You have seen several youth tackle development issues already.
Now, we will look at someone special. Very special.
One morning at breakfast, looking for comics in the newspaper, I came across an article showing a boy in a red jacket … since that was an unusual sight, I had a closer look at this article.
Many adults want to hide the suffering in the world from their children. But ...
… children know that not everything is okay in the world, and they wish to help. What children need is knowledge about solutions, what works, and some guidance and support.
Seeing young people that have survived extraordinary challenges, speak and smile, teaches them about their own innate strength to overcome challenges in their own lives. And as they experience their power to heal the world, they also heal their own hearts.
And once our eyes are open, we are all responsible to take action.
Take a good look at what happens when a boy passionate about an issue we all care about presents at school, in front of adults, in media.
We’ve all been to school. Each of us is an expert on school. We all know that students and cool teachers like this. So, let’s do like Craig and activate schools!
Craig's show "Shameless Idealists" ...
with guests like the Dalai Lama has dissolved the insane behavior of ridiculing caring young people, our finest, as “eco-sluts” and “treehuggers”, perceiving them as trouble makers, telling them to instead focus on their B in chemistry.
Craig has made activism cool years before people started seeing young changemakers on the internet.
And there is more that few people are aware of.
22,000 schools make "creating a good world for all" part of daily life
with the WE Schools program with year-round teacher- and student club-powered activities. – powered by students, backed by caring teachers.
This makes Craig the world champion at making “creating a good world for all” part of life at schools.
WE School programs right now involve 3 million youth, and 300,000 12- to 15-year olds participate in clubs, affirming their feelings and values, taking steps to end the suffering of children, and experiencing their agency, progress and success.
That is enormous, and a benchmark for proper 21st Century learning culture everywhere on Earth.
If it’s not in your town, catch up!
You can build on this foundation
The WE School program with focus on charitable service-learning in Canada, the USA and Britain in english and french may not entirely by your fit, but it is still gold to realize your dreams to #MakeSchoolAwesome and to awaken your vision that large scale change is possible by activating schools! And this is a priority #1 realization.
The success of the We Schools program has broken the ground and laid the foundation for changemaking oriented learning culture, meshed non-formally in classrooms and by high impact student clubs with partners around the globe. Like it’s common with sports and music.
YOUTH-LEADER’s resources for 400+ actions with 100+ hero*ines and many global partners and methods for self-organization offer favorite causes and activities for everyone – high impact student clubs, teachers, caring citizens, learnspaces … you’ll find out later in the exhibit.
Participating classes set milestones for a classroom, a well, a mini clinic, alternative income programs, and together, they track progress … and complete a village!
Plus, there’s the hands-on part of volunteering overseas – studying global issues, building schools, meeting the mamas, mentoring kids, making friends, expanding horizons beyond what a tourist holiday could ever teach.
Do these faces seem familiar? It’s Emma and Julia of Books With No Bounds. Emma scored a free ride to Kenya with Free The Children but said she won’t go without Julia. So they took them both.
Just before take-off, they were informed that they would be the main protagonists of Free The Children’s new film. It was shown on WE Days, and of course they shared their story on their work for aboriginal children with the jubilating crowd.
When we said we wanted to liberate child labourers, adults said it was hopeless, impossible. We did not listen to them. We liberated hundreds of children.
When we said they needed schools, adults said it was hopeless, impossible. We did not listen to them. Today, our teams at schools are building a new classrooms and schools every single week, 800 to-date. Plus micro clinics, wells and alternative income programs.
“Banish the words hopeless and impossible from your vocabulary.”
dollars raised for children in vulnerable situations
Sensational. Yet – only the beginning.
Inspired by their experience in the receiving communities ...
“they are so poor they cannot afford shoes or a clean t-shirt”
“they don’t know if they will eat next week”
“they sacrificed their last goat, for us who came over here by airplane”
“and still, these people are so happy!”
while back home in affluent Canada, youth suffer from so much sadness, depression, bullying, violence, shaming, suicide …
“Why? How is this possible these people so happy despite poverty?” the brothers asked themselves, and realized
“Because they are giving so much, loving so much!”
“We have to bring this spirit to Canada”, Craig and Marc decided, and launched a second initiative, ME TO WE
complementing their classic development work overseas … for sustainable development in Canada; to heal the people and restore inner and outer peace, joy and abundance.
Plus, they decided,
“We need an event to unite youth action crews to experience their community, celebrate their achievements, and fuel up for a next year of action.” They called it – WE Day!
Also, they decided, "We need an event to unite our youth teams ..."
… to experience their community, celebrate their achievements, and fuel up for a next year of action.”
They called it – WE Day!
WE Day has become Canada’s most popular field trip for student clubs and accompanying teachers, uniting hundreds of thousands of active students with sports, music and societal celebrities to share stories, celebrate achievements, learn on newly emerging global issues and kick off a new year of action.
If my 7th grade teacher, Mr. Fedrigoni had not given me the chance to speak to my class … I don’t know where free The Children would be today.
(Or if it had ever come into existence)
Teachers are our young generation’s most important allies. They decide whether our youth can grow up learning about local and global issues and how to solve them, how to protect and restore the world we love … or not.
“Never let anyone tell you we cannot change the world.
SCHOOLS INVOLVED IN 2020
YOUTH ENGAGED IN WE SCHOOLS 2017
WE DAY ATTENDANTS BY 2020
ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTED BY 2020
VOLUNTEERING HOURS BY YEAR 2020
$ RAISED AT WE SCHOOLS IN 2017
OF TEACHERS feel more professionally fulfilled
OF TEACHERS discover new leadership skills in their students
OF STUDENTS experience higher self-confidence
OF STUDENTS volunteer for their favorite causes
OF STUDENTS feel a stronger connection to their local community
OF STUDENTS are more likely to stand up for others who are discriminated against
OF ALUMNI volunteer & donate to charity annually
OF ALUMNI eligible vote in elections
“The best field trip ever!”
What a legend! We all owe him so much.
… since what the millions of youth involved experience in personal transformation will impact our lives in this century in so many ways, and so does the ripple effect of his example that will continue to grow now that you have read this
Here’s Craig with Kenya’s First Lady, opening the first WE college with focus on studies on sustainability, development, media, science, tourism…
… and with youth of a WE partner community in Ecuador that has launched a sustainable rainforest tourism program … turning into one of the favorite holiday destinations of WE youth in North America … as they come as friends not aliens.
And he won’t stop there.
Have you ever thought about giving up?
Many times. But never seriously.
You know, on my first trip to India, I gave those children a promise to work hard as long as there were children suffering from poverty. And when you promise something, you have to keep it.
Today, FTC and METOWE have merged into WE, with WE Schools, WE Day, WE Villages, WE Familes as programs, all interconnected and supporting a common goal – to create a good world for all children.
They have just opened the WE Global Learning Centre, a LearnSpace for schools to meet for seminars, a place for international skype conferences, and a training centre for youth to learn social entrepreneurship.
What’s happening in your city, your country ?
This is happening on Planet Earth, and it should happen near you.