In 1995, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger learned about the story of Iqbal Masih, a child laborer 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. What began as a fight against child labor has grown into a global movement that works in partnership with communities to empower them with the tools to free themselves from poverty. The pillars of our international development model, WE Villages, engineered over the past 25 years, work in five key areas—education, water, health, food and financial opportunity—that together create transformative and lasting impact.
Around the world, we partner with incredible people who are breaking barriers and defying the odds to create brighter futures. In Kenya, Faith fought tirelessly for equal access to education: the key to freedom from poverty. Her story is only made possibly by the dedicated support of people like you. Watch her story to find out why.
As seen on the CNN Freedom Project’s #MyFreedomDay
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Women have been provided with tools to gain economic self-sufficiency
Number of people who have gained access to clean water and sanitation
Children have access to education
Organizations supported by students in 2018
Hours volunteered by youth through WE Schools programming
Dollars fundraised by students supporting local and global issues
Oleleshwa Farm in Kenya now includes 34 acres of land and 14 greenhouses, increasing its capacity to support student lunch programs (to date the farm has provided food for more than 2,000,000 meals) and providing agricultural training to community leaders. Community members now have a consistent source of healthy and diversified foods. Support for our lunch program 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 Hospital 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. Baraka 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.