SAP and Pop Stars Change Lives

Ricky Martin at the launch of the first phase of construction on the Child Development and Prevention Center, which SAP is sponsoring. (Photo: Tobias Kaeufer)

For poor and disadvantaged children in Colombia, an equal chance at a quality education could make all the difference in their lives. That’s the goal of Shakira’s “Fundacion Pies Descalzos” (The Barefoot Foundation): to provide unique educational opportunities for needy children in public schools throughout the country. SAP has partnered with this organization and the Foundation for Social Change to execute the eLife program of Economic Opportunity for Women & Girls. The after-school program trains students in both core life skills and business skills with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship. Areas of education include: communication, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, health/hygiene, and finance.

SAP supports this initiative by providing mobile technology like tablets to enhance the educational curriculum, aiding teachers to incorporate new teaching methods in the classroom, and motivating the students enrolled. The program benefits more than 3,500 girls and boys between the ages of 11 to 18, 80% of which are female.

A safe haven for at-risk children

The Ricky Martin Foundation (RMF) advocates for the well-being of children around the world in areas like education, health, and social justice. In particular, RMF is an active voice against the child exploitation that results from human trafficking. As its partner in social responsibility, SAP’s support of RMF is continuous, helping many of the foundation’s programs: educational campaigns, urban research and the recommendation of public policies that favor minors’ rights.

During the company’s “Month of Service” in October 2012, for example, SAP Puerto Rico employees teamed up with RMF to carry out various fun and educational activities with children at a school in Loiza. Another result of their partnership is the launch of the first phase of construction on the Child Development and Prevention Center in Loiza, scheduled to be opened in the winter of 2013-2014. The Center will provide a safe haven for at-risk children.

Moreover, academic researchers have started the second stage of their investigation titled, “La Trata de Personas en Puerto Rico: Un Reto a la Invisibilidad” (“Human Trafficking in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge”). This report monitors, analyzes, and aims to better understand the impact of human trafficking in Puerto Rico. The results help RMF improve its efforts to prevent the exploitation of children and act as a platform for global awareness and support.

With the power of technology, innovation, and the influence of pop stars like Shakira and Ricky Martin, SAP is helping the world run better in Latin American and Caribbean communities.

The Barefoot Foundation, sponsored by Shakira, ensures that poor and impoverished children have an opportunity to receive a quality education. (Photo: Tobias Kaeufer)