WE Day


The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/752700

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W I N N I P E G F R E E P R E S S S P E C A I L F E AT U R E | N O V E M B E R 16 , 2 016 | P A G E 1 WE DAY SPECIAL SECTION SECTION 1 No one could ever call Lilly Singh an underachiever. This year alone, the Canadian entertainer and comedian known as IISuperwomanII completed a 30-city world tour, released a feature-length documentary and announced she was writing her first book, How to Be a Bawse, coming out March 28, 2017. But while she was visiting the Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School on a ME to WE volunteer trip to rural Kenya this August, Singh believes she met her match. "I went into the school and the girls are telling me that their school day is from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.," said Singh, amazed. "In that amount of time they have clubs, activities, study periods, classes. They work so incredibly hard!" Because high school tuition is unaffordable to many families living in rural Kenya, the WE Charity–run school offers scholarships to every student it accepts. The girls try to Superwoman meets super girls in Kenya YouTube star Lilly Singh helps over 10,000 Kenyan girls go to school ~PETER CHIYKOWSKI Volunteering brings sense of purpose to Samantha-Orvis Campbell's life ~MAY ANTAKI make the most of every moment they get in class. Singh was stunned by their drive. "One of these girls could grow up to be a political leader, could grow up to invent something great. Not even 'could'—they will," said Singh. "I look forward to it!" After class, she walked home with one of the students, Vicky, to meet her family. Over tea, Singh and Vicky talked about what they wanted in life. "All I ever needed was the scholarship," Vicky replied. This had a major impact on Singh, who had come to Kenya for two reasons. One was to experience one of ME to WE's international volunteer trips for herself. The other was to meet the ME to WE artisans she would be working with to release a bracelet to raise funds for girls' education. ME to WE works with artisans in the developing communities where its partner WE Charity operates. Each sale of a #GirlLove Rafiki designed by Singh raises funds to send girls to school. For many of the artisans who earn an income from crafting the bracelets, this means a better future for their daughters. Singh met with Kenyan artisans in ME to WE's atelier to learn how to make one of her #GirlLove Rafikis by hand. "I got to see my Rafiki design come to life. Prior to the trip I had phone calls and sent email after email about colour and vibes," says Singh, whose design celebrates the positivity of girls around the world working together. "To see it in real life was really overwhelming." Afterward, Singh got to sit down under an acacia tree on Kenya's windswept Maasai Mara and hear the life stories of the mamas who work with ME to ME. "They're my new squad," said Singh. "They're so funny and just so positive." Now back in North America, Singh recently shared a 15-minute video of her time in Kenya. She told her fans that for her birthday the only gift she wanted was for them to celebrate the power of women working together with a #GirlLove Rafiki. "I've done a lot of things with my life," says the 28-year-old, "but this is by far the most important." Lilly Singh's #GirlLove Rafiki is now available at shop.metowe. com/girllove. ME to WE runs international volunteer trips for youth, schools, families, adults and companies. Learn more at metowe. com/volunteer-travel. Samantha Orvis-Campbell's grandmother survived residential school to become a severe alcoholic. She sometimes drank mouthwash and hairspray to get through her days. Her trauma and despair was handed down through generations like an unshakeable virus. Orvis-Campbell's mom also drank heavily. And one day, she would, too. The abuse that began in residential school affected the whole family. Growing up in Ashern, Manitoba, Orvis-Campbell, now 25, was sexually abused multiple times by a relative, and when she attended school, she was vulnerable to bullying. The words 'fat' and 'ugly' were hurled at her daily by schoolmates and even family members. "My innocence and confidence were taken away from me as a child," she says. At 14, she left school and struggled with addiction, homelessness and teen pregnancy. "I was lost and depressed. I wasn't educated and I couldn't get a job, so I exploited myself." But in 2014, she started to question her life. "I couldn't imagine what my life would have been like if I had stayed on that path," Orvis- Campbell says. "With all these women going missing, I could have been the next." She decided to return to school to get her high school diploma and enrolled in Adult Education Centres in Winnipeg. In her first year, she was invited to attend WE Day Manitoba, a yearly youth Why did we become WE? To tear down walls, by Craig and Marc Kielburger Celebrating Canada 150 No more motorbikes or wheelbarrows: the difference this hospital is making WHAT'S INSIDE Singh learns to bead a rafiki bracelet alongside a ME to WE artisan. Sales of her #GirlLove Rafiki will go to support girls' education in Kenya's rural areas. 5 6 9 > How young woman healed from intergenerational trauma — Continue on Pg 2 Lilly Singh connects with students at Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School, which provides young women in Kenya's Maasai Mara with the chance to build their leadership skills. Youth can't buy a ticket to WE Day. They earn their way in by taking action on one local and one global issue. WE Day November 16, 2016

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