main focus is on aid through education, and the organization has five schools across Colombia that provide education and meals for 4,000 children.
In 2004 the work of the Foundation turned to Shakira's hometown of Barranquilla. The Foundation built two new schools, Escuela Las Americas and Escuela Siete de Abril. The schools brought change to two neighborhoods that had been devastated by displacement, homelessness and poverty. The two Pies Descalzos schools provided services for 990 children.
That same year, 'Pies Descalzos' initiated work in Soacha, Cundinamarca, a suburb on the outskirts of Bogotá. According to the Colombian Social Welfare Network, Soacha has one of the highest rates of incoming victims of displacement. Their work began at the Gabriel Garcia Marquez and El Minuto schools in the Altos de Cazuca neighborhoods, providing opportunities for another 980 children.
The year 2004 was significant for the Pies Descalzos Foundation. They reached many of the goals they had set for the Foundation, working with children whose lives were disrupted because of the Colombian conflict. Many children were given access to an education, better nutrition, and a new sense of hope. The foundation also initiated a school cafeteria that was managed totally by the neighborhood moms.
Support for the Foundation comes from contributions by Shakira and donations from national and international companies who care about social responsibility. They also work with multilateral corporations who endorse special projects and have formed alliances with government agencies. During February, 2008, Shakira auctioned some of her tour clothes and guitars on eBay to support her foundation.
- History Archived May 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. fundacionpiesdescalzos.com
- The schools Archived May 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. fundacionpiesdescalzos.com
- Serafín Hildago Shakira: Hero Award Winner at Radio Disney Music Awards 2014, April 27, 2014
- Serafín Hildago El Barça llega a un acuerdo solidario con Shakira Archived 2011-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, March 2, 2011, elmundodeportivo.es (in Spanish)
- Pies Descalzos Foundation Official site
- Unofficial Photos (Spanish)
- Interview with Camilo Guerrero González, Fundación Pies Descalzos School Meals and the Barefoot Foundation