ABOUT WE CHARITY
25 years creating transformative impacts
at home and around the world.
CARRYING ON A LEGACY
WE Charity was founded in 1995 when Craig Kielburger, then 12 years old, read the story of Iqbal Masih, a child labourer of the same age who escaped slavery and was murdered for advocating for children’s rights. Inspired to take action, Craig rallied his classmates and his brother, Marc, to join him. Iqbal’s story showed Craig and Marc that people as young as them could drive significant change in the world. They channelled this inspiration into creating WE, a global movement that sought to give young people a voice and a platform to become agents of change around the world and in their own communities.
Through WE Schools innovative service-learning programs, the organization helped turn the tide on declining civic engagement in Canada by engaging and inspiring students to support more than 5,000 causes and log over 70 million hours of volunteer service. Through WE Day, a global series of events that featured renowned speakers, activists, celebrities and youth taking action, WE inspired hundreds of thousands of young people to act on issues that mattered to them, some for the very first time in their lives.
Internationally, what began as a fight against child labour grew into a global movement that works in partnership with communities to develop the tools to uplift themselves from poverty. The pillars of WE Charity’s international development model, WE Villages, were engineered over 25 years to work in five key areas—education, water, health, food and opportunity—that together create transformative and lasting impact. WE has built over 1,500 schools and school rooms around the world, educating 200,000 children; partnered with 30,000 women in its alternative income programs; and helped one million people gain improved access to clean water and sanitation.