WE Day


The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/601458

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 11

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS SPECIAL FEATURE | SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2015 | PAGE 2 RBC_17029-11_Change Agents-WinFreePress.indd Change Agent: Alex Deans Age: 18 Hometown: Windsor, ON Mission: The iAid, a navigation device that uses echo technology. Someday I will revolutionize navigation technology for the visually impaired. RBC is helping Alex and #ChangeAgents like him across the country reach their Someday ™ to make a difference in people's lives. Follow Alex's story at: rbc.com/changeagents RBC_17029-11_Change Agents-WinFreePress.indd 1 2015-10-07 11:15 AM grew up in Ethiopia and Somalia without ac- cess to clean water or education, it meant a lot to attend a day-long educational event focused on stories like hers. Human rights champions like Mary Robinson (previous UN High Com- missioner of Human Rights) and Kweku Man- dela (activist and grandson of Nelson Mandela) spoke about pressing issues. Performances by Kardinal Offishall, Hedley and JRDN brought star power to the stage and inspired the 16,000 student attendees. Every one of those kids earned their ticket by making an impact on causes they chose for themselves. When Acadia Junior High students took on clean water as one of their initiatives, Nasra felt a personal connection. "In Canada you can wash your clothes, you can take a shower," she says. "Back home, if you don't have water you have to go to the lake, and the lake is dirty water." Her family hauled water to and from the lake in a bucket, often unable to pay the $25 to fill up at the village fountain. They boiled the contami- nated water and hoped not to get sick. On May 21, Nasra shared her story with thou- sands of students at Investors Group Field for Pembina Trails School Division's Human Rights Project. A collaborative art installation, the proj- ect covered the entire field with a mosaic com- posed of 15,000 eight-by-10-inch tiles that stu- dents and staff designed to express what human rights meant to them. Nasra's depicted clean wa- ter flowing out of a tap into a clean lake. She was joined on stage in presenting her tile by fellow Acadia student Maltha Uwambajimana. "I did [a tile on] the right to education because I have seven siblings and my mum didn't have enough money to pay for all of us to go to school," explains Maltha, 13, who grew up in a refugee village in Tanzania. "I was the only one to go to school because I was the youngest." The girls' tiles contributed to the art instal- lation, which took two days to assemble on the field. Pembina Trails School Division is an official partner of the WE Schools program. Many of the 33 schools that participated in the human rights project will be at WE Day Manitoba to create another stadium-sized mosaic: 16,000 young people brought together by a shared belief in the power of WE. To find out how you can get involved in the WE Day movement, visit weday.com. S ix weeks, four coffins. This spring, an epidemic of youth sui- cides devastated the isolated First Nations reserve of Sha- mattawa, 745 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Now Trina Miles, a 22-year-old Shamattawa resident, is seek- ing answers and solutions to the tragedy that befell her close-knit town. Across Canada, a growing number of passionate young people like Miles are determined to tackle the pressing social and envi- ronmental challenges in their communities. Three philanthro- pists — Winnipeg 's Hartley Richardson, the president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited; David Aisenstat, the pres- ident and CEO of the Keg Steakhouse & Bar; and the Richardson Foundation — are empowering these youth activists, investing a total of $15 million in an innovative new Global Learning Centre. As Richardson, Aisenstat and the Richardson Foundation envi- sion it, the Global Learning Centre — projected for completion in Toronto by summer 2017 — will feature meeting rooms and high- tech communications suites that allow young people to harness the power of tools like social media and Skype. With these facil- ities, the centre can accommodate leadership training for youth both on site and remotely, and create connections between youth groups and schools, as well as inspirational speakers and mentors across Canada and around the world. Experts at the centre will develop curriculum materials and re- sources that bring service learning into the classroom. The build- ing will also house the consolidated headquarters of Free The Children. "It will be like a Microsoft Campus for good," says Marc Kiel- burger, co-founder of Free The Children. Youth in remote rural and aboriginal communities will greatly benefit from the opportunities the centre will create. In 2013, Trina Miles flew to Winnipeg to participate in a weeklong leadership training with Free The Children's We Lead program. "I was a troubled kid before that leadership week. I thought about taking my own life," Miles recalls. "Then my whole perspec- tive changed, like I had a meaning on this aski [earth]. I was given leadership skills and now I'm more prepared for what's ahead of me." The training gave her the self-confidence to go out and talk to other youth in the community about the issues they face, and how to solve them. "With WE Day and these leadership weeks, you see these kids walk out excited, big smiles, with a purpose. It's an amazing ac- complishment," says Aisenstat. Bringing just one youth from a remote community like Shamat- tawa to Winnipeg can easily exceed $1,000 in transportation and accommodation costs. It's even more expensive to bring them to other parts of Canada, or the world, to interact with and learn from other young people. This limits the number of students who can participate in such transformative experiences. The centre's technology will connect people from around the globe and help Free The Children reach out and provide ser- vice-learning opportunities to many more like Miles. The dream of the Global Learning Centre was born half a world away, on the savannah of Kenya's Maasai Mara, according to Hart- ley Richardson, co-chair of WE Day Manitoba. Strolling under the vast open sky, Richardson and Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children, talked about Free The Children's 20th an- niversary and where the organization was headed in its next 20 years. "I put forth the vision of building a learning centre to teach social change. A place where young people develop the skills for service and leadership, where youth from around the world will connect and learn from each other," says Richardson. "As a trustee of the Richardson Foundation," he continues, "our board is proud to be part of an initiative that will make such a pow- erful and positive global impact on our next generation of commu- nity leaders." Far up in Shamattawa, Miles can barely contain her excitement about the possibilities the Global Learning Centre will offer as a catalyst for young activists. "It sounds so amazing," she says. "It will take things to another level. Our young people will be able to expand their vision, and it will hopefully trigger social action in them." When the doors open in 2017, the centre will also be an invalu- able tool in Miles' quest to help the youth of Shamattawa. "There's only so much we can do now. The more resources we have, the big- ger impact we can have." WE DAY INSPIRES MANITOBA STUDENTS TO TAKE ACTION CONT. FROM PAGE 1 >> In addition to raising $40,000 for different charities over the past nine years, Acadia Junior High's HOPE students have also collected coats, toys and food for organizations in Winnipeg. Nasra Ahmed Siraj (le) and Maltha Uwambajimana (right) painted tiles about their experiences with human rights and presented them to a crowd of 4,000 at Investors Group Field. e new Global Learning Centre will open its doors in the summer of 2017. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, it will connect young people throughout Canada, including those in remote communities, with service-learning and leadership opportunities. From le to right: Hartley Richardson, Marc Kielburger and David Aisenstat. Long-term supporters of Free e Children and founding chairs of WE Day, Richardson and Aisenstat, alongside the Richardson Foundation, donated the funds to bring the Global Learning Centre to life. New Global Learning Centre will connect youth with the world By Kieran Green PHILANTHROPISTS INVEST IN A DREAM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of WE Day - 2015