October Lighthouse Award Winner | Free the Children

Oct. 10, 2014

​Free the Children was recognized at the Oct. 7 Board of Trustee’s meeting for the outstanding opportunities they provide our students and teachers to enhance and enrich learning environments within the CBE.

Free the Children is an international charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all children are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. They work domestically through ‘We Act’ to educate, engage and empower youth to become active local and global citizens.

Free the Children is part of a family of organizations including ‘Me to We’ and ‘We Day’ that have the shared goal to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘ME’ to ‘WE’ – through how students act and give, the choices students make and experiences with which students choose to engage.

We have partnered with Free the Childrenfor the past eight years. Last year alone, 130 schools participated in the We Act Program with over 12,300 students engaging in local and global action.

During the 2013–2014 school year students:

  • volunteered over 105,000 hours
  • raised over $115,000 that directly benefited local community organizations like the food bank and Calgary homeless shelters.

Two CBE students spoke to their personal experiences with Free the Children:

“At the age of 9, my Dad took me overseas to Africa, where I saw poverty first hand and saw the passion my father had for making a change in our world. I remember as a kid, looking up to my dad in awe. I couldn't wait to grow up to follow his footsteps. However, it wasn't until I was exposed to Free the Children that I realized I didn't have to wait to grow up. I can make a change NOW.

The first time I found out about Free the Children, I was 11 years old. I participated in various activities which allowed me to feel empathy for those involved in child labor. My school participated in the Vow of Silence, our Walk for Water and has had a countless amount of dances to raise money for Free the Children. This is when my spark was ignited.

During ‘My World’ I feel empowered. I feel inspired. I feel motivated. Free the Children provides a platform for students like me to push for change NOW. And most importantly, during these meetings we have had rich and productive discussions that have encouraged and inspired others to join the movement. The energy of other passionate kids fuels my drive to help others”. Iman, Grade 9 student, Simon Fraser School

“I first learned about Free the Children in grade 6. As a kid who really had no idea about who I was, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, this is where I first started to form ideas and learn more about the world.

Since then I have had many opportunities with Free the Children. Most significantly – is my international volunteer trips. I traveled first to Ghana and most recently, this past summer to Kenya. I plan to continue my tradition of volunteering this summer in the Amazon. I know that we make an impact because I saw the change in the local residence. I saw there was a sense of empowerment from those people because they learned they were not alone. They saw that people around the world cared about them”.

Logan, Grade 11 student, Robert Thirsk High School

Chair of Board of Trustees, Joy Bowen-Eyre presents October 7th  Lighthouse Award to Theresa Schiewe, Associate Director of Free the Children. Also in the photo: Deborah Bradbury, Logan, Iman, Bree Schreiber and Bruce Johnston  all of whom have been highly involved in Free the Children initiatives within the CBE.