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Craig and Marc Kielburger

Co-founders, WE Charity

Humanitarians, activists and social entrepreneurs, brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger are co-founders of WE, an organization that makes doing good, doable.

WE works with developing communities in nine countries, and empowers youth in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom by connecting them with global issues and social causes. WE Day is the annual celebration of these young change-makers, held in more than 15 cities worldwide.

Marc and Craig are syndicated columnists and authors of more than 10 books, including The World Needs Your Kid, and the New York Times bestseller Me to We. Their work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as on CNN, BBC, 60 Minutes and The Today Show, and in People, Time and The Economist.

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Imagine A World Without Juvenile Prisons

"Research shows the earlier and longer youth spend in the system, the worse the outcomes are," says Peter Leone, a professor at the University of Maryland who has studied juvenile justice measures around the world for more than 20 years. It costs approximately $100,000 a year to incarcerate one young person in Canada. If that individual becomes a hardened life-long criminal, the amount will exceed a staggering $2 million, according to a Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
11/06/2015 11:13 EST
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We Need Fewer Obstacles To Education For Aboriginal Students

We see an opportunity for the Canadian government to bring colleges and universities together and encourage them to develop aboriginal student support programs on more campuses. Aboriginal students deserve have as many choices for welcoming institutions within a reasonable distance, with programs that interest them, as non-aboriginal students do.
10/29/2015 01:29 EDT
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Youth Mental Health Is an Election Issue That Affects Us All

In this election we are raising issues that matter to young Canadians. Mental health is a big one. A report by Alberta's Institute of Health Economics states that just seven cents of every dollar spent on health care in Canada goes to mental health. That's despite the fact mental disorders account for 40 per cent of all illnesses Canadians face. Canadian governments must dramatically increase funding, investing in accessible community-based mental health care -- if Canada could reduce the annual rate of mental illnesses by 10 per cent, it would save our health care system four billion dollars a year.
10/16/2015 12:03 EDT
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We Need to Raise Kids Who Care

Well-meaning parents often ask us, how can we help our kids excel, and be their best? While standing out in sports and school is awesome, being kind and socially conscious are qualities we need to celebrate in youth, too. These are no longer merely "nice to have" attributes. They are crucial for future success.
10/14/2015 12:11 EDT
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Canada Needs a Federal Focus on Sustainable Youth Employment

The federal government must invest in solid labour market research and incentives for employers to hire Canadian youth, like grants and tax breaks. Industry has to step up, too, offering co-op education placements and paid internships, as well as career mentorship for young employees. We should closely watch and learn from the European Union. Facing massive underemployment, over the past four years the EU has launched a sweeping youth employment strategy, including better labour market research, apprenticeship and skills training programs, as well as government-business partnerships that are expected to create more jobs.
10/08/2015 12:17 EDT
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Teaching Postsecondary Students Consent Helps End Rape Culture

We need only remember last year's incident at Dalhousie University's school of dentistry in Halifax. A secret Facebook club of male students shared fantasies about having "hate sex" with their female colleagues. Two years ago, freshmen at both Vancouver's University of British Columbia and St. Mary's University in Halifax performed chants advocating the rape of underage girls. Our postsecondary campuses must be safe places to study for people of all genders and sexual orientations. Achieving that takes more than installing safety lighting and handing out rape whistles. Colleges and universities, high schools and parents must work together to teach positive relationship skills and respect that can prevent harassment and assault.
10/04/2015 10:01 EDT
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The World Needs a Better Way to Measure the Well-Being of Nations

Simon Kuzents, the economist who developed the GDP measurement, warned it was not a good meter stick for national well-being. Still, that's exactly how the GDP has been used globally since the 1940s. GDP is the total value of all the goods and services a country produces in a year. So, creating jobs and producing equipment to clean up an oil spill, for example, adds to the GDP. As does producing guns and bombs for war. GDP is blind to factors like unemployment, living conditions and environmental degradation. Make sense? Not really. Whether it's genuine progress, national happiness, or a system that blends the best of both, the global community must agree on a more holistic way to measure our nations' progress that doesn't just count the money we make.
09/25/2015 08:44 EDT
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Syrians are One Wave in an Ocean of Refugees

The heart-rending image of Alan Kurdi dead in the sand, as though sleeping peacefully, sparked a global mobilization to aid Syrian refugees. But while they number more than four million, Syrians still only represent one-fifth of the almost 20 million refugees in the world today -- the greatest global refugee population since World War II. While Canadians open their homes and wallets to Syrian refugees, here are some of the others we cannot allow to be forgotten.
09/18/2015 08:10 EDT
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A Decade of Gains Made in Global Education Is at Risk

As Canada's streets fill again with yellow buses, we're reminded how fortunate Canadians are in the educational opportunities available to our children -- opportunities that do not exist for millions of others. And while the world has made great progress on education over the last decade, there are alarming signs we're losing some of the gains we've made. When the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to end extreme poverty were launched in 2000, the United Nations recorded more than 196 million children and teens not attending school. The biggest barrier is poverty -- And for many children, schools are far from their homes, requiring much more in boarding costs.
09/10/2015 05:22 EDT
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We Need to Have Greater News Coverage of International Issues

The bomb blast ignited the hut's roof. Flaming thatch fell into a foxhole full of cowering children. A young brother and sister died horribly, and six more children suffered terrible burns. These children were among the thousands of casualties of a months-long indiscriminate bombing campaign that the Sudanese government carried out in that country's southern Nuba Mountains this past spring -- supposedly to attack rebel guerrillas. We have yet to see a single report in Canadian media about this horror. The shocking absence of this story in our news highlights a worrying trend: the decline of foreign reporting.
09/04/2015 08:11 EDT
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Finding Shelter for Homeless LGBT Youth

Earlier this summer, Canada's first transitional housing dedicated to LGBT youth opened in Toronto--the YMCA's Sprott House. Reading about this great initiative raised our awareness about an issue that needs to be on the radar of all Canadians -- the unacceptable rate of LGBT youth who have no place to call home. LGBT youth become homeless for much of the same reasons as other young people -- family conflict, abuse, mental health issues and addiction. LGBT youth also experience higher rates of mental health and addiction issues in large part because of discrimination.
08/28/2015 08:02 EDT
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We Should Use Compassion to Get Tough on Crime

In a moment of boredom, two teens in Lanark County, Ont., smash their way into a hardware store and help themselves to the goods. Police nabbed the pair soon after. But instead of going before judge and jury, the teens faced their victims in a citizen-run "restorative justice" forum. It's an approach that's gaining popularity across Canada, showing there's more than one way to be tough on crime.
08/21/2015 12:27 EDT
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Volunteerism Is Creating the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Many believe entrepreneurial spirit and skills can't be taught. Certainly that was the opinion of one of Craig's MBA professors. "Either you've got it or you don't," he once opined to Craig. We disagree. You can teach entrepreneurship, and you might be surprised how -- through volunteering and being active in social causes.
08/14/2015 08:26 EDT
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Young Muslim Canadians You Don't Hear About on the News

According to the most recent Canadian census, Canada has more than one million Muslims citizens--they're our country's fastest growing religious population.. Yet sadly, when we searched Canadian news using the keywords "young Muslim," seven of the top 10 articles that came up concerned violence and radicalism.
08/06/2015 05:24 EDT
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Technological Solutions for a Thirsty World

Access to water is one of the biggest challenges facing the planet today. We have to address the underlying causes, like climate change, overconsumption, waste and pollution. However, that alone won't overcome the problem -- not in time for millions of people in need of fresh water. Fortunately there's some incredible technology emerging to recycle or create new sources of water--dowsing rods for the 21st Century. eventy-one per cent of the world's surface is covered by water. But the vast majority of that is ocean--salt water we can neither drink nor use to irrigate our crops.
07/31/2015 09:12 EDT
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Canadians Need More Love and Respect For Water

Home to 60 per cent of the world's lakes, we are a nation with water at its heart. But some thought leaders say Canadians are losing an awareness of, and passion for, our water resources. It's a connection we need to rekindle for our country to successfully tackle some serious threats to the treasure that is our water supply.
07/23/2015 12:23 EDT
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Let's Close the Gap Between Canadians and Refugees

Canada offered asylum to a mere 11,000 of the millions of displaced Syrians. Even then, an Ekos poll in March found that 46 per cent of Canadians still feel Canada is accepting too many immigrants and refugees. A poll last year found 42 per cent believe refugees should not be given the same level of health care as Canadian citizens. We don't understand this hardening attitude. Refugees like Nisreen's family aren't criminals or freeloaders. We are just like them. But for the grace of God we could be them.
07/16/2015 12:43 EDT
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How Microfinance Helps Developing Nations

Microfinance loans range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the need. They help low-income Canadians start small home-based business, assist new immigrants like Zorya in getting the training they need to practice their profession, and help vulnerable individuals--like women fleeing abusive relationships--get through personal crises. We love the idea that an innovation designed to help developing communities lift themselves out of poverty could also be key to unlocking Canada's entrepreneurial potential.
07/10/2015 12:24 EDT
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Canadians Need to Ask Big Questions About Our Society

A national election is months away, but campaigning has already begun. While party leaders talk issues of economy and security, no one is asking the big question: what kind of society do we want? Canada is no longer one of the top five countries for integrating immigrants, a European think-tank announced in May. For decades, we've heard that Canada is a "just society" -- based on equality and freedom for all upheld in laws. We've built our just society, but is Canada becoming a less compassionate one?
07/03/2015 07:21 EDT