Culture & Entertainment

We Day: Why I keep attending

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

We Day: Why I keep attending

We-day-Ottawa Yesterday I attended We Day Ottawa, making it the third time I have gone to a We Day. We Day is an event put together by Marc and Craig Kielburger, the founders of Free the Children, where they hope to encourage kids to create change in their communities and around the world. You're probably thinking "Why do you keep going back?" And that's a valid question. The format of each of the We Day's is very similar, thousands of local kids attend and scream for hours on end as multiple celebrities come on stage to talk to them. It may seem like your typical tween concert, but it's not. The kids are screaming for Martin Luther King III, Queen Noor and Spencer West. And yes, the kids still do scream like crazy when celebrities like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez come on stage. But their screams only get louder when these celebs start talking about how youth can change the world. As adults it's easy to be cynical about things like "changing the world" and "world peace," because we've seen how cruel the world can be. But these kids at We Day don't have that cynicism and instead have such enthusiasm for making the world a better place. And not only do they want to make the world a better place, they're actually doing it. All of the 16,000 kids that attended We Day Ottawa earned their way there by giving back to their community, whether that be by collecting canned goods for local food banks or by collecting change to help raise money to build schools in developing nations. This year there were 13 We Days around the world and through the enthusiasm of these kids, Free the Children is able to build 200 schools, including 100 in Africa to honor Nelson Mandela. That's amazing. But what I find particularly amazing is that these kids don't stop giving back once We Day is over. In fact, 80 per cent of kids who participate in We Act fundraisers continue to give back, volunteering for more than 150 hours a year. And what really floored me is that 79 per cent of alumni voted in the previous national election! In a country where voter apathy is high, this is extraordinary. So no matter how cynical you are, you have to admit that We Day creates an engaged generation of kids, who are interested in world events and take an active role in shaping our country.      
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We Day: Why I keep attending

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