MADRID, SPAIN: Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira been awarded the MTV 'Free Your Mind' award at the MTV European Music Awards in Madrid for her involvement with the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup '20 Centres for 2010', 1 GOAL and Education for All.
The 33-year-old follows in the footsteps of Bono and Bob Geldof, as well as organisations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace in receiving the award, which is given to an individual or an organisation that has made an outstanding achievement in the battle against intolerance, prejudice and social injustice.
As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who has founded her own charitable foundation [Pies Descalzos], Shakira is no stranger to philanthropic work, but utilised the power of football during this FIFA World Cup year to help change the lives of people in need and create a lasting legacy for future generations.
Campaigning for the children
Earlier this year, she was named as an ambassador for 1GOAL, the campaign chaired by FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter to ensure that every child worldwide has the right to education. Shakira campaigned with the organisation to ensure that leaders worldwide released the necessary funds to achieve 'Education for All'; the international commitment of world leaders to make universal access to education a reality by 2015.
When collecting the award in Caja Magica, Shakira said: "This is really humbling. I believe that music is the soundtrack of our lives. Music can make you dance, laugh and forget about your troubles. It can also be an important vehicle to bring awareness to important issues. I would like to thank all the people around the world who joined me with the Waka Waka and who danced for the cause of promoting universal education so that millions of children living in the developing world can have a chance at their own dreams.
"I would like to share this award with all of you and with all the young people around the world who volunteered their time, their energy, their efforts and their ideas for a cause that they believe in. You are my inspiration and have taught me that there is no bigger pleasure in life than giving."
A happy time in SA
Shakira, who performed at the Kick-Off Concert and at the closing ceremony at the FIFA World Cup, described her time in South Africa as "inspiring, stimulating and one of the happiest months of my life in recent years" in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. Her song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) featuring Freshlyground, was chosen as the tournament's official song, and sold more than four million copies worldwide, becoming the biggest-selling FIFA World Cup song of all time. The song was included on Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album which saw proceeds go directly to the 20 Centres for 2010 - the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Its aim is to create 20 Football for Hope Centres in disadvantaged communities across Africa, to promote education, public health and football.
Three centres are open and running already in South Africa, Kenya and Namibia. The next centre will be officially opened on 4 December in Mali and centres in Lesotho, Ghana and Rwanda are in development and are planned to open in March and April 2011.
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