Craig (left) and Marc Kielburger

Craig Kielburger (left) with his brother Marc with children in Africa.

Child advocacy group wins Thakore award

October 2, 2008

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By Carol Thorbes

Free The Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, is the recipient of the 2008 Thakore Visiting Scholar award. SFU’s Institute of Humanities administers the award on behalf of the Thakore Charitable Foundation and the India Club of Vancouver.

SFU will present the Thakore award during a ceremony at 7:30 pm tonight at Images Theatre at the SFU Burnaby campus.

Craig Kielburger founded Free the Children in 1995 when he was just 12 years old. His brother Marc, chief executive director of the organization, will accept the Thakore award on behalf of the organization.

The ceremony coincides with Gandhi Jayanti, an Indian national holiday celebrating the birth and philosophy of the country’s "Father of the Nation," the late Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi.

The Thakore award is bestowed on groups and individuals who "while honouring tradition have not let themselves be bound by traditionalism in their seeking of well-being for the human race and the planet." The Kielburger brothers’ bold initiative to save at-risk children worldwide from the social and economic fall out of war, poverty and crime is an inspiring reflection of Gandhi’s philosophy and principles.

Through Free The Children, the Kielburger brothers have become internationally known for their Adopt-a-Village model, a holistic approach to development. Their work has empowered more than a million young people to learn about the issues taking place in their local and global communities, inspiring them to become socially conscious global citizens. These citizens have built 500 schools in 45 countries worldwide, providing daily access to education for more than 50,000 students in developing countries.

In the last two years, Free The Children and its staff have received more than 10 international and national awards. Most recently, Marc Kielburger was awarded the Order of Canada. In 2006, the United Nations/World Association of Non-governmental Organizations awarded Free The Children the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Award.
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