Canadian Living speaks with Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger about what it’s like to look back on two decades of working to end child slavery and empower youth, including what inspires him, his experiences with Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey, and why he believes that children and young people are a force for good.
At 17, Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger is celebrated and respected for his efforts to fight Third World child labour and, surprisingly, often criticized, including by Canada’s Saturday Night magazine. Read how the murder of Iqbal Masih turned him into one of the world’s youngest social activists and a voice for children everywhere, the impact it’s had on his family, including his mother, Theresa Kielburger, and brother, Marc Kielburger, and how he found himself the youngest speaker at the World Economic Forum at Davos.
In a special article written for the Globe and Mail, Marc and Craig Kielburger, co-founders of Free The Children, discuss the status of child labour overseas and whether conditions for children have gotten better, and offer advice on how consumers can help by supporting development efforts and choosing products conscientiously.
How 12-year-old student Craig Kielburger channelled his outrage at the murder of former child labourer and child-rights activist Iqbal Masih into founding Free The Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to abolishing child labour, all while taking on skeptics in the media, the adult world and even the Canadian prime minister.
The journey of Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger, from shy 12-year-old to global advocate to end child labour, including how the murder of child-rights activist Iqbal Masih launched his purpose, how an encounter with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien landed him on 60 Minutes and how a warning issued by the Dalai Lama spawned the birth of WE Day, a stadium-sized event designed to inspire youth, featuring celebrities from Selena Gomez to Demi Lovato. With interviews from Jason Saul, CEO of Mission Measurement, and Nelly Furtado.
WE Charity co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger write about child labour in Canada’s own backyard, challenging current Canadian child-worker regulations and codes, and exploring how looser provincial laws across the country from Quebec to Manitoba to British Columbia’s Bill37 are undermining our children’s rights in the workplace.
Key milestones in Free The Children’s history, including co-founder Craig Kielburger’s journey from 12-year-old advocate for ending child labour after reading about the murder of child-rights activist Iqbal Masih, to being featured on 60 Minutes and the Oprah Winfrey Show, to building Free The Children’s first schools in India and Kenya, to becoming a bestselling author, to Roxanne Joyal launching ME to WE Artisans, to launching the first WE Day in Toronto.
Kielburger brothers Marc and Craig, co-founders of Free The Children, are not shy about challenging the status quo and introducing ground-breaking ideas to help their mission of educating and empowering people to end child labour. Together, they’ve written half a dozen books, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, met the Dalai Lama, challenged Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and received the Order of Canada, among many other accomplishments. Read how their innovative idea to launch ME to WE, a social enterprise that sells socially conscious products and trips, from which half the proceeds go toward Free The Children, is shaking up Canadian policy and current legal models of how a charity is supposed to operate. Former Finance Minister Paul Martin, MaRS Executive Director of Social Innovation Generation Tim Draimin and Director of Oxford University’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Pamela Hartigan weigh in on how social enterprise could be the future of the charity sector.
Demi Lovato, one of 2016’s most charitable celebrity donors, kicks off the new year on a ME to WE Trip to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya, in support of WE Charity. The organization, formerly known as Free The Children, works to alleviate extreme poverty within developing countries such as Kenya, while ME to WE, a social enterprise, sells products such as handmade artisan jewellery that make an impact and support the efforts of WE Charity. Read how a collaboration with Lovato resulted in the specially designed Demi Lovato Rafiki Bracelet that’s empowering women across Kenya.
In a special article, WE Charity co-founder Craig Kielburger offers a glimpse into the extraordinary movement that’s empowering and inspiring youth to change the world through programs such as WE Schools and AP® with WE Service in partnership with the U.S. College Board. Inspired by mentor and WE Day California Co-Chair Jeff Skoll, Kielburger writes about how the organization is rethinking the traditional charity model, including launching ME to WE, a social enterprise that provides consumers with sustainable products, travel and learning experiences to support WE Charity, and establishing WE Day, a stadium-sized event that celebrates social good and that comes to life in a U.S. national broadcast that airs on ABC, featuring an incredible lineup of speakers and celebrities, from Charlize Theron and Selena Gomez to Paula Abdul, Seth Rogen and even Kermit the Frog.