In 1995, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger was struck by the story of Iqbal Masih, a child labourer of the same age who escaped slavery and was murdered for advocating for children’s rights. Inspired to take action, Craig rallied his classmates and his brother, Marc, to join his cause. Together they set out to free children from slavery, but soon realised that to end child labour they had to start by breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. That’s why WE Charity and its development model, WE Villages, were born: to empower families to become self-sustainable and put an end to child labour.
Oleleshwa Farm in Kenya now includes 34 acres of land and 14 greenhouses, increasing its capacity to support student lunch programmes (to date the farm has provided food for more than two million meals) and providing agricultural training to community leaders. Community members now have a consistent source for healthy and diversified foods. Support for our lunch programme also means better nutrition for students, leading to improved attendance and better concentration and productivity.
In 2014, more than 160 workshops were delivered at girls’ clubs in Chimborazo, Ecuador—helping girls develop leadership and public speaking skills to gain confidence and animal husbandry skills to earn an alternative income. This means greater opportunities for education, better access to nutritious foods and more involvement in decision-making at the household level. It also addresses gender equality, leading to healthier and more educated households, and an improved outlook for future generations.
The maternity wing at Baraka Health Clinic in Kenya has provided more than 3,000+ mothers with pre and postnatal care, including ultrasound and diagnostic services. In 2015, it was named the best maternity wing in Narok County by the Narok County District Quality Assurance Team. It directly combats maternal and child mortality by providing preventative care, and equipping mothers with the necessary services and knowledge to raise healthy children.
In the community of Udawad, India, two wells were rehabilitated in 2014, providing clean water to over 800 families and ensuring access to water during the dry season. Family members won’t have to leave the community for a stable source of food and income, and they are less likely to pull their children from school to help with agricultural and livelihood activities.
Since 2010, the attendance rates at Manac Primary School in Haiti have increased over 400%. The extraordinary increase in attendance in Manac will lead to greater opportunities for the students and a brighter, healthier future.