Colombian pop star Shakira's children's charity is to go global by Christmas.
The Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) charity has provided shelter, care, clothing and food for poor children in the singer's native Colombia and now she wants to take her message of help to the world.
Launching the global initiative during an Earth Institute initiative with South American leaders at America's Columbia University on Wednesday, the 'Hips Don't Lie' singer said: "Under 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, now I want to bring it to other countries in my small way."
She insists her summit meeting with the presidents of Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador and Panama went very well, and they've pledged to help Shakira: "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."