After making waves across the UK it was time to bring our amazing #KidBoss to see our front line work in the field. Shakira wanted to get some hands-on experience on the ground and we hoped to explore what we could learn about our work from a child’s perspective.
The trip was both eye-opening and moving. We visited a feeding distribution programme, a medical unit, a school and ‘The Medina’, our renowned Orphan Home complex. For Shakira, this was the first time she had seen the reality of poverty in the developing world. She saw what it meant to have no electricity, no running water and no toys to play with.
“We’re so alike,” she said, as she skipped and danced with a group of young orphan girls she met on the trip. Shakira could see how these children had the same hopes and dreams as she did, but what they lacked were the opportunity and resources to turn those dreams into reality. “It’s just not fair,” she said, putting into context her first-world problems that seemed so tiny in comparison. Without any direction, she bonded with the children she met, playing games with them and sharing stories with each other.
Children, by their nature, are hopeful, idealistic and innocent, and we often forget that we were once all children with those same values! Somewhere along the way we lose those positive attributes and become sceptical and embittered by our experiences. Our amazing #KidBoss, however, is changing all of that. She’s brought the hopes of her generation to the charity and has reminded us old fogeys that one day it will be her generation in charge!
It’s been especially important for Penny Appeal to have a young person at the helm as it is often young people who are most impacted by poverty. Not only are we learning from Shakira’s experiences and insights, it’s also important that we support and nurture young people and provide role models for our children to aspire to.
On returning to the UK, Shakira has been sharing her stories and has even been featured across mainstream television channels where she has been inspiring millions across the nation with her incredible energy and stories.
What’s next for our amazing #KidBoss? Stay tuned!