Craig Kielburger grew up in Thornhill, Ontario. He has one older brother, Marc. His parents are Fred and Theresa Kielburger.
He is the co-founder of WE Charity with his brother, Marc Kielburger. He attended the University of Toronto, studying in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He then completed the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program at York University.
When he was 12 years old, Craig read a newspaper story about a child murder in Pakistan, which inspired him and his brother to fight against child labor around the world. In 1995, the brothers founded Free the Children, which would later turn into an organization known as WE Movement.
Craig’s parents helped him and his brother during the initial phases of their non-profit efforts, allowing them to run the operation out of the family home. Craig, then in seventh grade, wrote letters and petitions to political leaders around the world. One of the brothers’ first successes was petitioning the Indian prime minister to release Kailash Satyarthi, a child-labour activist who had been imprisoned for speaking out against labor conditions. Satyarthi was eventually released and later received a Nobel Prize.
When he was just 12 years old, Craig went to Asia to learn about the daily life of child labourers in India and elsewhere. He managed to obtain a 15-minute meeting with the Canadian prime minister, who coincidentally was also in India at that time.
When he returned to Canada, Craig made international news and was interviewed on Oprah Winfrey and 60 Minutes.
The focus of Free the Children shifted when Craig and Marc began raising money for organizations that freed child labourers through factory raids and rescues.
Free the Children ultimately became WE Movement. The organization built more than 650 schools, providing daily education to more than 55,000 children. WE Movement now includes several major projects, including WE Schools, WE Families, WE Villages, WE Well-Being, and WE Day.
Craig has received several awards, such as the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award, and is the second-youngest person to become a member of the Order of Canada. He is also the author of the book Free The Children.
You can find much more stuff about Craig Kielburger on this page!
Craig Kielburger is married to Leysa Cerswell.
Craig has worked with his brother Marc Kielburger since they were children.
Give young people a chance, our generation may just surprise you.
We started the WE organization to empower young people with the tools they need to get started.