I just recently attended We Day for the second year in a row. I was introduced to this incredible event last year through TELUS, who partnered with Free The Children in 2007 to help engage and empower youth to harness their innovative ideas, make positive change and become community leaders, both locally and globally.
These community leaders, the Change Makers, of our time leave me in awe of their energy, passion and brilliance every year. As We Day attendees, we were introduced to (by far) some of the most motivated and positive youth, most of whom are from Vancouver.
From 16 year old Nicole Ticea, inventor of a disposable and electricity-free HIV testing device, to 17 year old Raymond Wang, who created an air circulation system to isolate and eliminate germs on airplanes in order to reduce exposure to disease in aircrafts, my jaw dropped first thing in the morning and stayed on the floor for pretty much the entire day. I couldn’t believe the stories of inspired (and inspirational!) youth of the Me to We generation that we were hearing. It truly gave me so much hope for our future- and all because of these kids that care!
The concept behind We Day, and the yearlong program that some classrooms or entire schools adopts, We Schools, is that students must carry out 1 local act and 1 global act to help others in some way. This is their ticket to We Day. You cannot pay to attend the big celebration, you have to have EARNED your way to the event.
We Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. We Schools is the yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformative social change.
Everything about We Day is right up my alley and the non-profit organization behind the event, Free The Children, is a cause we can all get on board with.
Free The Children
One morning over breakfast, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger was flipping through the newspaper looking for the comics when he was stopped short by a story: Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old former child slave in Pakistan, had been murdered because he spoke up for human rights.
Craig was 12. Iqbal was 12. In that moment, he was struck by a single and profound connection – except for the happenstance of birth, he could have been Iqbal – and he needed to do something.
But what? He was only one person, and a boy at that. What possible difference could he make in the lives of child slaves a world away?
What was needed: a collective voice. So Craig convinced a handful of Grade 7 classmates that together they could make an impact, and Free The Children was born.
Along with his older brother Marc, Craig and his team set out on a bold mission: to free children and their families from poverty and exploitation.
Whenever I learn about people like Craig and Marc Kielburger, I want to help. I want to give. I want to somehow be a part of this amazing movement that they have created for OUR children and for the children of the WORLD!
Not everyone can be a Craig Kielburger, nor a Nicole Ticea, but we do all have the power to give in some way. This year, TELUS did something very special so that we CAN all help. We can help with the click of a button on our phone. From our desks, we can help create change. And… not to mention… it costs us nothing but a few seconds.
TELUS teamed up with Francesco Yates and remixed his hit song “Call”. Newly titled, “Call For Change”, Francesco’s song and video are getting a ton of attention because with each ‘Retweet’ of the video on Twitter and with each ‘Share’ on Facebook, TELUS is donating $10 to Free The Children. TEN. DOLLARS!
(Ps. How awesome is this song? I dare you to not get this stuck in your head for the rest of the day!)
Share share share away and help support a great cause!