Water was on the minds of 40 Pictou County students Wednesday.
Students from nine local schools were part of a WE Global Leadership Workshop at Northumberland Regional High School. The workshop was being held the day before WE Day Atlantic welcomes 10,000 students to the Scotia Bank Centre in Halifax.
WE Charity is a children’s charity founded in 1995 by children’s rights activist Craig Kielburger.
During Wednesday’s workshop, the students were asked to create an action plan for World Water Day on April 27.
Crystal Murray, one of the Atlantic WE Day co-chairs, says the timing for the workshop is perfect.
“I believe that packaging the workshop and WE Day in the same week will be incredibly inspirational for these students. We have several schools that have well established WE chapters with solid action plans, however, we also have a few schools that could use a little mentoring to help them build a solid foundation and gain a better understanding about the WE organization, its charities and social enterprises.”
Murray has been a champion of the WE organization, formally known as Free the Children, for many years and during a family trip to Kenya this summer she and her husband Sean Murray were asked by the organization co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger to come on board as two new co-chairs for WE Day Atlantic. The Murrays will also be working on the engagement of Atlantic Canadian Families for the charitable organization.
“I have always been a firm believer in the WE curriculum for school groups and its approach for sustainable international development. The WE Villages in Africa, India and South America have a five-pillar model, each one just as important as the other for breaking the cycle of poverty in the communities where they are based. Education, water, health, food and opportunity. This approach speaks to my own sense of community. These pillars relate just as much to issues at home as it does overseas. When students engage in the WE school groups they learn about these five pillars and then prepare a plan for a local and global action.”
Two staff from the WE organization will lead the two-hour workshop. Forty student delegates were selected from the WE chapters at West Pictou, East Pictou, Trenton Middle School, Thorburn Consolidated, New Glasgow Academy, North Nova Education Centre, Pictou Academy, Dr. Thomas MacCulloch Education Centre, Dr. W.A. MacLeod and Northumberland Regional High School.
“I wish we could have opened the workshop to all WE student leaders but we had to cap it off at forty. I am hopeful that we can offer more opportunity for our local WE groups to work together. I would love to see the schools all combine their energy on a singular project. I am so thankful for the wonderful educators who take their time to support these groups. I know that they truly understand the value that comes from this type of engagement. As a parent, a business woman and global citizen I don’t think there has ever been a more critical time to invest in our youth. This is the fifth year for WE Day in Halifax. It’s amazing to be part of this celebration of service.”