Chapter Two – The Cult of Kielburger

Kids in 17,000 schools have been encouraged to take the WE Pledge, join the WE movement, and “Live WE.” But what does that really mean? In practice, it has meant fundraising for WE, paying the Kielburgers’ private company for a “voluntourism” trip, going to work for WE, and living in communal WE housing. According to many of those who lived WE, it meant joining an organization very much like a “cult.”

Music by Audio Network


Official responses from WE:

With regards to child labour, WE Charity has said

“WE Charity’s commitment to ending child labour is evident and beyond reproach based on more than 20 years of dedication to working with the poorest children and families around the world.”

When asked about its partnerships, the WE Organization has said:


“We recognize that no company is ‘perfect,’ but we take a 360-analysis to determine the overall socially responsible practices of the business. We take our vetting process seriously and have frequently declined/halted pursuit of partnerships because they do not align with our values… We are dedicated to adhering to our strict vetting process, even in cases where the opportunity cost has been millions of dollars.”

The WE Charity story, according to WE:

WE Charity’s responses to Canadaland’s questions:

2018 investigation:

2019 investigation: Transparency page: Financials page:

ME to WE Transparency page:

Further reading:

Canadaland’s reporting on WE Charity:

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


Guelph Politicast

It Takes a Child

Craig Kielburger’s Story – A Journey into Child Labour

Directed by Judy Jackson

Produced by Judy Films


The Story of Craig Kielburger

produced, and narrated by Sherine Mansour



In Search Of Character

LiveWire Media

Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc

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