Our very own Founder and CEO, Libby Hikind, recently watched a movie and saw a newsreel about WE.org and its partnership with Cinemark. She was struck and impressed by the efforts at teaching children values and how to enact social change.
“WE.org teaches children to appreciate their environment and belongings, and most importantly – to share. The programs engages youth to share and provides them with a view of the lives of children and families in underdeveloped countries.”
What is WE.org?
We.org is an international organization designed to empower and inspire people to change the world. In particular, to change the living conditions for developing nations. It sponsors events like WE Day which celebrates children and adolescents making an impact in their communities. It also started another program called ME to WE which donates proceeds from the sales of products possibly handcrafted by people from the very area to which donations are going. It also sponsors another program called WE Free the Children which implements a sustainable international development model, Adopt a Village.
More about ME to WE
For instance, at ME to WE, you can choose from necklaces, bracelets, baskets and more! There is even a touchscreen face watch by 1:Face which helps benefit a one month supply of lunches to a single child in a partnered community. You might love the necklaces and bracelets made by a “mama” in Kenya who receives fair wage for her labor. The Rafiki, or “friend” bracelets are particularly popular. Proceeds from a BE YOU Rafiki set of 5 sale, go to a Free the Children community. There, the proceeds may contribute to access to clean water, school supplies, healthy meals, financial tools and healthcare.
Students filled the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for WE Day Minnesota 2014 (Photo Credit: Adam Bettcher, Getty Images)
More about WE Free the Children
According to the Free The Children website, a subsidiary of WE, “Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner.” It is a Canadian organization that collaborates both domestically and internationally. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Free the Children partners with communities to enact change. With a combined effort from local leaders and families, Free the Children implements effective and sustainable transformations for the community.
Adopt a Village
There is a 5-pillar development model, called Adopt a Village, which Free the Children uses. The first pillar is Education. This goes beyond just building a school. Free the Children provides books and school supplies, teacher training and extracurricular programs. These efforts have been proven to help children focus at school.
The next pillar is Clean Water and Sanitation. Free the Children helps install bore holes, hand pumps, wells, hand-washing stations, pipes, rain catchment systems as well as latrines. This helps keep a community quenched and sanitary. In addition, it enables sustainable farms.
The next pillar is Health. Free the Children provides clinics, health training, workshops, and medical supplies to partnered communities. Thus, children can attend school and adults can run businesses healthily. Also, being healthy makes a community more sustainable.
The next pillar is Agriculture and Food Security. With founding partner, PotashCorp, Free the Children helps provide family farms, school gardens, nutrition programs, improved seeds, agriculture training and irrigation projects. This is so communities have nutritious food for their young members as well as consistent food sources.
The final pillar is Alternative Income and Livelihood. Free the Children helps parents, especially mothers, with new monetary opportunities through financial literacy workshop, leadership sessions and vocational training. This is important for a mother supporting multiple children.
WE.org, with WE Schools teaches children values. It helps show them how to be compassionate and enact transformative social change. WE Schools helps youth understand the issues as well as how to get involved. It also helps them link up to other youth who want to help the cause. This in turn, creates a global community of youngsters poised and ready to change the world.
The program has a holistic approach. Not only do students engage their school and community, but they build knowledge, self-confidence and passion. According to WEDay.com,
“WE Day and We Schools aim to cultivate a new generation with the vision and commitment to tackle local and global issues, from bullying and homelessness to poverty and the environment.”
Grants and Crowdfunding
Each pillar of Adopt a Village is integral for halting the development of poverty. If you’re interested in related grants for your nonprofit, check out International.GrantWatch.com and search under Children, Elementary Education, Farming/Agriculture, or other topics. Here are some examples of available, international grants:
Women's Fund Partnerships: Grants to International Organizations to Empower Women and Girls in Disadvantaged Regions – Deadline: May 31st, 2016.
Grants to New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec Nonprofits for Economic Development, Education, and Basic Needs – Deadline July 15th, 2016.
Think about starting a crowdfunding project at GrantsWE.fund and choose from the 100 categories listed there. Crowdfunding is taking the subject to the people and letting them decide to fund your project. You might want to choose Elementary Education, Teacher Training, Drinking Water, and much more.
About the Author: Sabeen has studied Mass Communication and is a writer. Currently, she is writing for GrantWatch and its affiliates.