We Day Vancouver 2013

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Today, students from over 700 BC schools will gather at Rogers Arena for Free the Children’s We Day and I’m delighted to be covering the event for the fifth year. We Day is an event (hosted in various cities across Canada and the United States) that brings together students who have made a difference in their community over the last year through school programs and We Day/We Act initiatives. They get to listen to inspiring international artists, peacekeepers, motivational speakers, global figures, charitable campaign leaders, and other young people who lead the change to “be the change” they want to see in the world.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

We Day 2010 Dr Jane Goodall

Who is at We Day

More than 800 schools from across British Columbia are currently active in We Act. We Act is a full-year engagement program and support system for youth, schools, individuals, families and companies to turn inspiration into action. We Act goes hand-in-hand with We Day. It’s a highly measurable, highly impactful service learning program!

In 2012, students and educators from across the province have achieved remarkable social change results:

  • Over 360 schools participated in Free The Children’s We Scare Hunger campaign made possible by Campbell’s, collecting 160,512 lbs of food for local food banks.
  • Over 300 schools went silent for 24 hours, standing up for children in developing communities silenced by poverty and exploitation as part of Free The Children’s We Are Silent campaign.
  • Over 460 schools participated in Free The Children’s We Create Change campaign made possible by RBC, raising over $190,000 in support of Free The Children’s water projects in developing communities overseas.
  • We Day Impact

    Since 2007, youth involved in We Act have achieved remarkable social change results:

    • $37 million raised for more than 1,000 local and global causes.
    • 9.6 million hours volunteered for local and global causes.
    • 4 million lbs of food collected for local food banks.
    • 7.5 million hours of silence logged by youth who stood up for children in developing communities silenced by poverty and exploitation.

    We Day Vancouver

    We Day Vancouver 2013

    We Day Vancouver will be underway around 9:00am today with guests like Kofi Annan (Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate), Martin Luther King III (Human Rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Hedley, Craig and Marc Kielburger, The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Lieutenant-General and author), Down With Webster, Kenyan Boys Choir, Spencer West and more.

    We Day Vancouver Day Blog

    Follow this blog for live updates from Rogers Arena all day today, Friday, October 18, 2013.

    Update 20,000 school kids from across BC are on their feet in Rogers Arena as We Day gets underway. After opening remarks, including a message from Premier Christy Clark, the first speaker takes the stage. The lights go dark and the indelible words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech play over the sound system.

    We Day Vancouver

    Martin Luther King III takes to the stage to lead the kids in a chant:

    “Spread the word
    Have you heard
    All across the nation
    are gonna be
    a great generation!”

    King said that if his father and mother were around today, they would have been a part of Free the Children’s Me to We movement.

    We Day Vancouver

    He finished his talk by quoting Douglas Malloch:

    If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
    Be a scrub in the valley — but be
    The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
    Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

    If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
    And some highway happier make;
    If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass —
    But the liveliest bass in the lake!

    We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
    There’s something for all of us here,
    There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
    And the task you must do is the near.

    If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
    If you can’t be the sun be a star;
    It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
    Be the best of whatever you are!

    The focus this year at We Day, and for the next 12 months, is on education. Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free the Children, present a slideshow of innovators, inventors, and inspiring historical figures. From Edison to Curie to Gandhi to King, to JK Rowling – who all receive roaring applause. They also introduce the We365 App.

    Update Mid-way through the show Craig Kielburger sits down with Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate. Annan tells a cute story about how he was mistaken as Morgan Freeman while on vacation in Italy to start the conversation then discusses how important the youth of today are to the world. “You don’t have to be old to lead.” He explains that you don’t have to take on the biggest issues in the world you can do something in your community. He encourages the teachers in the arena to insight creativity in their students, allow them to dream and have curiosity. Kids must be able to explore and take on challenges without fear. Also, it’s important to look back: “Without a sense of history it’s extremely difficult to know where you’re going.”

    We Day Vancouver

    His final message was to the kids: “Young people have to remember that the world is going to be yours. My generation is moving on. You have to have the courage and the strength to take on the issues. Be prepared to work with your neighbours and colleagues.”

    We Day Vancouver

    Update You can also follow Free the Children on Twitter and Facebook. We Day is one of the world’s largest charitable causes on Facebook with more than 3.3 million fans.

    We Day Vancouver Broadcast

    We Day Vancouver is free of charge to the tens of thousands of students and educators in attendance thanks to the generous support of sponsors, including National Co-Title Sponsors RBC and TELUS. It will be streamed live online today at MTV and the Vancouver and Toronto We Day events will be broadcast on MTV and Much premiering Monday, November 11th at 4:00pm PT ET on MTV and Much; and Saturday, November 23rd at 4:00pm PT and Sunday, November 24th at 2:00pm PT on CTV.

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. PeterThursday, November 7th, 2013 — 6:21am PST

    Excellent coverage of the event Ms. Bollwit However, We Day is not free of charge. Entrance to the event is free. But there are many more associated costs. Transportation costs and teacher coverage costs are not covered by Free the Children. Staff organizing busses for 10,000 students is not covered. The taxpayers must cover thousands of dollars for this ‘free’ event. Please feel free to contact the respective school boards for confirmation.

    Secondly, only SELECTED students ‘from over 700 BC schools’ may actually attend We Day. Each school receives no more than 20-30 tickets (and that includes tickets for teachers).

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