Craig Kielburger’s name is not known to many. He is certainly not a huge celeb who demands attention every minute.
Yet his work has helped to make the world a better place with his philanthropic attitude and humane values making a difference to all who matter. He along with his brother Marc Kielburger was born into an educated family of teachers and real estate entrepreneurs. The urge to do something for the people who could not be truly free pained his young heart, causing him to form the International charitable organization known as “Free The Children.”
Recognized as one of the biggest charity-driven organizations that work with and for young people, Craig Kielburger faced the enormous challenge of bettering the lives of young children worldwide. That spark of inspiration that compelled him to reach out to the helpless children around the globe and do something to improve their lives began on a fateful day in 1995 when a snippet detailing the gruesome murder of a 12-year-old boy captured his attention. An equally horrifying piece of news about Iqbal Masih, a young Pakistani boy who was murdered by irate employers in the carpet industry brought him face to face with the torture and struggle of young children who are helpless to speak out for themselves and punish their perpetrators.
The entire world sat up and took notice when the reality of “Free The Children” began to make headlines. This charitable organization initially assisted various entities and helped them release child laborers from the pathetic life that they had been leading so far. Unfortunately, the fate of the impoverished children did not see much improvement when they started being resold into slavery again and again. It took all of Craig Kielburger’s efforts to find an effective solution. Free The Children began to build schools across 8 developing countries that included Nicaragua, Ecuador, Kenya, and India.
It was not enough, even then! Its latest initiative is to provide model education to all children irrespective of their background and nationality. Sanitation, access to clean water, food, and health are addressed by this organization as well.
“Free The Children” became “WE Charity” after changing its brand name in 2016. It is engaged in the implementation of various domestic programs aimed to better the lives of children living in the developed countries of the UK, USA, and Canada. The developing nations were not left alone either. Craig Kielburger continued to be involved with community workers for the betterment of communities as a whole across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. WE College was established soon after in Kenya with heads of state from the UK and Canada attending the inaugural event.
All operations of WE Charity were suspended in Canada in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought life to a virtual standstill across the globe. However, all life-saving projects including that of building schools, hospitals, and food security programs continue to provide timely support and assistance to overcome the hardships of life.
It has certainly not been a smooth road for Craig Kielburger and his brother who are noted philanthropists with a vision that has reached people who matter, thus contributing to their efforts of making the world habitable for young children who are subjected to the cruelty and torture of unimaginable proportions. The brothers have had their share of criticism and controversies that have only pushed them forward to improve the lives of children in the future.
Accolades have been showered on the duo, and Craig Kielburger has been invited to speak at events and write columns regularly. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada with the World Economic Forum naming him as one of the top 250 global leaders. His unrelenting hard work to gain rights for the children has been recognized and appreciated by multiple organizations around the globe too. Receiving the Nelson Mandela Freedom Medal was of particular significance as it stood for the downtrodden populace of the world that has to struggle for existence every minute of their lives. The Roosevelt Freedom Medal along with the World Children’s Prize came to him while he was fighting for the young and helpless, determined to make the world a better place for them.
Discussing the plight of young people for 60 minutes in the Oprah Winfrey Show revealed the stark reality that people living very differently in the USA and Europe had no idea about. The 1999 Judy Jackson documentary garnered interest as “It Takes a Child” revealed some of the hard-hitting facts. His experience with children living in South Asia came to light perfectly when Craig Kielburger collaborated with noted Canadian writer, Kevin Major to tell his story that was no figment of the imagination.
Craig Kielburger continues with his good work at present and keeps the world informed with the aid of his column “Global Voices” written on behalf of the Vancouver Sun. He contributes as a columnist on various other platforms, including Victoria Times Colonist, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Waterloo Region Record, Edmonton Journal, Huffington Post, Winnipeg Free Press as well as the Huffington Post Canada online.
His accomplishments have received much-needed support establishing Craig Kielburger and his brother Marc Kielburger as humanitarians who stand tall today by dispelling all doubts about the goodness of human nature despite the odds. Having lifted more than a million helpless children out of impoverishment and a life filled with crime and abuse, he stands as a beacon of hope for the entire mankind today. The kind of adulation that comes his way is amazing. It has also earned him 15 honorary degrees as well as doctorates. His work in the field of education and human rights has made him a household name across Canada today.
It was not surprising to find the Kielburger brothers voted as “Canada’s Most Admired CEO”. The duo has not only managed to change communities in remote corners of the world but has inspired thousands of people and organizations to do the same. Craig and Marc Kielburger have made a lasting impact that is being felt around the world!
More on Craig Kielburger
If you enjoyed this article on Craig and his story about how he continues to help others in need, you can always Google his name and see what he’s currently working on, or follow him through his preferred social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin. And if you prefer video content, you will be happy to know that he also has a YouTube channel, in which he shares content to help inspire others, while spreading awareness for his charities and how to help those in need.