by Aaron Moore
Encouraging youth to solve child labour
Marc and Craig Kielburger are two brothers who are helping to change the world. Marc spoke on behalf of himself and his brother at the University of Regina last week.
When Kielburger lectured on “Leadership and Global Responsibility: How Canadians Can Make a Difference in the World” in the Education Auditorium on Thursday, March 24, he emphasized the importance of their organization, Leaders Today, and explained the state of child labour in underdeveloped countries.
In 1995, when they founded Leaders Today, the Kielburgers “wanted to educate people about the situations going on in the world … and we wanted to empower people to take action so we can help create a better world.”
The Kielburgers train youth to be leaders and public speakers in various settings, including in underdeveloped countries like Mexico and Kenya.
The important thing when teaching youth is to be realistic, he said. “If you say you’re going to solve world hunger, you’re probably not going to do it.”
Kielburger said if you set small goals, you may someday achieve something as great as ending child labour worldwide.
“It was just an idea. It was small, with tangible [ideas], and it just grew and grew.
“[Leaders Today] has exploded because it’s necessary,” Kielburger said. “People are identifying with it and saying they want to do something with [their] life.”
Now, about 200,000 youth attend their leadership programs ever year. With Free the Children, an organization focused on helping homeless children in underdeveloped countries and for which Kielburger is the executive director, they now operate 400 schools with 35,000 students. They also have chapters in many high schools and in about 80 universities.
The brothers’ newest project is a book, entitled Me to We.
“The premise of the book is to transform your life to [serving] others, and the hypothesis is that the best way to transform your life is by helping others.” The book’s tour has reached about 200,000 high school students.
Kielburger emphasized the importance of education in pursuing a goal like his.
“Knowledge is power. The more education you have the more powerful you can become.”