Monday, January 12, 2009


Hi :) My name is Cat and here is my blog about Craig Kielburger and his amazing efforts in the fight for Children's Rights. ENJOY!

Works Cited:

all of the following information and images are due to the following sources:

Children with “Free the Children” Sign. Peacemaker Hero. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Cover of Take Action! Best Book Buys. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.!-ISBN_9780471431732.html?isrc=b-search.

Craig and Canadian Prime Minister. Flickr. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Craig and Marc with Children. Inside E Online. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Craig and Young Boy. UW Daily Bulletin. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

"Craig Kielburger Biography." Peace Heroes. 2007. Peace Heroes. 18 Dec 2008

Craig Kielburger (B&W). Leaders Today. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

"Craig Kielburger." Free the Children. 2008. Free the Children. 18 Dec 2008

Kielburger, Craig and Marc Kielburger. Me to We. New York City: Fireside, 2008.

Craig Speech. Free the Children. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Iqbal Malik. Peaceheroes. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Malek, Cate. "Craig Kielburger (Profile)." Beyond Intractability. Ed. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Jul. 2005. /reflections/peacebuilder_profiles/Craig_Kielburger/Craig_Kielburger.jsp?nid=6579.

Marc Kielburger. National Speakers Bureau. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Rysavy, Tracy. "Free the Children: The Story of Craig Kielburger." Yes! Magazine Fall 2008(2008) 18 Dec 2008

Young Craig with Children. SecondPeaceAwardsAnnouncement. [Online Image] 9 Jan 2009.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Biography & Background:

Born on December 16, 1982 in Thornhills, Ontario, Canada, Craig Kielburger was destined for greatness. He is known for his work as a child rights advocate, as a leadership specialist, as an award-winning author, and as a popular public speaker (“Free the Children”). Kielburger has had numerous accomplishments in his lifetime and is still making life-changing progress today in the world of children’s rights. He maintained his degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto and he was recognized as the youngest student ever in the Kellogg-Schulich executive MBA program (“Free the Children”). Kielburger received four honorary doctorates for work in the field of education and human rights, he had traveled to over fifty countries for his cause, he was awarded the Roosevelt Freedom Medal, and he won the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of Children, also known as the Children’s Nobel Prize (“Free the Children”). On top of all of those achievements Craig Kielburger was also awarded the Order of Canada for his outstanding progress in the world of Children’s rights (“Free the Children”).


There were many factors that inspired Craig Kielburger to make such advances in children’s rights. The most influential factor was the newspaper article about Iqbal Malik that Craig read when he was only twelve years old ("Yes!").In 1994, there was an article in the newspaper about a twelve-year-old Pakistani boy named Iqbal Malik ("Yes!"). The article talked about how Malik was enslaved in a carpet factory in Pakistan since the age of four ("Yes!"). He was never allowed to go to school and get an education; he had no freedom what so ever. Iqbal was force to work twelve to fourteen hour days, six days a week, tying tiny knots and making carpets to sell to tourists ("Yes!"). Iqbal was murdered after he was freed because he tried to bring attention to the unjust ways to the public ("Yes!"). His murder was never solved. Craig saw this article and felt closeness to this boy although there were countless differences between their lives. Craig and Iqbal were the same age and Craig felt that he needed to do something to help him. He got together a bunch of friends to talk about the issue and decide a plan of action. The group of boys then heard the story of Kailash Satyarthi ("Yes!"). Satyarthi is an Indian leader in the fight against child labor who was imprisoned for his actions ("Yes!"). Kielburger and his friends wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister and collected three thousand signatures and sent the letter in a shoebox wrapped in brown paper ("Yes!"). Satyarthi was released, and, upon a visit to Canada, Satyarthi recalled the effort and said, “It was one of the most powerful actions taken on my behalf," he said, "and, for me, definitely the most memorable” (“Yes!”). Craig continued working against child labor by signing petitions and faxing world leaders, including the Canadian Prime Minister, to help the cause and join forces ("Yes!"). When the Free the Children Organization was first created the board of directors was made up, in entirety, of boys and girls under the age of eighteen ("Yes!").At age fourteen, Craig went to the slums, sweatshops, and backalleys with South Asian police to help find and free enslaved children ("Yes!"). He then accompanied the police to the children’s houses to speak to the families ("Yes!"). He made enormous progress in his youth and is still proceeding to fight the great fight. Just a newspaper article that would have normally been overlooked, that’s all it took to start this cascade of events and progress that has touched innumerable families and children across the world.

Accomplishments & Contributions:

Through his years of hard work and perseverance Craig Kielburger has made an outstanding amount of contributions and has impacted thousands of children’s lives around the world. First off, Kielburger is founder and chair of the Free the Children Organization (“Free the Children”). This organization was founded in 1995 and is the leading youth-driven charity in the world today (“Free the Children”). Free the Children is an international developmental and youth empowerment organization that influences are felt around the world (“Free the Children”). Funded by garage sales, car washes, bike sales and other such forms of fundraising, this organization puts the power into the children’s hands by allowing them to organize and raise the money themselves to help their peers in need (“Free the Children”). Within two years of its creation, this organization raised money through coin donations in classrooms to fund a rehabilitation center to take in Pakistani children who have escaped from slavery (“Free the Children”). This rehabilitation center provided shelter, an informal school for the children, and it helped keep the children out of the child labor system (“Free the Children”). The impact of the Free the Children Organization on the world, as a whole, was also incredible. So far, this organization has built over 500 schools in Asia, Africa, and Latin America which provide daily education to over 50, 000 children (“Free the Children”). It has also shipped over 200, 000 school and health kits around the world, sending more than eight million dollars worth of medical supplies in developing countries (“Craig Kielburger – Profile”) Free the Children has also helped to create the “Adopt a Village Model” (“Free the Children”). This “Model” had established over 23, 000 alternate income projects to assist women and families to produce sustainable incomes for the rest of their lives. In addition to all of that, Free the Children joined forces with Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network, working on joint projects such as “O Ambassadors” which educates and inspires over one million youths across North America to be socially engaged and to help underprivileged peers across the world (“Free the Children”).
Kielburger is also the co-founder and director of the Me to We Organization, with his older brother, Marc, as the other co-founder. The goal of Me to We is to encourage the ethical living and social responsibility of the world’s youth and to help the Free the Children Organization achieve financial sustainability (“Free the Children”). The children are given the opportunity to learn to live well, strong, and happily for the rest of their lives. The Me to We Organization does not only provide the education to these children, but it offers them a chance at a successful and prosperous life (“Free the Children”). Also, Craig and Marc founded the Leaders Today Organization in 1999. The Leaders Today Organization’s main goal is the teach leadership skills to children and to empower children to fight for their rights. Leaders Today has centers in Kenya and Ecuador (“Peaceheroes”). This organization is one large part of Craig’s fight against child labor (“Peaceheroes”). This organization teaches children that they can do anything they set their minds to, and working in a factory for long hours, little pay, and no benefits is not right. This organization works from the root of the problem to show children another way of life. It helps to work towards a more healthy and successful lifestyle for the youth of the world (“Peaceheroes”). The children are given this wonderful chance to learn how to be successful and strong for the rest of their lives.


- Free The Children
- Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship (Co-Author)
- Take More Action
- Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World
- Columns in Toronto Star
- Columns in Vancouver Sun
- Columns in Huffington Post
- Columns in Canadian Living