Meet WE’s community of change-makers: Their stories, our collective impact.

By Staff

 

Twenty-two years ago, a 12-year-old boy began his life-long mission to change the world. He started by bringing the issue of child labour to the forefront. His audacity to address the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) granted him $150,000 toward his cause, his persistence nailed down a meeting with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, while his tenacious character turned the head of international audiences, with appearances on BBC, 60 Minutes and his famous interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Joined by his brother along the way, Craig and Marc Kielburger have grown a kid-run operation, which began with a dozen 12-year-olds, into an international organization—a global movement—that encourages people of all ages to think beyond themselves and create world-changing impacts across their community. Together, this community of compassionate change-makers ponder how their actions affect the collective “we” and act with the world as a whole in mind—just as the organization’s namesake suggests.

Today, on International Day of Charity, we look back on recent stories of impact and invite you to join us as WE gives back.

 

“Watch this MVP mom live her dream on and off the field.” | READ

Rose is a single mother living in Kenya with her two boys. As a woman, she strives to do it all, including become a footballer. A go-getter, Rose earns a wage for her family as a ME to WE artisan, raises her children and makes time to do what she loves most: kick the ball around. Watch as she goes through her day-to-day, forging opportunity for herself and her kids.

 

“Rebel with a cause.” | READ

Zoey Roy’s is a story of teenage rebellion, struggle and self-discovery. Her journey—including a couple run-ins with the law—led her to realizing she could be a rebel of a different kind. Having found her purpose, she has taken the public stage—unafraid of breaking the silence and speaking out on important social issues —sharing her experience with others in hopes of affecting change in her Saskatchewan community and across the country.

 

“The parents that made pipe dreams come true.”  | READ

With the help of WE Charity, bereaved parents Miguel and Maria Vargas bring a life-saving solution to their community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. A tale of resilience, read how these parents persevered through tragedy.

 

“Once homeless, now at home. Samantha gives back and finds belonging.” | READ

To escape a cycle of poverty, Samantha turned to education. Here, she discovered WE. Inspired by young people across the country making change in their communities, she started her own charitable efforts. Bright with knowledge and kindness, Samantha shares how she learned to live with purpose.

 

“Shared love of learning continues after tragedy.” | READ

Stretch those heart strings before running your eyes over this story—teachers Dhana Lal and Jhumi Bai find love through their mutual passion for education and honour their dream for success beyond the barriers of life.

 

“On the Maasai Mara, a new mark of manhood: the high school diploma.” | READ

This past January, WE helped community members open the doors to an all-boys school in Kenya. Francis Naimodu was one of 385 boys who applied to attend the free high school, which had a total of 33 spots to fill. Watch as he comes a little closer to his dream of becoming an engineer.

 

“Teenager turns tragedy into opportunity to better the lives of others.” | READ

Caroline Mierzwa made a reactionary move upon experiencing the hardship of child illness—notably, a positive one. She began volunteering in her community and taking a leadership role in her WE Club at school. This experience would prove to guide her biggest move yet: move hours away from home to volunteer in a new community, where she can brings her services to families in need.

 

“The river gives, but it also takes: Watch Nepapa walk a new path for clean water in Kenya.” | READ

Nepapa Kishoiyan ends a 30 year tradition—one that has provided a basic necessity to her family for generations. Now, 65 years old, she graciously says good-bye to the river she routinely met at the end of a daily five-hour walk. See how her community’s partnership with WE has changed her life by bringing a source of clean water to the region.

 

“Seeing is believing.” | READ

WE visits a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities school in North London, not knowing what to expect. The result? Three uplifting and breathtaking stories packed into one. You’ll have to read it, to believe it.

 

“Be the change… one cookbook at a time.” | READ 

Starting with WE Schools at a young age, Sophie Stevens grew up harnessing her power to make a difference—a quality that has stuck with her into adulthood. Not yet 20, Sophie’s latest project sees her stepping things up with a fundraiser centered on her very own “female empowerment cookbook,” complete with delicious recipes and profiles of the women who inspire her.

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