UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Renowned Colombian singer and song-writer Shakira, who is expecting her first child with Spanish football star Gerard Pique, is helping to raise worldwide awareness of the survival issue of infants through an unusual method: an online baby shower hosted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Shakira, who is also UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, has long been a passionate advocate for children and children's issues. This month marks an especially joyous occasion for the 35-year-old singer and her partner Pique: the imminent arrival of their own first child, UNICEF said here Wednesday.
The couple issued invitations to their virtual baby shower. Fans are just a click away from learning about child survival issues and finding out how to purchase an "Inspired Gift" to give children a healthy start in life.
By welcoming guests to their virtual living room with a personal video message and even recognizing their most active fans personally, the two are not only taking social media to a new level of engagement and displaying its infinite possibilities, but also demonstrating how each individual can take responsibility for the needs of others and has the opportunity to do good -- one click at a time.
To share their joy and in honor of their rumored baby boy, Shakira and Pique have come up with a very special idea for their global community of friends and fans: a virtual baby shower.
In a joint statement, the couple wrote, "Dear Friends, Having our first baby is such an incredibly happy time for us. That's why we want to invite you to our baby shower...with a twist. Rather than asking you to give gifts to our new baby, we're asking you to honor him by supporting UNICEF in giving underprivileged babies around the globe a healthy start in life. It would really mean a lot to us."
The virtual baby shower, which launched on Jan. 15, invites fans into Shakira and Pique's virtual living room.
"You can choose an Inspired Gift from our registry -- to give the gift of immunizations so more babies grow up healthy and disease free, rehydration salts to save children's lives and therapeutic food so babies will get enough to eat," the couple wrote. "Every expectant parent around the world shares all the same hopes and dreams for their children that we do. Yet, many don 't share the same opportunities. Together, we know that we can change that."
All of UNICEF's "Inspired Gifts" are life-saving items distributed to the poorest and most vulnerable children around the world. For as little as five U.S. dollars, a donor can buy a mosquito net to help a sleeping child stay safe from malaria, one of the leading causes of child death worldwide.
For 10 U.S. dollars, a donor can purchase polio vaccines to protect 17 children from contracting the devastating viral infection, the UNICEF said.
The purchase of a 37-dollar baby scale will help monitor a child's growth and check for signs of possible malnutrition, and a donation of 110 dollars will buy live-saving therapeutic food, a peanut-based paste that can save an acutely malnourished child, said the UN agency.
Shakira meets girls from a UNICEF-supported girls'football league in Baku, Azerbaijan, in October 2012. Since becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2003, Shakira has traveled the globe to help children in need.
These gifts will go a long way in helping some of the most underprivileged children in the world. Each day, an estimated 19, 000 children under the age of five die from largely preventable causes. While child mortality is on the decline, 6.9 million children reportedly died in 2011 alone.