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Free the Children

  Amazing things can happen in an instant changing the course of our lives forever. This was the case one day for twelve year old Craig Kielburger who was spending his morning in a favorite way of reading the comics in the newspaper when a picture on the front page caught his eye. The picture was of a young 12 year old boy named Iqbal Masih from Pakistan who had been killed because he had spoken out about child labor. The young boy had been sold into child labor at the age of four as repayment for a loan that his parents had taken out.  
  Having never heard of child labor and not yet knowing the difficult circumstances that many children face all around world Craig was shocked by what he read and he knew that he had to do something. Craig gathered a group of friends and motivated by their desire to help, they founded Kids Can Free The Children. Their goal was to free children from abuse and exploitation and also to inspire children to recognize that they are smart enough and capable enough to help to change the world.  
  Founded in 1995 Free The Children has become an international network of children helping children at the local, national and international level. In the past ten years they have spread to more than 35 countries and more than 1,000,000 people have participated in their projects and campaigns. To date Free the Children has built over 400 schools that provide education to over 35,000 children. They have shipped more than 200,000 school and health kits around the world; sent more than $8 million US dollars worth of medical supplies to health clinics in developing countries; created alternative sources of income for poor families; led campaigns against sweatshop and child labor; convinced governments to stiffen laws to charge tourists who abuse children, and is raising funds to open educational centers in Kenya and Ecuador as well as fundraising to pay for the salaries of teachers, school gardens and school supplies for needy children.  
  Leadership development of youth has become a major focus of Free the Children. Free the Children believes that all young people should have a voice and the opportunity to participate in issues which affect them in their communities, their country and their world. They also believe that the young people today can be leaders in creating a more just, equitable and sustainable world.  
  For more information about Free the Children go to:  
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