My Evening At SHAKIRA’s ALAS-IDB Awards 4 Early Childhood Development
“You are an example of positive change that can be generated when working with professionalism and heart” – SHAKIRA
What an INCREDIBLE night! For the third consecutive year, Shakira’s ALAS Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) awarded the innovation, excellence, and investment in research programs and working for early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
I was honored to be asked to be one of the four presenters of the awards to some of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met. My fellow presenters included IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, ALAS Executive Director Juan Antonio Pungiluppi, and Latin Grammy winner FONSECA.
The winners, who stood out among more than 1,200 nominations, received recognition for their work, perseverance, and commitment to early childhood development for the children in their regions under 6 years old. There were four award categories:
I presented this award to writer Menena Cottin, whose book was written in both braille and text – a beautiful depiction of how we see colors. The book reminds readers of the beauty we see when we close our eyes and feel.
They seek to restore the social fabric of their communities in conflict, bringing together children from different backgrounds and teaching them to cooperate at an early age through play and appreciating their mutual differences.
Their work focuses on reversing the negative effects of premature births, many of which impact how children learn and develop further, reflecting the methods of the kangaroo mother’s care for her children.
Elisa Guerra of Mexico, whose published books have established six schools that bear witness to its impact on children’s education.
One of the highlights of the evening was an extraordinary performance by kids who come from literally nothing, and turn their environment into something beautiful. OrquestaRecicla is made up of young people and children of the community of Cateura, Asunción, Paraguay. They had the ingenious idea of using remains of “junk” to develop musical instruments from the landfill in their community. The instruments imitate violins, violas, cellos, basses, guitars, flutes, saxophones and percussion instruments, but built with garbage. And now, these kids are performing all over the world. Even FONSECA did an impromptu song with them to show his support. Please visit their Facebook and give ’em ‘like’ => HERE
Now, if you’re interested in getting involved with ALAS and all that they’re doing, check out Hillary Clinton, the special guest speaker of last year’s ALAS-IDB Awards: