Chapter One – The Children's Crusade

Craig Kielburger was the Greta Thunberg of the 90s – a 12 year-old kid from the suburbs who dreamed of freeing the world’s children from slavery. His activism made him famous, and he was endorsed by Oprah, the Pope, the Queen, and the Clintons. His campaign became a global movement and a powerful brand. 


But right from the start, there were uncomfortable questions about money and exploitation. Decades later, it all came crashing down. But the seeds of WE’s self-destruction were planted right from the start…


Official responses from WE:


According to the WE Organization: neither the WE Organization nor Marc or Craig Kielburger have ever been investigated by a law enforcement agency, currently or in the past.


The WE Organization maintains that all financial transactions between its various entities, both charitable and for-profit, have followed all applicable laws.


In his libel claim against Saturday Night Magazine: Craig Kielburger said that the article was false and led people to wrongly believe he was keeping the money for himself. According to a reported statement by a Free the Children accountant, donations made prior to the organization becoming a registered charity were deposited in a separate bank account, and the group was being run as a charity pending Revenue Canada’s approval of its application.


2018 investigation:

https://www.canadaland.com/all-of-wes-answers-to-canadaland-and-letters-from-their-lawyers/


2019 investigation:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21044335-we-responses-to-canadaland-2019?responsive=1&title=1


Further reading:


Canadaland’s reporting on WE Charity: https://www.canadaland.com/?s=we+charity


The WE Charity story, according to WE: 

https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/we-charity/our-story


WE.org Transparency page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/we-charity


WE.org Financials page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/we-charity/governance/


ME to WE Transparency page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/me-to-we


Music by Audio Network


This episode contains source materials used under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.


Sources:


It Takes a Child

Craig Kielburger’s Story – A Journey into Child Labour

Directed by Judy Jackson

Produced by Judy Films

Youtube


The Story of Craig Kielburger

produced, and narrated by Sherine Mansour

CPAC

Youtube


In Search Of Character

LiveWire Media

Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc

https://www.livewiremedia.com/product/in-search-of-character/


The Price WE Paid

The Fifth Estate/CBC


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