“After several days of not eating properly, I would just stay home from school to avoid the discomfort of trying to focus on class work," Shania Twain said.
Shania Twain aka the "Queen of Country Pop" is waging a war against the menace of hunger and poverty faced by children across the world. The You’re Still The One singer in an interview with Cynthia McFadden, opened up about growing up hungry and poor in an abusive household, as per ABC News. The pop icon revealed how her struggle during childhood inspired her to never let any child in her sight sleep empty stomach. The Grammy-winning musician’s difficult contestation with life during her young days is well documented by her in her memoir, From This Moment On, as she penned down the driving force behind her philanthropic work.
The 57-year-old singing sensation said, "I think I've remained very detached from my life to this point, almost as though it was a different person, every phrase I went through. So I've reconnected and said, no, this is actually who I am. I'm neither embarrassed of who I am, where I come from, what I've experienced, I'm not ashamed of it," she told during the interview. Growing up in the town of Timmins, Ontario, Canada, Twain shared about the years of abuse and hunger pangs she endured.
The singer went on to raise a foundation to address this social challenge as she inaugurated the foundation, Shania Kids Can. In a personal note on the website of the organization she writes, “The goal of the Shania Kids Can Charity Foundation is to create a program in primary schools that recognizes and assists students who fall into the gap between a dysfunctional home life and qualifying for a social service intervention.”
Describing how her experiences shaped the idea of the foundation she further penned, “After several days of not eating properly, I would just stay home from school to avoid the discomfort of trying to focus on class work and face another lunch period surrounded by classmates enjoying their nicely prepared meals.” Sharing her ordeals she resolved not to let such basic necessities stunt any child’s healthy development.
"[It was] overwhelming for any child to never know what to expect from one day to the next. It could happen anytime. But also you don't know if they're going to survive it," said the Canadian Singer and songwriter as she raised her concern about children who are brought up in similar circumstances. "It's very hard to concentrate when you're stomach's rumbling," she said as she recalled going hungry to school as her parents struggled with finances to even get groceries for five children.
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Twain's challenges continued after her parents' death in a fatal car accident in 1987 as she was expected to bear the living expenses of her three younger siblings. With meager means of income, the country-pop star would often sing in bars and clubs according to Taste of Country. The singer shared, "I would certainly never have humiliated myself enough to reach out and ask for help and say, You know, I'm hungry. Can I have that apple that you're not going to eat? I didn't have the courage to do that," as she explained her conditions in the interview.
Shedding light on it Twain writes in an open letter of her foundation, “It’s unacceptable for us to stand by and watch any child in this modern society suffer right before our eyes when there is something we CAN do about it.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Andreas Rentz