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Colombian pop star Shakira's charity is to go global by the end of the year.

The 31-year-old established Pies Descalzos to improve education, nutrition, and the lives of the thousands of displaced children living in perilous conditions because of the violent internal conflict in Colombia. Speaking at an Earth Institute meeting with South American leaders at America’s Columbia University on Wednesday, she said, “For less than $2 a day, we can provide a kid with top quality education and the nutrition that they need to be able to function and be able to learn, because a kid with an empty stomach cannot learn… This model that has been so successful in my country, I now want to bring it to other countries in my small way.”

She also urged Latin American presidents to include the development of children during the next Ibero-American summit to be held in El Salvador.

Wednesday’s meeting – which was also attended by the presidents of Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador and Panama – raised interest in the singer’s philanthropic endeavors, and she was more than happy with the response she got: “They seem very committed and that’s what we need. We need all the leaders of Latin America to have a definite commitment toward our children [because] the children of Latin America are waiting for opportunities. Where I come from, every child who is born poor will die poor and we have to change this – and this is the moment to do it. We are at the threshold of a new wave of awareness and sensibility toward our children’s issues. But early childhood development should be at the top of our priorities and at the top of every president’s agenda.”

The Latin American leaders who attended the debate expressed their commitment to bring up the topic during the El Salvador summit in November.

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