Superstar Shakira, through the Pies Descalzos Foundation, and Costa Cruises president Neil Palomba, celebrate the start of the construction of a school in Colombia. The action aims at helping local children at risk, promoting quality education and acting as a community center for their families.
During the presentation event, Neil Palomba handed Shakira the first stone of the school, a brick that represents the Brick of Happiness, symbolizing the beginning of the project supported by the shipping company.
The school will be built in Cartagena from 2018, when the first brick finishes the route between Barcelona and Cartagena on board one of the ships of the Coast. During navigation, the Costa crew and guests will have the chance to leave a dedication and a special message for the school.
The institute, aimed at 1,300 local students between the ages of 6 and 18, will be erected between the districts Ciudad del Bicentenario and Villa de Aranjuez in Cartagena and the delivery is scheduled for June 2019.
The school will follow the “quality public education” model, guaranteed by the Pies Descalzos Foundation and will include nutrition and health programs, as well as special activities for parents and the community in general. The center will be equipped with state-of-the-art items and will have a library, auditorium, restaurants, sports areas, laboratories for professional, scientific and technological development, spaces dedicated to early childhood and more than 40 classrooms.
Fundação Pies Descalzos is a Colombian NGO (non-governmental organization) created in 1997 by international artist Shakira with the main objective of promoting a quality public education for children in vulnerable situations in Colombia.
Costa Cruises maintains a strong relationship with Shakira who, since 2015, acts as Costa’s advertising girl for the “Happiness to the Square” campaign. This relationship also includes Costa’s active participation in the philanthropic program of Fundação Pies Descalzos.
“I am so happy to know that a company like Costa Cruises understands the value of quality education to promote a more productive society,” says Shakira. I look forward to working with Costa and thus ensuring a high quality education and last resort facilities. generation for a school that will serve 1,300 children in Cartagena, Colombia, my hometown. ”
“As a consolidated company operating throughout the world, we have the duty and opportunity to support communities on different continents. Today, our commitment to the Pies Descalzos Foundation allows us to offer help to children and families in South America,” he says. Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises.
The donation initiative in Colombia fits perfectly in the context of community activities that Costa has already carried out through the Costa Crociere Foundation in different continents since 2014. Among them: support to Mercy Ships, an international humanitarian aid essential medical services in Africa; financial support for the education of 500 children in the Philippines; and the strong work of social and environmental promotion in European communities. Earlier this year, for example, the Costa Crociere Foundation contributed to the inauguration of a new kindergarten dedicated to 125 children affected by the earthquake in the Italian community of Norcia.