Shakira’s new baby toys range will fund education for Colombian children

Celebrities, Education funding

Singer and children's campaigner Shakira has launched a series of baby toys – with all the proceeds going to her charity that helps to educate children living in extreme poverty in Colombia.

The pregnant star said she wanted to design the First Steps range of toys to stimulate development in the crucial early stages of life. She will also feature in a 12-part web series for mothers.

Shakira has partnered with Fisher-Price, which said it was her charity's work on early childhood development that attracted the company to the project.

She is the founder of the Barefoot Foundation (Fundacion Pies Descalzos), which she created in 1997 to support poor and vulnerable children in her home country.

The foundation has built schools as part of its mission to provide high-quality public education. It also offers early childhood development initiatives in those schools.

Shakira, whose son Milan is 21 months, said: “I saw how important developmental milestones are and how toys can help babies reach them – including with my own son.

“I wanted to design a line of toys that stimulated development in the crucial early stages of life, the stages in which learning can be achieved through supervised play, fostering the development of psychological, social and motor skills.”

Shakira co-developed six products, including a bouncer that plays music, alphabet blocks and a musical soccer ball –  a nod to her boyfriend, the Barcelona and Spain footballer Gerard Pique. The First Steps range will go on sale in November.

Geoff Walker, executive vice president of the Fisher-Price Global Brands Team, said the Grammy-winning singer had contacted the company about collaborating. He said: “She brings in both authenticity and emotion and I think that's why this is such an exciting moment.”

Shakira is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and a member of the Emergency Coalition for Global Education.

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