Craig Kielburger Bio: Live Story, Facts and Charity Information
Craig Kielburger is a social entrepreneur, a best-selling author, and a motivational speaker. As a teenager, he became a social activist. He co-founded the ME to WE organization that included the WE Charity programs along with his brother, Marc Kielburger.
Craig Kielburger Personal Life
Craig Kielburger was born on December 17, 1982, in Toronto, Canada. He is the younger son of two teachers, Fred and Theresa Kielburger. Raised in Thornhill, Ontario, he became a dedicated and high-profile children’s rights activist in his high school years. In 2002, Craig carried out a Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Toronto while carrying out his charitable initiatives. He became the youngest graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program at York University in 2009.
He married Leysa Creswell, who is a faculty member of the center of mindfulness studies.
Craig Kielburger was influenced at the young age of 12 years when he came across a child labor story in Pakistan. He took up the cause for the underprivileged children making his mark with his activities and stirring speeches. With the help of donations and charities that came his way, he started the family of organizations with his brother Marc, emphasizing the power of “WE”. The WE movement was initially headquartered from their home and later expanded to multiple countries across the globe.
Craig, along with his brother, founded a few organizations under the WE movement, such as WE Charity, which has a development model of WE Villages in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They have helped lift more than one million people out of poverty.
The two brothers also co-founded WE Schools and WE Day in Canada, the USA, and the UK. After launching WE Schools and WE Day, the brothers then co-founded ME to WE, a pioneering effort indeed from whose profits the charitable institutions sustain themselves.
Craig is a best-selling author of the New York Times and has published 12 books and a nationally acclaimed syndicated columnist. His latest book is Living Me to We: The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians.
An Accidental Foray into Charity
Craig Kielburger came across a newspaper article in 1995 about a 12-year-old Pakistani boy forced into child labor and later murdered for his protest against forced child labor in the Pakistani carpet factories. This article was the turning point in Craig’s life as he was about the same age as that boy. He rallied as a teenager and launched Free the Children. This youth-led advocacy group sought to draw attention to child labor.
His organization’s first significant action was to sign a 3,000-signature petition calling for the release of Indian child labor activist Kailash Satyarthi. Kielburger gave speeches about child labor at schools, churches, and community groups. He impressed everyone during a speech before the Ontario Federation of Labour, leading to $150,000 in donations to the Free the Children organization.
Craig Kielburger Charity Works
ME to WE is a business that uses the profit generated from its economic activities for social and economic development. Kielburger’s WE Charity organization focuses mainly on youth education and mobilization. Much of his work revolves around developing youth so that they can bring about effective social change.
Craig has delivered more than 6,000 youth innovative programs to thousands of young social workers in Canada, the USA, and the UK. This largest network of youth or rather children helping children across 40 countries through education alone. The effort has helped build more than 650 schools in developing countries and provides education to more than 55000 children every day.
Craig and his brother Marc organize WE Day to oppose child labor every year. These events are telecast and reach millions of users online, and when you factor in the massive success and reach on Facebook, it makes the WE charity one of the largest out there.
Awards and Honours
Craig is a recipient of The Order of Canada, the Nelson Mandela Freedom Medal, and the World Children’s Prize. He was recently voted as one of Canada’s top most trusted influencers in a Readers Digest poll and named as Canada’s Most Admired CEO in the public sector.
Even as he was studying at the University of Toronto, Craig was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Craig’s massive humanitarian work has received worldwide recognition. He has also appeared on the BBC. Besides having the privilege of being the youngest graduate, Craig later went on to receive at least 15 honorary doctorates and degrees for his tremendous work in the field of human rights and education.
He had the honor to share the same stage and give speeches alongside other Nobel Peace laureates, heads of state, celebrities, including President Bill Clinton, Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Richard Branson, and many more influential figures.
Making a Difference in the Lives of Children
Craig Keiburger remains an inspiration for the youth and underprivileged children across the globe. Having started at the young age of only 12 years, even today after 30 years, he remains committed to his charity work. He remains passionate and a full-time volunteer for international charities and educational partner that empowers the have nots.
His “Free the Children” inspiring project has led to successful joint ventures with leading corporates, including KPMG, Research in Motion, and Oprah Winfrey Angel Network.
ME to WE has leveraged his charitable works with profits that help the charity sustain and continue. Leadership Programs, life Changing Volunteer trips, materials, speakers bureau, and books are just a few of the immense social missions pursued by this One-Man army.