Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Binzento Journal: WE Day Recap - #CallForChange

Binzento Journal: WE Day Recap
#CallForChange TELUS x Francesco Yates 
(photos courtesy: Free The Children, Binzento, Vito Amati, Daniel Moussienko)
Empowering youths to take initiatives and make positive impact on their communities, and the world, the voice of WE Day roared last week at the Calgary's Saddledome. It was an honor to be invited by TELUS as a guest to attend this year’s WE Day Alberta event, where together we celebrated the amazing dedication and achievements of Alberta's youths to change the world. We Day Alberta 2015 marked the 20th WE Day event. As a first time attendee, it certainly was a memorable experience.

For the fourth consecutive year, TELUS is the national co-title partner of WE Day. This year TELUS have teamed up with Canadian artist Francesco Yates, along with MTV and YOU to remix his hit song “Call” to create the social anthem of our generation. And through its long-term partnership with Free The Children, an organization that provides third world children and their families with the necessities to live a better quality of life, TELUS have given more than $16 million dollars to support this program.

I am especially inspired by how much Free The Children programs have influenced so many youths in North America and in UK to take actions to change the world. In Alberta, there are at least 650 schools participated different Free The Children initiatives, such as ‘WE are silent’- a vow-of-silence fundraiser to adopt a village, and ‘WE Scare Hunger’ - instead of trick-or-treating for candies on Halloween, students encourage non-perishable food donations for the food bank.

At WE Day, I was able to meet and greet its co-founder Craig Kielburger. Him and his brother Marc Kielburger and ten of their friends have started Free The Children when they were just twelve years old. The young group had actively been involved with helping children in poverty, freeing them from slavery and provide whatever support they could to improve qualities of life. WE Day began in 2007 to celebrate youths that have pledged to make a difference. Twenty-years later, this event became the largest charity group on Facebook, and over 3.6 billion media impressions. Their actions remind us that just because you are young, it does not mean you don’t have the power to make a positive impact to the people around you. “Any person should have the opportunity to serve their community and be a hero” said Kielburger.

I spoke to one of the students at WE Day Alberta, Frankie Ray from Charles Spencer High School in Grand Prairie. She started the Maverick Movement Club at her school where they raised more $10K for Free The Children organization through participating various fundraising campaigns. These youths have set great examples for us which is the passion to help others. As adults we can also do our part and help the communities, starting with signing up the We365 app. Perhaps we can support the youths by joining their initiatives.
Craig Kielburger & Telus' Shadi Sakr; Craig Kielburger meet & greet

Craig Kielburger & The Band Perry

WE Day youth Frankie Ray, founder of Maverick Movement Club at Charles Spencer High School in Grand Prairie

I am also really proud that WE Day had started from our Canadian soil. Despite the current economic down turn in our province, Kielburger said Alberta still has the highest volunteer rate per capita in the country!

One of the highlights at the WE Day celebration is music, fun and entertainment. It’s a way to say give 'hugs' and say ‘thanks’ to our youths who’ve worked so hard to challenge themselves to make a difference. This year in addition to Francesco Yates, other performers include Grammy Award-winning country music group The Band Perry, award winning rap artist and Free The Children Ambassador Kardinal Offishall, Juno-award winning artist JRDN, and Canadian artist SonReal.

My first WE Day was really an eye opener. It had inspired me to join the We365, taking the first step to connect with the youths of our generation to change the world. In fact, I took the initiative this past weekend on Halloween and invited a few of my friends’ children to start a WE Scare Hunger campaign (hence a delayed recap of WE Day event :-)) I would like to say Thank you to TELUS for inviting me to such an amazing opportunity. 

You can now also help Free The Children by just a few clicks, for every share of the Francesco Yates’ “Call” music video (link HERE), with hashtag #CallForChange, TELUS will donate $10 to the Free The Children charity!

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
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