by Madison Hadfield, Grade 11
Marc Kielburger and his brother Craig founded Free The Children in 1995 when Craig gathered 11 school friends to begin fighting child labour because of an article he read about a twelve year-old boy named Iqbal Masih. Iqbal had been forced into child labour at the age of four, and when he escaped at the age of twelve and started speaking out about child labour he was killed.
Today, Craig and Marc’s organization Free The Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, with more than 1 million young people actively helping in over 45 countries. SMUS was privileged enough to have Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children come to visit us on Friday, September 17th. SMUS has been actively involved with Free The Children, so it was a really exciting opportunity to hear Marc speak in such a small venue.
Marc has traveled around the world and witnessed the negative impacts of child labour first hand. It was amazing to hear all of Marc’s stories about his travels around the globe, and understand the emotion and passion behind them. He was so inspirational and positive, despite all the terrible things he has been exposed to through his journeys. He truly believes changing the world is possible, and he shared that crucial outlook with all of us.
He got everyone pumped up for social change, and couldn’t wait to tell us how plausible ending poverty child labour is in our generation. He put forth his faith in us, and made sure it was clear that he believes in our generation and our power to change the world! I think I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait to get the ball rolling this year in the SMUS Free The Children group, and help create positive social change!