Marc Kielburger is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Along with his brother Craig Kielburger, Marc co-founded WE Charity, which provides a holistic development model called Free The Children’s WE Villages, helping to lift more than one million people out of poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Back at home in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, WE Schools and WE Day provide comprehensive service learning programs to 18,000 schools, engaging 3.5 million young change-makers. Lastly, he is also the co-founder of ME to WE, a pioneering social enterprise, the profits from which help sustain the work of the charitable organization. His work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes and the BBC. Marc graduated from Harvard University with a degree in International Relations. He won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree from Oxford University. He has also received 10 honorary doctorates and degrees for his work in the fields of education and human rights. Marc is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published 8 books, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Order of Canada, and was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s Young Global Leaders. Marc was also recently inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame for his humanitarian efforts and his work to empower youth to change the world. In 2015, along with his brother Craig, he was named Canada’s Most Admired CEO in the public sector.
Fueled by the passionate belief that every single person has the power to make a difference and that we are stronger together, Marc is an inspiration to millions around the world.
As Marc Kielburger learned firsthand on his visits to Kenya over the years, it’s one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. Kenya’s incredible diversity of wildlife, awe-inspiring geographical landscapes, and extraordinary people will undoubtedly keep it on many travelers’ to-do lists for years to come.
It’s no surprise that thousands of tourists visit the country every year, many just to see the spectacular migration of one million wildebeest from Tanzania to Kenya.
What many people may not know is that the country’s wealth of biodiversity is equaled only by its social issues:
● Nearly 50 million people live in Kenya, a large percentage of which lives below the poverty line.
● About 73 percent of the population still lives in rural areas.
● The life expectancy is 67.3 years, and the income gap between rich and poor has only widened in the last three decades.
● Factors like these have combined to stymie many gains in education, health, food security, employment and income.
Marc Kielburger on Kenya from the book, WEconomy: “Entrepreneurs struggle to find new product ideas all the time. We were no exception. The Maasai taught us that some of the best ideas come from non-traditional thinking: no whiteboard or expensive consulting groups required. In the WEconomy, investors need to step outside of their comfort zones.”
At WE Charity, we have been working with the Maasai, Kipsigis and Kisii communities in Kenya since the early 2000s. Our mission has been to help create sustainable solutions for the peoples of these tribes, empowering them to build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and ultimately their country.
● The WE Villages initiative has provided 13,000 Kenyan children with the opportunity to attend WE-supported schools every day.
● WE Villages has built more than 230 schoolrooms, libraries, teachers’ offices and kitchens.
● WE Villages helped create the Kisaruni Group of Schools, which includes an all-girls secondary school and an all-boys secondary school. The educational program provides Maasai and Kipsigis students access to secondary school through individual scholarships and ongoing support of the Kisaruni Long-Term Sustainability Fund.
● WE Villages also helped open the doors to two new health centres: Baraka Hospital and Kishon Health Centre, which have provided more than 125,000 patients with high-quality medical care.
The achievements of this program reflect the broader goals of WE Charity, and of founders Marc Kielburger and Craig Kielburger: to improve education, food security, employment, income and health wherever possible.