An initiative of:

An initiative of:
About Free The Children | 3
Welcome educators!
About Free The Children
Free The Children is the world’s largest network of children
helping children through education, with more than one million
youth involved in our innovative education and development
programs. We are a charity and educational partner that believes
in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest
potential as agents of change. Our domestic programs educate,
engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North
America, the UK and around the world. Our international projects
have brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and
provided clean water, sanitation and health care to one million
people around the world.
Thank you for inspiring and motivating your students to be the change by thinking and
acting ‘we’ all year round.
We started Free The Children with the intent of inspiring young people to care about the
world and our global family. Along the way, we’ve learned that you—as an educator—are
our greatest friend and ally in making this come true. You are shaping a generation that
views life with a compassionate and responsible eye. Your support for Free The Children
in this endeavour is invaluable.
Partnerships with School Administrative Bodies
Free The Children seeks systemic change by creating a generation of active global citizens. The work that we do would not be
possible without the support of educational partners such as
school boards and governments, who help us bring social justice
education into the classroom, and embed it into the fabric of our
educational culture.
Over the years, we’ve also learned that participating in our programs and campaigns
fundamentally impacts youth’s value system, producing transformative change in their
lives, and creating systemic social change within your school.
As you renew your commitment to educating and empowering a generation that will
change our world, our team has prepared this Campaign Kit to help you plan your year
and make working with Free The Children as fun, seamless and easy as possible (we
know how busy you are!). Within the Campaign Kit you will find a series of booklets
with a detailed set of resources for each of Free The Children’s campaigns. Browse each
booklet to learn more about:
Adopt a Village
• Launching a campaign in your school
• Best practices for fundraising
• Working with Free The Children
• Accessing Free The Children’s lesson plans and educational resources
When Free The Children began working overseas, our goal was
to prevent child labour by making education more accessible for
rural and marginalized communities. Over the years, developing
close relationships with our communities taught us that school
building alone cannot solve the complex web of social issues
that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. To tackle these diverse challenges, Free The Children developed Adopt a Village.
Use the following step-by-step guides to help you easily navigate through the school
year. Flip the pages to learn about how to start a club in your school, work effectively
with the media and run successful fundraisers. You will also see how you can engage
your students to take initiative and interest in running campaigns themselves. And don’t
forget to have fun as you change the world.
Be the change!
Craig Kielburger
Co-Founder, Free The Children
Adopt a Village is a unique sustainable development model made
up of five pillars crucial to community development:
Clean Water and Sanitation
Alternative Income and Livelihood
Agriculture and Food Security
Together, these five pillars create a holistic development model
that helps to ensure children and community members are able
to break the cycle of poverty.
Marc Kielburger
Co-Founder, Free The Children
Currently, Adopt a Village is implemented in Kenya, rural China,
India, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Ghana in
unique ways suitable for each country.
Free The Children has been operating in Kenya since 1999
within the Narok South District, working with both Kipsigis
and Maasai communities. Free The Children has successfully
implemented all five pillars of Adopt a Village, thanks to the
fundraising efforts of schools and groups around the world.
Over the years, we’ve engaged many communities across
the Mara and built schools, libraries, water projects, latrines,
kitchens and teachers’ accommodations.
How- to Guide | 5
4 | About Free The Children
of rural China’s poorest areas in which
the schools’ infrastructure tends to be
very old and extremely unsafe. Since we
started working in rural China, Free The
Children has built and furnished several
schools to provide education for impoverished children in rural communities,
with a focus on girls’ education.
H o w t o s ta r t a g r o u p…
step by step
Educational Programming Coordinator (EPC)
Free The Children has been operating
in India since 1998. Free The Children
concentrates its efforts on the rural
areas of northern India focusing on
issues like gender equality, sustainability, capacity building, community
engagement and building on local
knowledge. We have successfully built
and refurbished schools, health centres,
organized women’s alternative income
groups and more.
Having worked in Ecuador since 1999,
our team has developed close ties
with many communities. In Ecuador,
Free The Children works closely with
girls and women through girls’ clubs—
part of our alternative income and
livelihood pillar, which allows young
women to earn an income and support
their families.
Your first point of contact at Free The Children.
Your EPC can:
Free The Children has a history of working in Ghana, dating back to the early
2000s. Since then we have constructed
or updated many classrooms, schools
and water projects in the village of Domeabra. In response to Ghana’s ongoing
need, Free The Children is now working
with communities in the western region
of the country (along the coast, near the
region’s capital, Takoradi) to implement
Adopt a Village programming.
Free The Children has a rich history
in Nicaragua, during which we have
constructed or updated numerous
classrooms and schools. In response
to the country’s continued need, Free
The Children is working with several
communities in the Central Pacific
Region of the country to implement
Adopt a Village.
Answer any questions about We Day
Help you get your students involved
Answer any questions about campaigns
Connect you with other departments
of Free The Children and Me to We
Accept donations and send you
Adopt a Village community updates
Regular updates from you will allow your EPC to support you as needed.
If you are not sure who your EPC is please contact: [email protected]
Without our dedicated and passionate schools and school groups living ‘we’ all 365 days of the year, Adopt a Village would not be possible. This section will provide you with helpful tips and tricks and guide you through the process of starting your own group.
Step 1: Obtain all the required permissions. Below is a sample letter to the principal (also available online).
Dear Ms. Smith,
I am writing this letter in hopes of gaining your support in implementing Free The Children’s educational programs in our school.
Free The Children is a charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve
their fullest potential as agents of change. Its domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of
youth in North America, the UK and around the world. Its international projects have brought over 650 schools and school
rooms to youth and provided clean water, sanitation and health care to one million people around the world.
A myriad of independent studies have been conducted to assess the impact of Free The Children’s programming on participating schools and students. A recent study conducted by Kathleen Korgen of William Paterson University and Jeffry Korgen of
Korgen Associates found that participation in Free The Children programs not only had a significant impact on students, but
also resulted in more positive school environments.
Rural China
Free The Children began working in rural China in 2002, implementing development and education projects in some
Send resources to your school
Free The Children is an internationally recognized organization and has been the recipient of many awards and accolades, including
the 2002 World of Children Founders Award, the World Economic Forum Medal and four nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize
Sierra Leone
Free The Children began working in Sierra Leone following the end of its devastating 11-year civil war in 2002. Most
children involved in our projects are
war-affected youth who were left with
no access to education. Our projects
here include the building and refurbishing of schools and wells, distribution of
anti-convulsion medication for epilepsy
and more.
Free The Children has a 12-year history
of working in Haiti. To date, support from
our Free The Children school groups has
allowed us to build and refurbish schools,
a nutrition centre, and sanitation facilities
and helped support teacher salaries and
technical training for students.
Adopt a Village one pillar at a time: As a group, you choose one country and
one pillar to support throughout the school year.
89 percent of Board of Education administrators agreed that school environments were more positive.
96 percent of administrators noted an increased number of school leaders had emerged as a result of participation in Free The
Children programs.
88 percent agreed that students are more engaged in social justice learning.
Almost all of the Board of Education administrators surveyed agreed that educator resources prepared by Free The Children are
effective (95.3%) and appropriate (95%) educational tools that support the development of critical thinking in students.
With a Free The Children chapter in our school, I feel assured of receiving full support from the organization’s representatives
throughout the year, and look forward to connecting with students in a more meaningful way. I ask for your support in this endeavour as I work with other teachers and students to build a more caring and compassionate school environment.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you.
Mr. Jones
* Tip: Including impact stats in your request letters shows how involvement with Free The Children programming
leads to student success.
6 | How- to guide
Step 2: Gather allies among your colleagues and friends. Below is a sample letter to a fellow educator:
How- to Guide | 7
Step 3: Engage students. Finally, the fun part!
First, make it widely known that you are starting a Free The
Children club to take action on social justice issues that
students are passionate about!
Make announcements, put up posters, post about it in
newsletters or have an assembly.
Include the time and location of your first meeting.
Connect with your EPC to inform them that you are
planning on getting involved and to get more information
about different opportunities and free educational and
promotional resources!
Dear Mr. Singh,
As teachers, we are always looking for ways to impact our students, and ensure they grow up to be responsible, compassionate,
and active citizens. In my own search for a way to help our students gain a better sense of their own local and global community,
I came across an internationally-renowned charitable organization, Free The Children.
Free The Children is a charitable organization with the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. It
is a charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as
agents of change. Its domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the
UK and around the world. Its international projects have brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided
clean water, sanitation and health care to one million people around the world.
By getting involved with Free The Children programming, we have access to free educational resources, including lesson plans
to help us bring local and global social justice issues into our classrooms. In addition to the above, we will be provided with additional resources for Free The Children run campaigns to ensure that students feel empowered to lead the club, with support
from a teacher advisor.
A myriad of independent studies have been conducted to assess the impact Free The Children has had on schools and students
involved in its programming. A recent study conducted by Kathleen Korgen of William Paterson University and Jeffry Korgen
of Korgen Associates in 2011, found that participation in Free The Children programs had a significant impact on students. For
example, 63 percent of teachers report their students think more critically, and 79 percent of teachers feel a renewed sense of
purpose as an educator. In addition, 84 percent of teachers said they feel more connected to their students through their
Free The Children club.
Step 4: Host your first set of meetings
Set your agenda: look up some ice-breakers on the Internet as an introductory activity that will help the group get
to know each other.
Next, introduce the group to Free The Children, its mission
and its projects. Please feel free to refer to Free The Children’s website for more information at
With a Free The Children chapter in our school, I feel assured of receiving full support from the organization’s representatives
throughout the year, and look forward to connecting with students in a more meaningful way. I ask for your support in this endeavour as I work with other teachers and students to build a more caring and compassionate school environment.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you.
Ms. Gomez
Tip: Whether or not other teachers in your school want to get involved, your EPC can connect you with our
network of passionate educators.
What is Free The Children?
How did Free The Children start?
Visit to
see our list of videos to help with this section.
Introduce the countries we work in and provide an overview
of Adopt a Village. Be sure to discuss the five pillars essential to sustainable development: education, clean water
and sanitation, health, alternative income and livelihood and
agriculture and food security.
Schedule meetings for the school year (we recommend
weekly meetings even if it’s just half an hour a week).
Consider inviting us to your school—digitally, over the
phone, or in person!
• At the end of the first meeting, encourage students to
think about which country and/or pillar they would like
to support.
At the second meeting, vote on the country and pillar you want
to support and share with your EPC so they can set you up
with ideas and resources. Please note that each school group
only needs to support one pillar in one country. It is not necessary to support all five pillars for the country you choose.
Set your financial goal and begin brainstorming event ideas.
Your EPC can help you build this list.
Assign each member a task and make sure everyone has a
job to do.
Board of Education
Free The Children’s
Educational REsources
administrators agree that
Support critical thinking.
Great Resources | 9
8 | How- to guide
Organize your first event! Check out the Gift + Issue = Change section to help assign roles among your student group, or the
Fundraising Ideas section in this booklet.
Check out our campaigns
Create an Action Plan and divide tasks among members.
Facilitation Tip: Gift + Issue = Change
We at Free The Children believe in practical social action—so much so that we’ve developed an equation for it. This signature equation
has been very successful for teachers and students. It is a simple idea with extraordinary results.
To begin, draw a chart with three columns on the board as shown below:
+ Issue
= Change
Then, in the first column “gift”, ask students either as a group or individually, to write down activities and hobbies that they enjoy/are good
at (e.g. Soccer, baking, reading, video games, etc). These are their gifts.
In the second column “issues”—ask them to write down the Adopt a Village country and pillar they have chosen to support. In
the third column, have them write down as many ways they can think of to connect what they enjoy doing with the issues they
are passionate about.
Gift Baking
+ Issue Clean Water and Sanitation
in rural China
Potential Challenge
Jess and Alex
Teachers and princi- Get feedback from
pal may not approve teachers and
principal on fundraiser that they feel
more comfortable
Meet with Principal
and teacher for approval of fundraising
Great Resources
We have a variety of speaking options available for your school.
However, please note that due to high demand we typically book
our speakers at least two to three months in advance. If requesting a speaker is not financially or geographically feasible, please
connect with your EPC about our virtual speaking options.
Dec 10
Tour Speakers:
Due to the generous support of select sponsors, Free The
Children is able to offer speaking tours that are completely
free of cost to schools. They include a one-hour keynote
address for your entire student body as well as a two to
three-hour workshop for up to 25 students.
Tour speakers are different from outreach speakers because they focus on a specific theme, i.e. environment, education etc., whereas outreach speakers provide an overview
of Free The Children projects that is often customizable.
If you would like to book a tour speaker please contact
[email protected]
Outreach Speakers:
= Change Cupcakes for rural China
Finally, as a group, decide which idea is most popular, and most feasible to carry out as a fundraiser. Run with it! Use the following chart
to assess what fundraiser is most appropriate for you. This chart can be used each time students are planning an event.
Photo courtesy of Allen McEachern
Photo courtesy of Tatiana St. Pierre
Step 6: Dive in!
Outreach speakers deliver tailored presentations consisting of their personal story, Free The Children’s history
and our Adopt a Village model. Outreach speakers are the
best option if you are fundraising for Adopt a Village and
would like to increase students’ awareness about your
club’s goal, and springboard your school’s involvement
with Free The Children.
These team members are trained, professional speakers
with incredible passion and experience with Free The Children programming. They can speak to most ages and can
customize their speeches to your specific needs.
Presentations are about 30 to 40 minutes in length with
an optional Q&A session at the end. While we suggest an
audience of Grades 3 and above, we leave this to your discretion. This opportunity is offered at no cost to your school.
However, there may be an honorarium associated with the
speech if you are located more than one hour from our head
office in Toronto.
If you would like to book an outreach speaker, please
contact your EPC.
Bureau Speakers:
The Me to We Speakers Bureau is comprised of some of
Me to We’s best and most high profile speakers (i.e. Marc
and Craig Kielburger or Spencer West). The bureau also
features a First Nations speaker, who specializes in content
related to First Nations issues.
There is a more significant fee associated with each speaker
on the Me to We Speakers Bureau. We ask that clients also
cover travel/accommodation costs for the speaker and an
additional support person.
• The content of these speeches is speaker-specific and
can be customized. If you would like to book a Me to We
Bureau Speaker, please visit
speakers, or speak to a Me to We representative by
phone at 416 964 8942.
10 | Fundraising
Take Action
So you’ve decided on your Adopt a Village country and pillar that you are supporting this year! The next step is to begin fundraising .
You can also use our “Gift + Issue = Change” module to come up with your own innovative fundraising ideas.
Fundraising | 11
Sell Bricks or Water Droplets
Monkey Suit
• This is one that will have your students in stitches!
Bake Sale / Food Sales
Food is the easiest way to a person’s heart.
Book a table in a spot where you’ll get a lot of foot traffic
and sell during a busy time of day.
Have many different people bring in baked goods so you
have a great variety of products.
Sell freezies, pizza, subs, etc., every week, biweekly
or monthly.
Remember that fundraising doesn’t have to be extravagant; fundraisers are most successful when goals are set in line with your resources and time available! If you have set a large goal, make sure to plan out multiple fundraisers throughout the year.
Extra Challenge:
‚‚ Fruit kabobs, fresh popcorn and juice sales can be
substituted as healthy alternatives.
‚‚ Buy local, organic ingredients when possible.
‚‚ Theme your sale around the Adopt a Village country
you are supporting.
Here are some of our favourites:
Save It or Shave It
Students will pay to vote on whether or not an educator
gets to save or shave their hair. Arrange for a school-wide
assembly at the end of the month, and announce the
results there!
Extra Challenge:
Allow students to come up with specific dares for their
teacher, and have the teacher set a fundraising goal for
students in exchange for accepting the dare. Feel free to
lead by example yourself!
It’s easy to organize a water walk! Students can walk
from your school to another landmark in your community
and take public transportation back, OR walk around the
school track, OR find a local hiking trail to complete.
Students bring in empty, clean two-litre pop/milk plastic
bottles (that would be recycled at the end of the day) and
fill them up with water from a creek or river.
If possible, play music or have students read community
stories/facts from their Adopt a Village community over a
loud speaker during the walk.
Extra Challenge:
Find a creative, eco-friendly way to use the water at the
end of the day (e.g. water a local community garden).
Video Game/Movie Day
• A tried, tested and true fundraiser! Let students pay money
to play video games or watch a movie. This can be done at
lunch time or after school. A great addition is to have food
sales at the movie!
Water Walk
Water Walks are a great way for students to raise
awareness and educate themselves on the lack of access to clean water all around the world. Talk about
experiential learning.
Each participant collects pledges for the walk.
of Parents agree
that their child is more
excited about school,
as a result of
free the children programs.
Set a goal and allow students to buy bricks or water droplets made out of recycled paper (or recycled fabric… get creative!). Watch as the entire school works together towards
your goal! Set the price at something very affordable, like 50
cents or $1.00.
Market Days
Ask students, teachers and community members to bring in
old toys, gently used clothing, or books and sell everything
for a cheap price. You can also include booths for students
to sell handmade jewelry, food, cupcakes, etc.
Extra Challenge:
Turn the day into a carnival day and do face painting,
have live music, and have local booths from the community come in and share their products or services.
• Assign a jar to any and all good-humoured teachers (who
are willing to participate). Whoever’s jar is the most full
of change at the end of the designated time will have the
honour of wearing a monkey suit for an entire day.
Coin Drive
Coin drives are one of the most effective fundraising campaigns! Be sure to sign up for our penny drive, We Create
Change or participate in our other educational, fun and effective campaigns like We are Silent and We are Love.
Sending in Donations:
Please remember to indicate which Adopt a Village country and
pillar you wish to support, and a brief description of how you
raised your funds. If you would like to donate via credit card or
set up a personal fundraising page, please contact your EPC.
To send in donations, please make a cheque out to “Free The
Children” and mail to:
Free The Children
c/o (insert EPC name and school code)
Re: (Insert campaign name)
233 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON
M5A 2L2
12 | Working with Media
Working with the Media
A message from the Free The Children Public Relations Team
To our amazing educators,
Thank you so much for all of your hard work year-round and for your commitment to Free The Children inside and outside of the
classroom. In the past, we have seen many news articles as a result of various Free The Children school initiatives driven by the
schools directly. As such, we want to ensure you feel supported and comfortable when/if you decide to outreach to your local media
outlets (TV, radio, newspapers) to raise awareness about the amazing efforts you and your students put into campaigns and programs throughout the year with Free The Children. Following are a few steps we outlined to help guide you through this process:
Step #1
Step #4
Identify the opportunity/purpose for contacting
the media
Begin your outreach
Keep it simple.
Step #2
Make it personal.
Develop a media list
Be confident, concise and to the point.
Make sure your pitch stands out (i.e. what’s unique
and different about it?).
May include community newspapers/radio
and TV shows, daily newspapers, national
newspapers/networks. Media contact information
can be found on individual media sites.
Include producers, city reporters, assignment desks,
news editors.
Step #3
Decide how you are going to outreach to the media
on your list and compile the information. This can
include either:
Informal pitch via email or phone
Media alert
Press release
Event listing
Phone call
If you don’t receive a response, that’s okay.
Your communication with the media should be done on
behalf of yourself or your school, not Free The Children.
If you use the Free The Children brand in any of your PR/
advertising materials, please send the material to us—the
PR and Publicity department (contact information below)—
so we can review it to ensure accuracy.
If you receive an interview request (or if you are asked a
question in the middle of an interview) related specifically to
Free The Children and do not feel comfortable answering it,
please refer the media to us (contact information below).
Please contact us if you receive a request from the media to
speak with a member of Free The Children.
Should you have any questions or require any assistance from Free The Children, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy
to help!
Warm Wishes,
The PR Team!
Tamara Kaftalovich, PR Director
Free The Children
416-925-5894 ext. 805
[email protected]
School Profile | 13
spotlight on a remarkable school:
Maple Leaf School
Maple Leaf School from Winnipeg, Manitoba recently started their very first Free The Children club.
Maple Leaf School is one of Free The Children’s most recent
educational partners in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its students range
from Kindergarten to Grade 6—and it houses one of our most
enthusiastic school groups. Just before attending the first ever
We Day Winnipeg in November 2011, the school started their
own We Day Campaign Club. With a varied history of supporting social causes, the club quickly acquired a group of 12
dedicated members, who attended We Day Winnipeg.
Maple Leaf School’s We Day Campaign Club successfully
transferred the energy and passion they experienced at We Day
to the rest of the school. Almost as soon as they returned from
We Day, the club decided to fundraise for Kenya and help alleviate the impacts of the East African drought.
With guidance from their teacher supervisors, club members
took the initiative and led classroom visits to teach younger
students about the local and global issues they were supporting. Their talks not only helped increase awareness about the
East African drought, but also brought many local issues to light.
As a result, the club successfully organized four campaigns
throughout the school year with the enthusiastic support of the
entire school!
In December, they organized a food drive, collecting and donating 378 lbs of non-perishable items to a local food bank. In
February, they held “Souper Day to Care” to raise money for
Kenya. Students bought a cup of soup from the club and the
money raised supported nutrition programs in Kenya. That day,
they collectively raised $214.70. Then, in March, the club organized a “Snack for Kenya” movie day where students bought
snacks at the school’s own “cinema.” Students raised $316.23
to donate towards Free The Children’s projects in Kenya.
After three successful fundraisers, they still wanted to do more.
To finish strong, teacher supervisors suggested selling Free The
Children’s Rafiki Friend of East Africa Chains to further support
efforts for the drought. One of the teacher supervisors recounts
the experience below:
“Each teacher showed their class the chain sample that we had
been sent and explained how the purchase of just one chain
could feed a child for a whole month. We promoted this concept
over the morning announcements, and encouraged everyone
to do their part. We kept the time-frame for orders down to a
minimum (one week). We sold 172 chains! We were ecstatic
and extremely proud of the infectious energy the girls from the
We Day Campaign Club transferred to their fellow students…
This has certainly been a life-changing experience, which all of
us involved will never forget.”
With one successful year of experience under their belts, the
We Day Campaign Club can’t wait for next year!
14 | Calendar of Events
Sample Activity | 15
Sample Activity
Your year-long
social justice
Elementary and Secondary Lesson Plans
Below is a calendar that indicates when Free The Children’s
events or campaigns will take place this school year.
Participate in any of these campaigns and access the
materials and resources created for both youth and as
educators. Plan your fundraiser around these campaigns!
Child Labour Workshop
Puzzle pieces
Timer [optional]
The objective of this module is to help participants learn
more about child labour and poverty and to emphasize that
education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
School Year Calendar
October 2012
March 2013
October 31st: We Scare Hunger
Host your Mini We Day anytime during the fall
Applications for Me to We Trips and Take Action Academy
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
Youth Summits in various cities
Host your Mini We Day anytime through the spring
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
November 2012
We Create Change—Canada’s largest penny drive!
April 2013
Host your Mini We Day anytime during the fall
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
Application for Me to We trips and Take Action Academy
Free The Children launches online Holiday campaign
April 18th: We are Silent
April 19th: Break the Silence and Free The Children’s Birthday
Host your Mini We Day anytime through the spring
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
December 2012
Top Change-Makers announced—For Canada’s largest
penny drive!
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
Online Holiday campaign
May 2013
• Applications for Take Action Academy
February 2013
Applications for Me to We Trips and Take Action Academy
February 14th: Valentine’s Day Campaign—We are Love
Feb 25th-Mar 8th: We Stand Together
Youth Summits in various cities
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
Host your Mini We Day anytime before summer break
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
June 2013
• Applications for Take Action Academy
Host your Mini We Day anytime before summer break
Water Rafiki Friend Chain Fundraiser
We Day events are happening throughout the year across Canada! Visit for event dates and cities.
Child labour facts and statistics (create your own, or contact your EPC to obtain)
Colourful popsicle sticks
Create country cards with facts on one side and tasks
on the back (i.e. Fact: “Your closest water source is two
hours away. You are unable to go to school because you
spend your time collecting water.” Task: Carry a bucket of
water around the perimeter of the room).
must remain where they are.
Begin with a visualization exercise. Ask participants to
close their eyes and imagine a day in the life of a child
labourer. It can follow these general guidelines:
You wake up and your body is sore; back aching. You have
been sleeping on a cold, hard floor. You open your eyes and
your room looks different; it is much smaller, shared with
your many siblings and sparsely furnished. You get dressed;
wear your tattered shirt, slip on your broken sandal, and eat
a bowl of rice for breakfast knowing it will be your only meal
for the day. You leave your home and start walking, and as
you walk, in the distance the outline of a building slowly
takes shape – the sight of it fills you with dread. Inside the
dimly lit room, you sit down and get to work. You are tying
knot after knot to make a carpet for the next 12 hours. Finally,
you get up to go home after being paid a small wage for your
efforts. Once you’re home there’s a knock on the door (actually knock). It’s me. I tell you that I can help you get a chance
at an education.
Teacher Note: Consider setting a 30 minute time limit for
this activity. This will help reinforce the idea that children in
situations of child labour are not only hampered by material
obstacles, but also by limited time. In addition, throughout
the activity participants may feel stuck or be asked to go
back to the beginning and start over. This is intentionally
done so that participants get a true feel for how frustrating
life can be for children in these situations. Be sure to address this while conducting the debrief or discussion at the
end of the activity.
Potential discussion questions:
Go around the room and ask students to describe the activity in one word.
What was the most challenging aspect of this activity?
How did it feel being able to see the end?
Ask students to open their eyes. Once they are ready, let
them know that they have to get through an obstacle
course in order to get an education.
How does this activity parallel child labour in general?
What did you learn from this experience?
Then, line up the cards to form stepping stones on a path.
Introduce the activity and first objective (to learn about
child labour and poverty abroad).
At each stepping stone, students must read the fact and
complete the task. Once they’ve reached the end, they
must finish a quiz relating to the facts they’ve read along
the way—without looking at the facts. If a group answers
all the questions correctly, they then have to choose one
person to go back to the beginning of the game, and one
person who will “move out” of child labour. Everyone else
What would have made it easier to complete the activity?
(Perhaps knowing there was a quiz at the end? *Teacher
Note: Students must understand the importance of education in this situation. Having an education is the key to
breaking the cycle of poverty).
What was the significance of having the quiz at the end?
(The quiz at the end was based on facts and statistics that
students would only know had they learned them; e.g. in
school. The point of the quiz was to emphasize that people
16 | Sample Activity
Opportunities | 17
who have the opportunity to access education, in the end,
have access to more opportunities in life).
What kinds of things do you think would help break this
cycle of poverty?
Consider the five pillars of Adopt a Village:
Education—increased access to resources required
for a quality education .
Alternative Income and Livelihood—having a way for
parents to make an income to support their family
so children don’t need to work.
Clean Water and Sanitation—being healthy enough
to attend school and not having the chore of
collecting water during school hours instead of attending school.
Health—being healthy enough to
attend school.
Agriculture and Food Security—helping subsistence
farming communities increase capacity to address
challenges posed by climate change .
Will this change the way that you approach different
situations? (Water usage, being grateful for having
access to education, helping others, taking action).
How can you apply this new knowledge? (Raise awareness using the facts you learned, researching social justice issues, etc.).
Over the years, Free The Children has compiled a database
of videos that chronicle our work since 1995. In addition to
introductory videos about Free The Children, you will find
playlists containing videos about each of our local as well as
international programs.
Visit Free The Children’s YouTube channel (
com/freethechildrenintl), or (www.weday.
com/learn) for a full list of informative and instructive videos.
If you can’t access YouTube in your school, ask your EPC for
downloadable versions.
Educational Resources
Free The Children offers issue-based educational resources to
support educators as they bring social justice education into
their classroom. Our resources, which are created in-house
in collaboration with educator consultants, cover local and
global issues. They consist of elementary and secondary level
curriculum, resource guides, lesson plans, activities and other
teaching tools. Visit to access our
library of resources.
We are always busy at Free The Children with new ideas and programs to implement! Apart from our campaigns, Free The Children is
fortunate to be able to provide a host of other opportunities for young people and school groups to get involved in! Get to know about
these, and engage your students.
Mobilizers are a grassroots network of
student activists with Free The Children
championing social change in our world,
city by city. They represent a rising
movement of young people who are
interested in bringing about sustainable
and lasting reforms by mobilizing their
community in unified action. Mobilizers
organize community events and work
with their very own coordinator at our
office who connects them to youth in
other cities and engages them in an
incredible year-long calendar of
activities. For more information, email
[email protected]
Take Action Academy
Each summer, Free The Children
partners with Me to We to hold the
Take Action Leadership Academies—
unforgettable, week-long experiences
which take place every year all across
North America.
Along with gaining leadership skills,
exploring social issues and learning
the real benefits of volunteerism and
activism, youth create friendships, have
some laughs and make memories that
last a lifetime.
But there is also lots of room for fun,
including dance lessons, soccer games,
arts and crafts and more!
The Take Action Academy takes place in
various locations across Canada, U.S.A.
and the UK.
To find a location nearest you and
for more information on how to apply,
Big Dreamers Award
The Big Dreamers Award is a great
way to enhance your fundraising goal!
If your group decides to fundraise for
Adopt a Village, you are eligible to apply for the Big Dreamers Award.
Through the support of our generous
partners, the Big Dreamers Award
celebrates the efforts of outstanding groups like yours! Big Dreamers
awardees will each be provided a
financial award to donate back to the
Adopt a Village country and project of
their choice.
If your group is committed, creative
and determined to changing the world,
this award will give you the opportunity to enhance the amazing work you
are already doing.
For more information visit www.
Youth Summit
Free The Children’s Youth Summit is a
free, one-day, yearly event for student
leaders to connect and share their
experiences and interests. Through a
series of interactive workshops and
activities, the Youth Summit assists
young people aged 11 to 20 with taking
the necessary steps towards becoming a leader and a Free The Children
ambassador. Participants leave the
event with a new network of peers to
support their world-changing efforts.
Currently, the Youth Summit takes
place in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver,
Kelowna, San Francisco, Los Angeles
and London, UK.
An initiative of:
18 |
How to Par
If your group wants to contribute to Free The Children’s goal of providing a sustainable source of clean water to 100,000
people, then this is a great fundraiser! Each Water Rafiki Friend Chain is unique and handmade with love by Maasai mamas in Kenya. Proceeds from the $10 chain support Free The Children’s clean water programming around the world.
Rafiki Friend Chains can be sold at school concerts, sports games, community events, parent-teacher interviews,
around the holidays or at any event or fundraiser you have planned!
Stellar Youth
Do you have young people in your
group with the remarkable qualities of a
natural born leader? Are they incredibly
enthusiastic, passionate and shamelessly idealistic? Send them our way! We
have a dedicated Youth Engagement
Coordinator who will help them navigate
through their interests, and provide
them with opportunities to engage with
Free The Children alongside an online
network of like minded change-makers!
Collect order information and
payments from family and friends
and fill out the order form.
Share your chain, and the issue
it’s helping to solve. Then, put the
poster up to share the cause with
friends and family.
Send or deliver a complete
order form and cheque made
out to Me to We. Remember to
include your school code.
Once Me to We receives
completed order forms and
amounts, the Water Rafiki Chains
will be sent to you. Please distribute
the chains to the supporters of your
fundraising efforts.
Ask your star youth to email us at
[email protected] to
get involved!
agriculture and
food security
You now have the necessary tools and
resources for a successful year of social
action. Thank you for your enduring
commitment to being part of the “we”
movement, and for helping to create
global citizens in the classroom. Don’t
forget to keep in touch with us throughout the school year to share your students’ amazing achievements. We love
hearing from you!
Alternative Income
and Livelihood
Live ‘We’ All Year!
Order your sample Water Rafiki
Friend Chain from your EPC.
An initiative of: