Founded in Canada in 1995 with the mission to inspire a generation of young children and effect positive change on the world, WE Charity has grown to positively impact the lives of over 1 million people around the world through domestic and international programs. WE Charity’s international program, WE Villages, provides a holistic sustainable development model helping to lift people out of poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America. WE Charity’s domestic programs, known as WE Schools and WE Day, help to empower students and teachers to address social issues through education and active participation in local communities.
Through WE Charity, over 1 million people have been lifted out of poverty by gaining access to clean water, opportunity for education, access to health care facilities, economic empowerment opportunities and the ability to provide food to their communities through sustainable farming practices.
WE Villages addresses the primary causes of poverty by focusing on education, water, health, food and opportunity. WE Village’s adaptive and effective five-pillar model helps to support communities where there is a high incidence of child labor, exploitation of children and minimal opportunities for girls. The five-pillar model was developed working alongside communities and experienced development experts.
In the US, Canada and the UK, WE Schools and WE Day have provided service learning programs to over 18,000 schools. These programs give students the tools required to create transformative change in their local communities. WE Day is a series of events which celebrate youth making a difference in their local and global communities through a series of stadium-sized events.
For WE Charity’s humanitarian efforts, the organization has received many awards, including the Human Rights Award from the United Nations , the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship to name a few.
“The staff were a bunch of seventh-grade students in a Toronto suburb, determined to raise awareness about the evils of child labor on the other side of the world. Today, WE is a global movement that’s empowered more than one million people to lift themselves out of poverty through sustainable development. At home, we have empowered millions more with service learning programs that enable them to discover their own cause, write their own journey of impact, and make daily choices that better the world. There have been many obstacles along the way and more lessons learned in two decades of social entrepreneurship than anyone needs in a lifetime.”
Our social mission launched in 1995 when I was a 12-year-old cold- calling charities to ask how I could help. When “send money” was the only answer, we realized that people needed more accessible and meaningful ways to make an impact. Small actions could add up to big change, if only people knew what to do. We had an epiphany: to launch a movement of ordinary people and create a tidal wave of positive social impact through seemingly small, daily choices. Our mission was born: WE makes doing good, doable.
WE became our driving mantra in the early 2000s. In 2006, we published Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. When the book became a New York Times bestseller, we realized that millions of people felt connected to WE.
WE Charity helps people discover the causes they’re passionate about to drive social change locally and globally. Our domestic programs in North America and the UK provide resources and support to enable millions to take action and make a diﬀerence in their communities, helping more than 2,500 charities. On a global scale, our WE Villages sustainable development model helps people lift themselves out of poverty in developing countries by providing education, water, health, food and opportunity.