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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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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
Getty

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
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Medicine Hat Proves Idealism and Realism Can Walk Hand in Hand

This year, Medicine Hat became the first city in Canada to effectively end homelessness. Almost 900 people in this small town of 61,000 have been placed in rent-free apartments or houses. And the benefits are clear: police calls and hospital emergency room visits are down. "You're going to end homelessness? Yeah ok, good one," he recalls thinking. But the society argued that the $20,000 per year cost of housing someone was as much as four times less than the expense of policing and health care when that person lived on the streets.
06/19/2015 07:54 EDT
Wherearethechildren.ca

Reconciliation Must Come From People, Not Just Parliament

As Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) releases its final report about the residential school system for aboriginal children we wonder, where is Canada's catharsis? With little media coverage up until the release of the final report, and even less public engagement, Canada has had no such emotionally transformative moment. Canada needs reconciliation. The last residential school only closed in 1996. All aboriginal communities still suffer from their impact
06/12/2015 08:23 EDT
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A Changing Battlefield Complicates the Fight to Help Child Soldiers

Every day we witness the power of young people to transform their communities and the world. The potential lost when a child is handed an AK-47 instead of a schoolbook or soccer ball is one of the greatest tragedies imaginable. But as governments stop recruiting children, over the past year militias and terror groups like the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in Nigeria, have horrifyingly indoctrinated thousands more. And the way these militias use their children is changing in terrifying ways.
06/06/2015 08:43 EDT
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A Sense of Purpose Can Make You Live Longer

Mabel is one of the elderly participants in an ongoing study at Rush University in Chicago. When she decided to set a goal at 85 years old to write one letter a week, she no longer felt cocooned at home because of her arthritis. Researchers, including psychologist Dr. Patricia Boyle, have discovered that having a purpose in life can actually improve our health.
05/29/2015 09:34 EDT
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We Must Pay More Than Lip Service to Our Soldiers and Veterans

When Canadian soldiers returned from World War II, local business and community leaders formed committees to ensure vets had jobs and the support they needed to start a new life. It's time to re-examine that idea. Soldiers deserve more than a handshake when their service ends. "Support our Troops" must be more than an empty slogan on a bumper sticker.
05/15/2015 07:36 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Unique Pen Pal Project Brings the Yemen Conflict Home for Ontario Students

As part of a modern-day pen pal project for kids at North Ward Public School in Paris, Ont., students are corresponding with an aid worker and peace activists in Yemen. These young Canadians -- who have never known war first-hand -- now understand the far-off conflict better than their parents and many other adults. And they're bringing solace to people beleaguered by violence.
05/10/2015 07:44 EDT
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The Next 10 Years Will Offer Limitless Options to Change the World for the Better

When we set out in 1995 to end child labour, we stood on a straight road with just two directions to choose from: donate to a charity, or start one. It's incredible how much has changed in the world of "doing good" since then. It's been thrilling to see the growth of social enterprise and corporate citizenship over the last 10 years. Even more thrilling is what these changes will mean for the average consumer over the next decade.
05/08/2015 08:31 EDT
Getty Images

What 20 Years Has Taught Us: Empowering People to Be Changemakers

When we help, the patient become the doctor, the student become the teacher, the troubled youth become the counsellor -- when the helped becomes the helper -- the impact multiplies by orders of magnitude. It's the difference between giving youth a seedling to plant, and empowering them to lead their community in growing forest.
05/05/2015 05:30 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

#BringBackOurGirls and the Limits of Clicktivism

One year later, what has #BringBackOurGirls accomplished? It didn't bring the girls home. Second-hand reports suggest that 57 of the girls escaped their captors, but the rest are still out there, likely sold off as child brides (or sex slaves). Recently, a UN official said there's evidence they may be dead. It's a sad illustration of the limitations of "clicktivism" -- the use of online media to advance causes. There must be a plan to engage supporters once they've clicked, and keep them engaged, even after the hashtag stops trending.
04/17/2015 12:51 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fighting Climate Change Is Fighting for Human Rights

Last week, the world observed Earth Hour. Across Canada people flipped off the lights in a symbolic gesture to support action against climate change. But some influential voices like Watt-Cloutier and Mary Robinson -- former prime minister of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner -- suggest we're looking at climate change the wrong way. Climate change is not only an environmental issue, they say. It's also a human rights issue.
04/10/2015 09:05 EDT
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The Masculinity Crisis Is Important to Explore

Boys and young men often erect a front of dominance, control, even aggression, because they believe that is what is expected of them. That toxic culture has tragic consequences. In Canada, the male suicide rate is three times that of women. Boys are three to five times more likely to drop out of high school than girls.
03/12/2015 12:57 EDT