Fans can help children around the world get a healthier start to life through an online Inspired Gifts feature

World-famous singer–songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira and FC Barcelona star Gerard Piqué are inviting friends and fans today to join their online baby shower – in support of the world’s most vulnerable babies.

“To celebrate the arrival of our first child, we hope that, in his name, other less privileged children in the world can have their basic needs covered through gifts and donations,” reads the invitation from Shakira and Gerard. “Thank you for sharing this unforgettable moment with us.”

Expecting their first baby, the couple decided to share the excitement using innovative social media tools. The online baby shower engages social media fans by welcoming them to visit Shakira and Gerard’s virtual living room. There, guests can learn about the issue of child survival and purchase an ‘Inspired Gift’ to help give babies around the world a healthy start to life. UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts are real, life-saving items distributed to children and communities in some of the poorest corners of the globe.

At the baby shower, Inspired Gifts cost as little as £7, which buys vaccinations to protect 50 children from contracting this incurable viral infection, while £31 purchases life saving salts for at least 100 children to help them recover from diarrhoea and dehydration.
 
The highest ticket item is £69 which provides 245 sachets of life-saving Therapeutic Food, a peanut-based paste, and enough to bring three severely malnourished children back to health. Malnutrition is a constant threat to children in many regions of the world and leads to half of all child deaths.

“Every expectant parent around the world shares all the same hopes and dreams for their children that we do,” said Shakira. “Yet many don’t share the same opportunities. Together we know we can change that.”

The interactive living room is a unique window into Shakira’s work with UNICEF and takes social media engagement to a new level. Guests are welcomed by a personal video message from Shakira and Gerard.  After purchasing an Inspired Gift, they will then receive a personal thank you message from the couple.  Additionally, never before seen photos of Shakira and Gerard, taken in December 2012 by Jaume Laiguana, are featured in the Baby Shower’s photo gallery.

The link to the Shakira and Gerard Pique’s Virtual Baby Shower is here: unicef.org.uk/babyshower

Some 19,000 children under the age of five still die globally every day from largely preventable causes. The Inspired Gifts, given in this unique way, will undoubtedly help save more lives. Under-five mortality has dropped from nearly 12 million in 1990 to less than 6.9 million in 2011. But much more can be done, and innovative projects like Shakira and Gerard’s virtual baby shower with UNICEF will contribute to reducing unacceptably high levels of child mortality.

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For more information, please contact:

Rowena Campbell, UNICEF UK, Tel: 0207 375 6206, rowenac@unicef.org.uk

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk