Free The Children’s We Day
Inspiring a generation to act.
We Day is:
- A free full day educational event inclusive of many great causes in our local, national, and international community
- A stadium full of elementary and secondary school students who have committed to a minimum of one local and one global action
- A stage with the greatest heroes of our time and young change makers
- The launch of We Act, a year-long comprehensive service learning program that empowers a generation to care about local and global issues. The program provides the practical tools needed to turn the inspiration from We Day into at least one local and one global action to benefit the issues and causes that youth care about.
We Day is the signature experience: the movement of our time, bringing together a generation of youth to be engaged in changing the world through an inspirational event and yearlong educational program.
We Day is an initiative of Free The Children, an international charity and educational partner that works with schools to implement the We Act program. Staging each We Day – now in eight cities across Canada, and growing – is a massive undertaking, which is made possible with the help of Free The Children’s partner, Me to We. The social enterprise offers major logistics support, thousands of hours of volunteers and professional services – all part of its support and partnership with Free The Children. In addition, Me to We donates half of its profit to Free The Children, while the other half is reinvested to grow its social mission.
We Day is an investment. The immediate impact is the millions of dollars raised for local and international charities, and millions of hours volunteered. The long-term impact is that young people are more likely to volunteer, vote and give – for years to come.
Through their activities, and with the support of Free The Children, students are given the opportunity to participate in student-led campaigns, explore and develop their capacity for leadership, and to engage with the world in new ways. In turn, their efforts provide tangible benefits for local communities and around the world.
Through We Day and the We Act program:
- $26 million has been fundraised for 900 causes
- 5.1 million hours volunteered for local and global causes
We Day aims to empower each young leader in attendance to find the cause that speaks to them. Rather than positioning different problems, issues or charitable organizations as competing with one another, We Day seeks to show that every issue is interconnected and we must work together to create a more compassionate local and global community.
When participants dedicate themselves to taking one local and global action as part of their We Day commitment, this action can be anything selected by the students or school groups. Some youth do choose to take part in campaigns that are run through Free The Children, such as We Scare Hunger or We are Silent, while others may choose to support unrelated initiatives. For example, students may hear Rick Hansen’s story and choose to support spinal cord injury research. They may have had a loved one suffer from cancer and choose to support cancer research. Or they may want to learn more about the challenges facing First Nations youth by getting involved with the work of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative.
We Day focuses on many diverse causes and was established within a collaborative framework: bringing youth together to identify and promote different ways they can make the world a better place.
A small selection of the organizations featured at past We Days include:
- The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, www.maei-ieam.ca
- ONE DROP, ONEDROP.org
- Kids Help Phone, www.kidshelpphone.ca
- The Rick Hansen Foundation, www.rickhansen.com
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights, www.humanrightsmuseum.ca
More than an event, We Day celebrates the movement of young people leading change through We Act.