Shakira receives the 2017 Cristal Award for her leadership in advancing early childhood education.
Of course, we all know Shakira as one of the most successful Latin singers with over 60 million albums, sold numerous MTV, Grammy, and Billboard Music Awards for songs and albums that are on the playlist of people around the world.
At the same time, Shakira is a passionate advocate for education, particularly early childhood development.
In 1997, at age 18, she founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which develops support programs to improve the education, nutrition, and health of the most vulnerable children in her native Colombia.
1997年，18岁的她成立了赤脚基金会（Pies Descalzos Foundation），该基金会制定了支持计划，目的是改善哥伦比亚最脆弱儿童的教育、营养和健康状况
Shakira was appointed the UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2003, advocating to ensure that all children have access to quality education and encouraging the investment in early childhood development.
In 2011, President Obama appointed Shakira to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Shakira, would you please join me on stage?
Thank you so much.
Thank you for the honor of this award and for the opportunity to speak to you all.
Today, we know more than ever about the early years of child development, especially that of the brain, the brain of a child who's nourished and nurtured read to, and played with.
Protected from factors like stress and conflict has a best chance of developing its full potential because it's proven that children who receive proper care, nutrition, and stimulation in the first five years do much better in school and in life.
Sadly, this is not the case in my country or in so many other countries in the developing world where being born into poverty means never breaking out of it.
We should be devastated that in 2017 there are still 250 million kids under five who are still at risk, who will likely be stunted physically and intellectually.
Now, take that in for a second.
We're talking about newly the population of an entire country, the size of the US.
This is a tragedy for those children and an epic, epic failure for all of us.
If we don't attend to these kids in time, we're talking about intergenerational cycles of poverty and inequality.
And the wider the gap of inequality grows, the harder it becomes to reach across it.
And the more numerous the faces of those born into poverty, the more difficult to see and empathize with each individual and recognize that if not for the pure geography of where they were born, they could be one of our children.
This should make us all furious.
They should make us all want to take action because we all have a stake in the outcome.