‘Free the Children’ Founder to Visit U of G Campus

March 14, 2012 - News Release

“Free the Children” founder Craig Kielburger will address University of Guelph students March 19 on “Me to We: How One Person Can Make a World of Difference.” His talk is part of a project to raise $8,500 to build a school in Kenya led by U of G’s Interhall Council (IHC) and the CSA Free the Children club along with the Central Student Association (CSA) and the University’s BetterPlanet Project.

Craig KielburgerLandscape architecture student Benjamin Hayes said he hopes the event will encourage students to be active in their communities and elsewhere. “I’d like fellow students to be reminded of how easy it can be to get involved and change our world,” he said. “I’d also like to increase public awareness of what U of G students are doing to promote social justice in Guelph and overseas.”

Hayes is Prairie Hall president and represents that residence on the IHC, which advocates and plans events for students living on campus. Interested in social justice since elementary school, Hayes proposed the Kenya school-building project to the group.

“We are in an enviable position to help provide a space for learning to people in Kenya who otherwise would not be able to receive an education,” he said. “Our student government is wholeheartedly supportive of this goal, and Craig Kielburger was invited to the campus to motivate students and give them the mindset and tools to participate in social justice issues. I believe his speech will inspire people to make a difference.”

“Free the Children” is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. The organization has built more than 650 schools and school rooms for youths around the world.

An internationally renowned speaker, Kielburger has shared the lectern with Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, among others. He has been featured on television programs such as 60 Minutes and in major publications, including The New York Times. Kielburger studied peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto and has received two honorary doctorates. His many awards include the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Children’s Nobel Prize.

Kielburger will speak at 7 p.m. in War Memorial Hall. Limited to 500, tickets cost $10 each. They are available at the door, in student residences and the University Centre.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@uoguelph.ca.

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