PORT-AU-PRINCE — Colombian pop star Shakira has donated $400,000 to rebuild a school that was severely damaged in the January 2010 quake that leveled much of the Haitian capital.
The singer signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank, which will match her contribution to rebuild the Elie Dubois school, one of the island’s oldest, built in the early 20th century.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to help you make your dream come true,” Shakira told about a hundred students and nuns from the school, speaking in French.
“I would like to tell the girls of the Elie Dubois school that you should seize the opportunity for education,” she added, saying she was heartened by the warm reception she had received. The star then performed a brief dance.
The non-profit group Architecture for Humanity will rebuild two of the school’s buildings, with a target completion date in 12 to 14 months from now.
“In the name of the children and the government, I would like to thank the IDB and Shakira for their support to the cause of education,” said Education Minister Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre.
Following the ceremony, a few students performed a dance on a Shakira soundtrack, as the singer joined them on an improvised stage.