Shakira Shaking It to Help Build School

The Associated Press
Friday, October 6, 2006; 4:12 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Shakira will donate the proceeds from a concert in her hometown to build an arts school for 1,800 children forced to flee their homes by Colombia's civil war.

The concert, part of the pop diva's worldwide Oral Fixation tour, will is scheduled for Nov. 15 in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla and is being billed as a festive homecoming for the hip-shaking international superstar who last month was nominated for five Latin Grammy awards.

The English and Spanish bilingual school will bear the name of Shakira's Pies Descalzos (Spanish for Bare Feet) foundation and have an emphasis on arts education, the foundation said Thursday in a statement.

The school will be located in La Playa, a poor suburb of Barranquilla where 45 percent of the residents are minors, only about half of whom attend school.

La Playa's 21,500 residents are among the estimated three million people internally displaced by a half-century of armed conflict between leftist rebels, far-right paramilitary groups and army troops.

The school, which will open in 2008 and has received the backing of education authorities, is being designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, who's credited with having designed New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center complex.

Shakira's foundation already helps 3,380 children living in three other communities of internally displaced persons.

© 2006 The Associated Press