Over the years, we've seen how one person can make a big difference in the world. When Craig Kielburger was twelve years old, his idea of childhood was changed forever when he read about a little boy in Pakistan, sold into slave labor for $16, who had been murdered. Craig was so affected by the story that he started his own organization, Free The Children, to fight for the rights of children and help stop child labor.
Write Free The Children and learn how you can help build schools.
Or visit their website, www.freethechildren.com
Heartbreaking Stories of Neglect
Craig has traveled the world talking to children who are forced to live and work in desperately poor conditions. During his first trip to India, he met children who worked 12 hours a day in a brick kiln and never had the chance to attend school.
Craig also visited with an eight-year-old girl whose job was to sort through used syringes and needles in a recycling factory. The needles came from hospitals that treated drug addicts. The girl had never heard of AIDS, but said she had pricked herself many times on the used needles.
In the Philippines, Craig talked to an eight-year-old boy who had never set foot outside the trash dump where he was born and works all day, every day. Craig says, "The only thing I can promise the kids who I meet is that I will take their stories and I will tell them to anyone who is willing to listen." About Free the Children
Since 1995, Free the Children has grown into the largest network of children helping children in the world—100,000 members in 35 countries! Since first appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1999, Free the Children has been able to build over 400 primary schools providing education to over 35,000 children around the world.
Craig has taken his crusade to fight for children's rights to Congress. He has met with Prime Ministers and queens, Mother Teresa and the Pope. Craig's mission is to bring freedom and education to children in some of the poorest places around the globe. Craig says his most important message is that "Kids can make a difference."
Opening the Doors to Education Oprah's Angel Network teamed up with Craig and his organization, Free the Children, to build schools. Through the direct support of Oprah's Angel Network, Free the Children has built 36 primary schools in 11 countries, providing education to 2,500 children. See how these schools will help end the vicious cycle of poverty and hopelessness.Parents and Teachers
Marc and Craig Kielburger founded Leaders Today to train and motivate thousands of young people each year, equipping them with the tools to make a difference. Leaders Today has administered leadership training programs for hundreds of schools, community groups and religious centers around the world. Moreover, Leaders Today organizes overseas volunteer spring break and summer trips to Nicaragua, India, Kenya and Thailand. These are some of their suggestions.
Parents, Help Children Become Socially Aware
Listen to your child: Allow your children to communicate their thoughts and feelings about what they've heard on the news or at school. This may involve setting apart some time each week for a chance for your child to speak to you one-on-one. In such a case, your job is to practice "active listening" and to not solve your children's problems; rather, empower them to be problem solvers. You can do this by asking strategic questions about their future, their ultimate outcome and what is morally right.
Help identify your child's "gifts": It is crucial that a parent communicate to their children that they have a special gift or talent. Help your child identify their special abilities. Is your child a good athlete, artist, listener or friend? Encourage your children to celebrate their talents.
Celebrate heroes: Set aside a time to learn about heroes on a local, national or international level. Tell your child about the people who inspire you. Learn about people in your community who are making a difference. Be inspired together.Volunteer:Now more than ever, youth are confronted with international problems. Parents, often trying to protect and shelter their children from negative images, indirectly teach children to close their eyes and hearts to the suffering of others. Allow your children to become a "global citizen" and volunteer together at a cause that allows them to use their special talents.
Volunteer: Now more than ever, youth are confronted with international problems. Parents, often trying to protect and shelter their children from negative images, indirectly teach children to close their eyes and hearts to the suffering of others. Allow your children to become a "global citizen" and volunteer together at a cause that allows them to use their special talents.
Teachers, Make Learning Interactive and Fun!
Discuss daily news items with your students in class.
Have every student bring in an article discussing a social issue and present it to the class.
Make watching the news a homework assignment and then quiz them on three main news stories.
Run a homeroom challenge to see who can gather spare change, canned food or clothing for a cause that your students pick.
Have a Charity or Non-Profit Organization Fair where activists and community groups set up a booth explaining their cause and the work that they do.
Keep a bulletin board in the classroom for students to post newspaper clippings, community articles and volunteer opportunities.
Allow students to organize fundraisers for a cause of their choosing and give them class time to work on the project.
Each week, have a student give a presentation about an individual they admire. Add to the challenge by getting them to find youth heroes or heroes in your state/province
Invite your Congressperson or State Representative to speak to your class about a pressing issue concerning youth.
Invite guest speakers from various social movements and organizations to speak about their experiences and share their knowledge.
For more ideas and projects, visit www.freethechildren.com or www.leaderstoday.com
Contact Information Free the Children 233 Carlton Street Toronto, Ontario M5A 2L2 PH: (416) 925-5894 FAX: (416) 925-8242 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Website www.freethechildren.com
Leaders Today Marc and Craig Kielburger founded Leaders Today with a common vision to empower youth to become socially involved. Using interactive and innovative curriculum developed by outstanding young leaders, Leaders Today trains and motivates thousands of young people each year, equipping them with the tools to make a difference. It is the branch of Free the Children that organizes overseas volunteer spring break and summer trips to Nicaragua, India, Kenya and Thailand.
Leaders Today truly believes that young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today. Visit www.leaderstoday.com for more information.
Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, December 10, 2013