Shakira mobilises her fans on social media to sign #UpForSchool

Celebrities, Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Superstar Shakira has always been a trendsetter. Now she’s using innovative ways to mobilise her huge fan base behind the #UpForSchool campaign.

The Colombian singer-songwriter asked her 102 million followers on Facebook, 33 million on Twitter and 11 million on Instagram to share the message that every child in every country should be in school and learning.

Shakira – a passionate advocate for children’s education in her home country and around the world – has been a crucial campaigner for the #UpForSchool Petition. More than eight million people have signed the petition, which will be handed in at the United Nations General Assembly in late September.

It calls on world leaders to keep their promise to get every girl and boy into school by overcoming barriers including child labour, child marriage, discrimination and conflict.

On her Facebook and Instagram pages, Shakira posted the campaign slogan, her name and her location – #UpForSchool. Shakira Mebarak. Barcelona, Spain. The 38-year-old mother of two asked her fans – in English and Spanish – to do the same in the comments below her statement.

She said: “There’s never been a more important time – we have less than two months to make our voices heard! Add a message to world leaders to say why you think everyone should to be able to go to school – they’ll want to know why you’re #UpForSchool!”

Shakira added the full text of the petition, which you can read here. Wendy Romo from Guadalajara, Mexico, commented: “All children have the right to go to school but their voices are not often heard.” Abi Rami from Tamil Nadu, India, said: “I believe in education for all. My respect for you Shakira.” And Carolina Sartor from Cricuma, Brazil, added: “Education is essential to make a better world.”

On Twitter, she again appealed to her fans to sign #UpForSchool and used Twitter Cards in her Spanish tweet. This allows followers to sign the petition there and then without having to leave Twitter

Shakira at opening of new Fundacion Pies Descalzos school at Cartagena in Colombia Picture: Facebook/Shakira

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

She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and in 2010 she was awarded a United Nations agency medal for being “a true ambassador for children and young people, for quality education and social justice”.

Ben Hewitt, A World at School’s Campaigns Director, said: “Within a few weeks world leaders are meeting at the United Nations to make crucial decisions that will determine whether children around the world go to school, no matter who they are or where they are born.

Shakira meets girls in Azerbaijan to dicuss power of education Picture: Facebook/Shakira

“We know that nothing changes without pressure and Shakira is connecting with hundreds of millions of people in every country around the world and raising their voices behind this crucial campaign. This is a key moment for action and world leaders need to know that people want to see real change.  

“Shakira is using innovative new ways to get people to take up the cause of the #UpForSchool Petition, now the biggest petition ever on education, and is connecting personally with millions of people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

“Shakira has been a global champion for education for many years. It is inspiring to see her now leading the charge on behalf of the 59 million children out of school.”

If you haven’t signed the #UpForSchool Petition yet, you can sign here.

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