In 1995 at the age of 12, when Craig Kielburger read about child labour in developing countries, he was appalled. So he brought a group of his friends and classmates together to form ‘Free The Children’ with the aim of eradicating child labour around the world Today, Free The Children are the world’s largest network enabling children to help other children through education. It has more than one million young people involved in its innovative education and development programs across 45 countries.
Through Virgin Atlantic Foundation partnership with Free the Children, they are working with village communities in Ghana, Kenya, India and China. Villagers often face the challenges of climate change on a day-to-day basis, particularly as extreme weather patterns make access to water increasingly difficult. This can be devastating as many communities depend entirely on growing crops and raising cattle to survive. In a drought, there might not be a drop of rain for many months. The crops that sustain the villagers can’t grow, animals can’t survive, and women and children have to travel further and further to collect water.
They are also supporting Free the Children’s ‘Be The Change’ UK schools tour, which aims to get young people involved in issues that matter to them, so they are empowered to make a positive difference to their own and others’ lives – whether in their own neighbourhood, or somewhere much further afield.