FREE THE CHILDREN // WE
As Craig was flipping through the newspaper looking for comics, he discovered an article about Iqbal Masih, an escaped child labourer who had become a children’s rights activist. Shocked, he addressed his class at school: ‘I don’t know what, but we have to do something. Who will join me?’ Eleven hands went up and – Free The Children was born! Craig travelled to Asia, interviewed kids, reported back, spoke to Congress and on talk shows to raise awareness. What next? Stopping child labour at its roots! When adults said it was hopeless, they did not listen. To date, their holistic Adopt-a-Village program has built 750 schools and school rooms, medical clinics, clean water projects and alternative income projects in eight countries.
Inspired by the amazing positivity that Craig and his brother Marc experienced in the “poor” communities, compared to the depression, bullying and suicides in their “rich” country Canada, they learned to understand that it is “because they love, they give so much”, and decided to bring this spirit to their suffering peers at home with an additional program.
ME TO WE focuses on healing the Canadian population, addressing feelings of community, empathy, poverty, justice, as well as building collaborative bridges with overseas partner communities with volunteering programs, holidays and fair trade. This program has taken the country by storm! WE chapters exist in 22,000 schools, involve 3 million students, 300,000 teens take year-round action in WE Student Clubs, and unite at spectacular WE DAY gatherings, celebrating achievements with superstars from sport, music, celebrities and grand adult changemakers, announcing new campaigns and raising the energy for a new year of action!
WE DAYs today exist in every major city of Canada, have spread to the USA and Britain and score 6 hours live on television! Craig and Marc have achieved making “creating a good world for all” integral part of service-learning culture across the curriculum, setting a benchmark of what it really means to make relevant steps of positive change in education, as youth and as a society. These youth, and the tens of thousands teachers involved are proving every day:
“We CAN change the world. It IS Possible!”
[ LEARNING ]
AGE : 12
- DO IT 100%
- REACH 95%
- EFFECTS 95%
- RISK 60%
Craig & Marc show us the POWER of YOUTH versus hopeless adults … and they show us the POWER OF TEACHERS, of what students think of their caring teachers, the POWER of YOUTH AT SCHOOL and the 3 LAWS OF SOCIAL CHANGE:
There exist some fantastic interviews unveiling the magic behind the success story, like these:
MASTER MAGIC : Make Changemaking part of Learning Culture
No other activists have achieved this, and this makes all the difference. This is how we reach each and every kid of a generation.
It also changes the worldview of teachers, youth, parents and the media about young people.
This foundation of service-learning, aligned with conventional curricula, allows us to add further dimensions : social business, campaigns etc with transformational solutions.
UN Action Days
- Human Rights
- Street Children