A ‘How to’ guide for success

A ‘How to’ guide for success
Dear Youth Leader,
Grab your friends and Celebrate for Change!
Did you know that each year, 50 million of the children born around the world are not registered at birth? Millions of these
children don’t know when or where they were born, and never get to celebrate their birthdays the way we do.
In the Klong Toey slums of Thailand, we know of an amazing group of children who live on the streets. And yet they
celebrate life even though they don’t have homes and are often hungry. Many of these children never met their families
and were left at the door because their parents couldn’t take care of them. Most don’t know when they were born. So once
a year, one lucky kid picks a day to celebrate “everybody’s birthday.”
The party was organized by the kids themselves—kids who couldn’t afford shoes of their own but shined other people’s
shoes and saved pennies one by one to buy simple things, like watermelon, for their celebration. Although the mountain
of presents we usually find at North American parties was missing, the joy in the room on this special birthday would be
difficult to match.
These kids have inspired Free The Children to create Celebrate for Change, a program that helps you throw a party to
recognize the birthdays of children everywhere.
We congratulate you for helping children in one of the five places in which Free The Children works— the rural areas
of Kenya, Sierra Leone, China, Sri Lanka and Ecuador. The money you raise through Celebrate for Change supports
programs—including building schools and clean water wells—in these five countries.
The birthday kit you will be given has everything you need to get started planning your Celebrate for Change party. Please
take some time to go through the kit and this ‘How to’ guide to get to know the campaign.
In this ‘How to’ guide, you will find links to other Free The Children resources to help you and your friends learn about
the problems that other children face around the world. Use these links to learn as much as you can about the countries
and issues you will work with through Celebrate for Change. After all, the more you know, the more you’ll be able to teach
other people and the more they will want to get involved.
If you have any questions while you’re planning your party, please contact the youth programming team. We’re here to
help and we love hearing from you! See the “Contact Us” page at the end of this guide for information on getting in touch
with us.
Thank you for taking the first step towards helping children in the developing world and giving them a voice by celebrating
their birthdays. Your energy and excitement show the power of young people to change the world!
Now it’s time to get started planning your party!
Youth Programming Team
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1.416.925.5894
Table of Contents
Section One: Getting Started
About Free The Children
About Celebrate for Change 5
Section Two: Steps to Success
Step 1: Get your birthday kit 7
Step 2: Login to the website 7
Step 3: Hang your poster
Step 4: Learn about GlobePoints
Step 5: Plan your party
Step 6: Fundraise with invitations and presents
Step 7: Research the five countries and educate others
Step 8: Plan awareness activities
Section Three: Resources 12
30-day Celebrate for Change campaign
Free The Children contact info
Frequently asked questions
Evaluation form
About Free The Children
Free The Children is the world’s largest group of children helping children through education. Through our special youth
focus, more than one million young people have been involved in our programs in more than 45 countries. Founded by
international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children has a history of success, with three nominations
for the Nobel Peace Prize and partnerships with the United Nations and Oprah’s Angel Network. The main goal of the
organization is not only to free children from poverty and exploitation, but also to free young people from the idea that they
are powerless to change the world and to improve the lives of other children.
An established record of achievement
Free The Children has a history of successful projects that help children in the world’s poorest countries. Over
the past 10 years we have:
built over 450 primary schools, providing education to 40,000 children every day
delivered over 202,500 school and health kits to children around the world
carried out alternative income projects that provide steady work for women, helping more than 22,500 people
shipped $11 million US in needed medical supplies
provided health care centers and projects that have helped 505,000 people
provided 132,000 people with access to clean water
Celebrate for Change Campaign
WHAT is Celebrate for Change?
The Celebrate for Change campaign is a chance for you to raise awareness and funds for children and their communities
in the five countries where Free The Children works: Kenya, Sierra Leone, China, Sri Lanka and Ecuador. This 30-day
campaign helps you celebrate your efforts to change the world and celebrate the birthdays of all children around the world
while you celebrate your own!
HOW does it work?
With the help of a birthday kit and a campaign poster of the five countries, you will plan a birthday party where your goal
is to “travel” around the world. You will get passage to one of the five countries for each awareness activity at your party.
Your goal is to lead five of these activities so you can travel around the world on the poster and “visit” the five countries.
Your party will also help to raise funds for Free The Children’s projects in the rural areas of Kenya, Sierra Leone, China,
Sri Lanka and Ecuador.
You will have an entire birthday kit kit—including invitations, a ‘How to’ guide and more—to help you plan every step of the
way to your Celebrate for Change birthday party
WHY participate?
The Celebrate for Change campaign is in honour of “invisible” children. Around the world, millions of kids don’t know
when they were born. Some don’t even know their ages. UNICEF calls these children “invisible,” highlighting their lack of
rights in the 2005 State of the World’s Children report. They are among the 50 million children born each year who are
not registered at birth. And when they’re not registered, they never officially exist. Governments can easily ignore these
children, especially when they’re in dangerous situations, like working in a factory, or they don’t have the basic things they
need to survive.
WHO can participate?
Everyone! Whether it’s one person like you or a caring adult, everyone can make
an amazing difference in this world! The campaign is meant to reach as many
people as possible so they can learn about the issues affecting our world and
support your campaign to make a difference.
Quick Facts
Globally, one in five people lives on less than $1 US a day
For every year a person spends in school, they are able to earn an average of ten per cent more money, which makes
it easier for them to take care of themselves and their families
120 million children around the world are denied the chance to go to school
218 million of the world's children are child labourers, some as young as five years old
50 million of the children born globally each year are never registered with their governments – officially, they do not
exist and their rights are not protected
By throwing a birthday party
in honour of all young people
around the world, you will Celebrate for
Change. The money you raise will help
kids go to school and provide families with
food, clean water and a chance to earn a
regular income. Have fun!
Steps to Success
Getting Started
Every great party begins with a great plan. Your Celebrate for Change party is going to help so many children in the
world’s poorest countries, allowing them to learn and grow. The next eight steps will help you plan your Celebrate for
Change party. So, are you ready? Let’s go!
Step 1: Get your birthday kit
Planning a party takes a lot of organization. The youth programming team is here to help you get started. We’ve prepared
a birthday kit with all the tools you need for every step of planning. To get a birthday kit, contact your youth coordinator
and they will send you a kit in the mail.
The birthday kit contains all your planning tools:
Campaign poster
Party-planning checklist
Sample fundraising letter
Trivia games
Thank you cards
Guest List
Step 2: Login to the website
A special area of the YouthZone website is an extra place to find help with the Celebrate for Change campaign. When
you ask for your birthday kit, your youth coordinator will also give you a login ID and password for this special area called
YouthZone groups.
Use this login ID and password to login to your YouthZone groups area. Here you will be able to read about other young
people holding a Celebrate for Change birthday party and get ideas for games and much more.
Step 3: Hang your poster
Once you receive your poster in the mail, it’s time to hang it up. Put your poster up in the room where you will hold your
party. This poster is a way for you and your guests to keep track of your “trip” around the world.
The Celebrate for Change poster highlights five countries: Kenya, Sierra Leone, China, Sri Lanka and Ecuador. These are
the five countries where Free The Children works. Through your party, you will help children and their communities in one
of these areas. Your goal is to “travel” to all five of these countries by collecting enough GlobePoints to move across the
Step 4: Learn about GlobePoints
Think of GlobePoints as the energy that takes you to your destination. To travel the whole way around the world, you’re
going to need lots of energy!
In order to travel around the world to all five countries, you will need to earn a total of 5,000 GlobePoints. For every 1,000
GlobePoints you earn, you can put a country sticker on your poster, showing that you have travelled far enough to reach
that destination. There is one sticker for each country, so you will earn five stickers in total. You can earn GlobePoints by
leading awareness activities at your party. Read Step 8 to learn about these activities.
Step 5: Plan your party
It’s important to start planning your party well ahead of time to make sure you stay organized. There is a special party
checklist in your birthday kit. This checklist shows all the small planning steps to do each week for the whole month before
your party. If you don’t have a whole month to plan, you can change these steps so you can finish them in less time.
As soon as you get your birthday kit, read through this checklist to get an idea of everything you will need to do before
your party. By starting early and sticking to the list, you’ll stay on track and make sure your party is the best it can be.
Socially Responsible Parties
Social responsibility is the idea that we should think about how all our choices affect the environment and other people
in our neighbourhood and around the world. By planning a socially responsible birthday party, you can make sure that
everything about your party helps others. It’s easy to plan a socially responsible birthday party by thinking about the ideas
• Ask questions:
Do I really need all this stuff? Cut down on the amount of materials you use
Is there another product I can use instead that is recyclable or reusable, or comes with less packaging?
Do we know where this product comes from? Were the people who made the product paid and treated fairly?
Do we know what to do when we are finished using this product?
• Do your research:
Look at how products are made and see if workers are paid fairly and have good working conditions. The
websites of companies are a great place to start.
Find out the meaning of fair trade and see if the products you use are fair trade
Is the product and the way the product was made good for the environment?
• Be the change:
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Speak out about the importance of socially responsible parties – tell your guests
Take it into your neighbourhood – ask socially responsible businesses for donations for your party
Step 6: Fundraise with invitations and presents
Your party checklist says you should send out invitations three weeks before your party, but you will need to make another
decision about your invitations before you send them. If you would like to, you can use your invitations as a way to raise
money for Free The Children’s projects. By asking your guests to make a donation with their invitation, you can turn your
party into a great fundraiser. Set the price of your invitations by thinking about how much money you want to raise, and
how much you think your guests will be able to give.
You can also raise money through your party by asking your guests to make a Free The Children donation instead of
giving you a present or as an extra with your present. There is a sample fundraising letter in your birthday kit which
explains fundraising with presents to your guests. You can edit this letter for your party and send it with your invitations if
you want to collect donations as presents.
The money you raise through your party will help children in one of the five countries where Free The Children works.
Step 7: Research the five countries and educate others
Learning is the secret to a great campaign. By understanding why Free The Children works in the five countries that you
are fundraising for, you’ll be ready to answer questions about your campaign and your awareness activities will be even
better. You might also find that your fundraising is stronger because your guests understand why the five countries need
their help. Get your family together and start learning.
Free The Children’s online resources are a great place to begin your search for information.
See the suggestions below to get started:
Visit Free The Children’s online profiles from the five countries: www.freethechildren.com/programs/schoolbuilding/
Learn more about Free The Children’s projects by visiting www.freethechildren.com/getinvolved/geteducated/.
Have a tough question and can’t find the answer? Try Free The Children’s online “Ask the Professor” tool, and get an
expert answer from Dr. Jonathan White. Visit www.freethechildren.com/getinvolved/geteducated/asktheprofessor.htm
or e-mail your questions to [email protected]
Do your own research on these countries and issues by visiting the library, searching online or reading the newspaper.
Check out these awesome sites!
United Nations Cyber Schoolbus
Nickelodeon 2015
Association for Women’s Rights in Development
Global Issues
Global March Against Child Labour
International Labor Organization
Understanding Children’s Work
United Nations
United Nations Millenium Development Goals
UNICEF – State of the World’s Children
World Bank – PovertyNet
Watch for Bias
Everybody has a different opinion on an issue. The way our opinion affects how we tell other people about an issue is
called our “bias.” Think about the bias of everything you read while you are doing research. Remember: there is more than
one side to every story—it’s important to know the different sides so you can gain a clear understanding of the issues.
Step 8: Plan awareness activities
Educating your guests about the issues that children in the five countries deal with is called “raising awareness.” This is a
great way to educate people who already know about the issues and introduce the issues to new people. They might even
decide to get involved because of what you taught them.
You can educate your guests with the five awareness activities that you lead at your party. Below is a list of awareness
activities. You can choose five of these suggestions, or you can come up with your own ideas. Just make sure to check
out your ideas with your youth coordinator before you start planning.
Awareness activities:
Play the trivia game in your birthday kit
Learn how to say “happy birthday” in as many languages as you can and teach your guests
Learn about a traditional birthday celebration from another culture and do it at your party
Serve one type of food from one of the five countries
Make a gingerbread house in the shape of a school from Free The Children’s Brick by Brick schoolbuilding
campaign. See pictures at www.freethechildren.com/programs/schoolbuilding/index.html.
Watch a movie about another part of the world or a social issue
Sing a LEV3L (Level 3) “Happy Birthday,” where everyone sings with as much energy and action as they can.
Visit www.leaderstoday.com/aboutus/level3.php.
T-shirt decorating party: ask each guest to wear an old T-shirt and write kind, Me to We thoughts on each
other’s shirts. Fun tip: use glow in the dark pens.
Dress up as a famous world leader – ask your guests to do the same.
Paint or draw pictures of peace
Learn a song from another culture and teach it to your guests
Invite someone to play and teach African drums
Give a speech at your party about a problem in one or more of the five countries
Ask a parent to read an excerpt from Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World aloud
Write a song or poem with your guests about an important problem
Learn a dance from another part of the world
Free The Children’s website has plenty of information to help you plan your awareness activities and come up
with even more ideas. Check out the following places as a start:
Adopt a Village power points
Public speaking tips
Information on ordering books
YouthZone newsletter
Profiles from the five countries
Links to other online resources
30-day Celebrate for Change Campaign
If you liked hosting a Celebrate for Change birthday party, there is more you can do to get involved. Celebrate for Change
also has a 30-day campaign. With this campaign, you can spend an entire month doing fundraising and awareness
activities in your school or community to earn GlobePoints, just like in the campaign you are doing right now. At the end of
the 30 days, you throw a party to celebrate “invisible” children, a lot like the party you will have for your campaign.
To find out more about the 30-day campaign, talk to your youth coordinator or read the ‘How to’ guide for groups.
Contact Us
Please contact us anytime with questions, comments and updates. We look forward to working with you.
Youth Programming Team
Free The Children
Phone: 1.416.925.5894
E-mail: [email protected]
By mail:
Free The Children
233 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON
Canada M5A 2L2
Free The Children: www.freethechildren.com
Explore the Free The Children website for information on our awesome campaigns, international projects, news updates
and more.
The YouthZone: www.freethechildren.com/youthzone
The YouthZone section of the website has great information on Youth in Action groups, Youth Speakers, the “Voices of
Youth International Newsletter,” blogs and lots of useful resources. For resources to help you plan and execute your
Celebrate for Change campaign, check out the “Make it Happen” section of the YouthZone at http://www.freethechildren.
com/youthzone/makeithappen/index.html for more great information on meetings, press releases, interviews, donation
request letters and more!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: How do I sign up for the campaign?
Answer: Contact the youth programming team and we will sign you up. See the “Contact Us” page for ways
to contact us.
Question: What is a GlobePoint?
Answer: A GlobePoint is a unit that is used to measure your progress in raising awareness. You need to earn 5,000
GlobePoints by completing five awareness activities in order to travel around the entire poster.
Question: Where do I get a birthday kit?
Answer: Your youth coordinator will send your birthday kit and poster in the mail.
Question: Do I have to take four weeks to plan my party?
Answer: No. You can take as much or as little time as you want. The four week party checklist is just an idea that you
can use no matter how much time you spend planning.
Question: Do I have to ask my guests for donations instead of gifts?
Answer: No. You can ask your guests to bring a gift and a donation, or you can just ask them to bring a gift and ask
them to donate in another way. Be creative!
Question: Do I have to ask my guests for a donation for their invitation?
Answer: No. You can ask them to donate with their gift instead, or you can use your imagination to find another way for
your guests to donate.
Question: Does my Celebrate for Change party have to be for
my birthday?
Answer: No. You can throw a Celebrate for Change party for
any special day, or just for fun.
Evaluation Form
An important part of any event is the follow up with an evaluation. By filling out this Evaluation Form and sending it in to
Free The Children, you will be helping yourself and Free The Children hold even better events in the future. You can send
the form to us by e-mail, fax or mail. Please keep a copy for yourself.
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: 1.416.925.8242
Mailing Address:
Free The Children
Attention: Youth Programming Team
233 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON
Canada M5A 2L2
Project: Celebrate for Change
Describe your party:
What worked well?
What would you change for next time?
Did you find the kits (birthday kit, poster, etc.) useful? How could they be made better?
How could Free The Children be of better help to you?
Any other comments you would like to share with us?
Your contact information:
Phone: __(__)___________________
E-mail: _________________________________________________
Thanks for helping out.