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Shakira Champions Global Investment in Early Childhood Education During UNICEF Conference

Shakira Champions Global Investment in Early Childhood Education During UNICEF Conference

Global entertainer and UNICEF ambassador Shakira used her celebrity to speak in support of UNICEF'S Early Childhood Development program during a press conference on Tuesday.

Shakira "has been working on education programs since she was 18 years old and was stunned when she first learned about ECD and the effect it has on producing responsible adults. Therefore, she shifted her focus from working with children who are already in school to children under the age of five," according to Inter Press Service.

The conference highlighted the four pillars emphasized in early childhood development: "safety and protection, health and nutrition, early childhood education and stimulation and care."

It referenced research that indicates brain development is the most intense and therefore the most crucial before a child even turns five years old.

"According to UNICEF, almost 160 million children or one-fourth of all children in the world under the age of five are cognitively and physically stunted due to malnutrition, lack of education, unstable conditions in their countries or domestic violence," the release said.

Through its championing for early childhood education, it hopes to help families give their children the stimulation their brain needs by providing them with affordable options.

Experts in attendance also related the important of investing in early childhood education to the current crisis of educating migrants from the world's current violent conflict in the Middle East.

"Speaking on the migrant crisis...A generation from now, those same hatreds and that same conflict can be with us unless we do more to intervene in the lives of those children, including the very youngest for the sake of their future and for the sake of Syria,'" UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake told journalists, according to the release.

Read more here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/23/2015

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