Free The Children

Free The Children

September 30, 2010 09:00 ET

Alexandre Bilodeau, Craig Kielburger, K'naan, World Renowned Leaders for Peace, and 18,000 Youth Ignite a Movement of Social Action at We Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

Today some of the world's most influential social activists, leaders and performers will join 18,000 enthusiastic students at the Air Canada Centre for the largest youth empowerment event of its kind, Free The Children's We Day. Influential speakers and celebrities will address some of the world's most critical problems and teach students they have the power to be part of the solution. The event will be streamed live online at http://weday.ctv.ca allowing people from all over the world to tune in to the life changing moments. The event is also being taped for the CTV special CTV PRESENTS: WE DAY 2010, airing on Saturday, October 30 at 7 p.m. ET (visit CTV.ca for local broadcast times).

Leading the electrified crowd in a rally for social change will be etalk's Ben Mulroney as the host for the event. Students and educators from across Canada will be inspired by the powerful messages of Alexandre Bilodeau, Canadian gold medal Olympian, Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, Deepak Chopra, award-winning author and physician, and Free The Children co-founders and international children's rights activists, Craig and Marc Kielburger. Toronto's hottest seven member pop rock/hip hop band, Down With Webster along with YouTube musical phenom Greyson Chance and Canadian poet and musician K'naan will pump up the crowd with energizing performances. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author and peace activist, Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, and former child soldier Michel Chikwanine will connect from different corners of the world for a discussion on peace. 

We Day, the event itself, is only just the beginning of a larger youth-driven movement, creating systemic change around the world. Students and educators will leave We Day with fresh inspiration and passion to make a difference and are provided with the tools necessary to make this change a reality. Many will commit to Free The Children's We Schools in Action program, pledging to take one local and one global action within the school year. Throughout the school year these students will organize and activate their own action plans for change and will be able to see the positive results of their efforts.

The incredible efforts of students in the We Schools in Action program have helped build 150 schools in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, China, Haiti and Sri Lanka and provided clean water to more than 60,000 people internationally. Students have also logged more than one million hours of volunteer work and raised over $5 million since 2008, benefiting over 500 local charities.

"Fifteen years ago, one boy's courageous story inspired 12 students to stand up against poverty and exploitation. That group of 12 has grown to over a million strong. Today 18,000 students will come together, breaking the perception that young people are powerless to change the world for the better," said Craig Kielburger, co-founder, Free The Children. "In the last year, We Day's inspirational messages propelled students into action volunteering over one million hours of service and raising $1.5 million for local causes and $3 million for global causes."

This powerful day will also mark the official unveiling of Free The Children's call to action for the coming year – a drive to reach 1 million 'likes' for We Day on Facebook (facebook.com/weday). 

For every person who "likes" We Day on Facebook, sponsors will donate $1 to Free The Children. The goal is to reach one million "likes" and $1 million will be donated, providing incredible support to children struggling against poverty and exploitation.

We Day on Facebook is also a hub of social change, with daily postings of inspiring stories, videos and ideas. This page creates an ongoing connection to the unique energy of Free The Children's We Day while providing a space for the community of everyone who has been moved by We Day—world leaders, celebrities and youth taking action around the world.

Imagine the difference one million 'likes' could make.

We Day will continue to connect students across the country stopping next at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on October 15. Finally the movement will continue to Théâtre St-Denis in Montreal on November 12. More information on these events can be found at www.weday.ca.

To further connect, We Day, Free The Children and Craig Kielburger are available through these social media outlets:

Facebook:

- www.facebook.com/weday

- Tag @weday

Twitter:

- www.twitter.com/craigkielburger

- Hashtag #weday

We Day is free to all students and educators thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, including co-title sponsors National Bank Financial Group and OMERS Worldwide and broadcast partner CTV. Students who are unable to attend We Day can still take part in day by watching the live and interactive webcast at weday.ctv.ca.

About Free The Children

Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children has a proven track record of success. Through the energy and passion of youth, Free The Children has built more than 650 schools around the world, providing education to over 55,000 children every day. The organization has received the Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information please visit www.freethechildren.com.

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