When WE launched its mission in 1995, we very quickly learned that ending child labor took a lot more than just kicking down sweatshop doors. That lesson led to the creation of our holistic five-pillar WE Villages sustainable development model for empowering communities to eliminate the root cause of child labor—desperate poverty. It also started a lifelong journey of continuous learning and growth, rigorously evaluating every aspect of our organization to see where we can do better and have more impact.
Self-evaluation can only take you so far, however. It takes unbiased outside experts to help an organization identify the fullest opportunities for growth and improvement. That’s why WE routinely engages independent third-parties to guide us developing policies and programs, and to study and report on everything from our workplace culture to our governance and finances.
For example, ensuring the safety and well-being of the youth involved with WE is top priority, so Plan to Protect, an internationally recognized organization, advised WE in creating industry-leading policies for preventing, spotting and reporting child abuse.
Likewise, the safety of our staff is of the highest importance. So WE engaged Singh Lamarche LLP, a legal firm specializing in employment law, to review WE’s policies for preventing and addressing any workplace issues, including compliance with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, involving employee protection and well-being. Striving for continuous improvement is a passion for WE. Growing our impact requires constant evaluation of what we’ve accomplished. That’s why WE routinely seeks out feedback from educators and school boards on our WE Schools programs, as well as commissioning studies by respected third party firms like Mission Measurement to analyze our global WE Villages sustainable development model.
To ensure the highest propriety in ME to WE’s business model, finances and governance, we called on independent expertise, including the respected law firms Torys and Miller Thompson, and submitted for reviews by the Ontario Public Guardian Trustee, and highly regarded legal experts like the Honourable Stephen T. Goudge and former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Peter Cory.
WE constantly subjects every facet of our organization to unbiased, unblinking scrutiny. That’s how we learn, improve and grow our impact. We’re publishing all these documents here as part of our commitment of transparency to our donors, supporters and the millions of people impacted by our programs around the world.
Follow the links below to learn more about accountability and transparency at WE.