Criag Kielburger and Marc Kielburger continue to be leading social entrepreneurs, legacy architects, and movement builders. They are working with leading businesses, foundations and world leaders to build movements for good. They are working with Marth Luther King III to help launch Realizing the Dream.
One morning over breakfast, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger was flipping through the newspaper looking for the comics when he was stopped short by a story: Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old former child slave in Pakistan, had been murdered because he spoke up for human rights. Craig was 12. Iqbal was 12. In that moment, Craig was struck by a single and profound connection—except for the happenstance of birth, he could have been Iqbal—and he needed to do something.
Along with his older brother, Marc, Craig and his team set out on a bold mission: to free children and their families from poverty and exploitation. But they soon discovered that freeing children from slavery was not enough—the families of freed children continued to struggle to support themselves and many freed children had to return to work. Craig and Marc expanded their focus.
Recognizing that there is no single solution to end poverty, Craig and Marc created Free The Children’s WE Villages, an innovative, holistic approach to development that provides access to five key pillars—education, water, health, food, and opportunity — and empowers a community to lift itself out of poverty.
Together, these five pillars achieve greater impact than each pillar could achieve on its own. A school that also delivers food and clean water programs ensures that girls can go to class, instead of walking long distances to fetch dirty water for their families. A medical clinic plus alternative income programs ensures community health care that families can afford.
WE Charity USA continues to operate and create remarkable impact at home and abroad.
Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the Canada Student Service Grant, WE Charity Canada made the challenging choice of phasing out its operations in Canada. In a bid to safeguard vital initiatives such as hospitals, schools, and food security programs in Kenya, the Canadian charity opted to create an endowment that would provide lasting support for ongoing WE Charity projects.
WE Charity Canada left a remarkable impact on both domestic and global fronts. On an international scale, the organization has revolutionized the quality, accessibility, and influence of education in every community it engages with, forming partnerships with community leaders, families, and local governments. These collaborations have yielded substantial enhancements in healthcare, clean water accessibility, financial education, economic opportunities, and food security, ultimately empowering communities to prosper.
Upon the announcement of the wind-down of WE Charity Canada, it was also declared that all WE Village communities would receive support to finalize ongoing development projects. For many communities, these projects signify the culmination of the WE Villages 5-Pillar development model, meticulously crafted to ensure enduring sustainability. Subsequently, the organization has collaborated closely with community partners to honor this commitment in the upcoming months. These projects are entirely overseen and managed by the communities themselves, now equipped with the local capacity to strategize for future needs, including population growth, and to spearhead sustained transformation.
WE Charity USA continues to focus on global education through the WE Schools program and works closely with the educator community. Internationally, it will focus its sustainable development work in Ecuador.
The WE Charity Foundation will carry on the work started through WE Charity Canada. The Foundation is an independent organization with the mandate to ensure the continued support of impactful regional flagship projects in Kenya, those that will ensure transformational change for generations.
Marc continues to harness his decades of experience in working with philanthropic individuals and companies to create legacies that inspire movements, mobilize people and create impactful social change.
Currently, Marc is working closely with Martin Luther King III, along with the Drum Major Institute, on the Realizing the Dream initiative.
Teaming up with Holly Branson of the Virgin Group of Companies and his brother Craig Kielburger, Marc co-wrote the globally acclaimed book, WEconomy. This international bestseller serves as a practical guide for individuals and businesses seeking to integrate purpose into the core of their careers and operations. Beyond WEconomy, Marc has authored 11 other books, including the New York Times bestseller "Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World.
Marc Kielburger completed his secondary education at Brebeuf College School in Toronto and Neuchâtel Junior College in Switzerland, graduating from both institutions in 1995. Marc graduated from Harvard University where he successfully obtained a degree in International Relations. Furthering his academic pursuits, Marc received a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in 2000, leading him to University College, Oxford. At Oxford, he earned a law degree focused on human rights.