The White Saviors
Chapter Five – The Bottom Line
Where did the money go? Where are all the schools that WE says it built? A political scandal breaks the dam on decades of silence. Revelations pile up of donor fraud, racism, child abuse, "dirty trick" campaigns against WE's enemies and other financial misconduct. Then, the Kielburgers silence the scandal with a shocking announcement...

Music by Audio Network

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Official responses from The WE Organization:

Allegations by Amanda Maitland and that of racism:

The entire WE organization is deeply committed to inclusion, diversity, equity and to combating anti-Black racism. For past instances involving unconscious bias which have taken place within the WE organization, we have apologized to Amanda and others.

The WE Charity Board of Directors undertook an independent review from management on this matter.

The Special Committee retained McCarthy Tétrault LLP to perform the Review. The McCarthy team was comprised exclusively of BIPOC professionals with strong credentials in labour and employment, the education sector and in anti-racism work and workplace reviews to conduct the review. McCarthy retained Amorell Saunders N’Daw, a respected educator, as an expert in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) matters. The Review team was directed by and reported to the Special Committee only, not other Board members and senior management. The Review did not identify any evidence of overt acts of racism at WE Charity. The review also concluded that Ms. Maitland was not shut down or silenced at the WE town hall in June 2019. A recording and transcript of the town hall confirm that Ms. Maitland aired her perspective in several exchanges, was not cutoff by Mr. M. Kielburger or anyone else, and she was invited by Mr. M. Kielburger to continue the conversation after the town hall. Ms. Maitland elected not to do so.

Allegations of “white saviorism”

A couple of critics have suggested that WE Charity is guilty of “White Saviourism”. While we respect people’s opinions, this is deeply disappointing to me and to the team. Critics are ignoring the reality that WE Charity isn’t a group of white people in Canada, but is instead a Kenyan-registered non-governmental organization operated by a team comprised of 98 per cent Kenyans — from local leadership, to community mobilization, to delivering programs. We are a well-established, thoughtful operation executing on world-class development work. The Kenyan communities we work with have experienced dramatic changes to the way that they live through education, clean water and community empowerment. The WE Charity development programs happening in Kenya are not unilaterally created out of Canada – they are created with our team in Kenya and more importantly, in partnership with the communities with work with. These communities see themselves as the drivers of change and know that through the work that have done with us they will be able to continue to educate their children and improve their daily lives. It seems that people don’t understand this. Frankly, incorrect assumptions are being made without understanding.”

 

WE Charity’s prior responses to Canadaland’s questions:

2018 investigation:
https://www.canadaland.com/all-of-wes-answers-to-canadaland-and-letters-from-their-lawyers/

2019 investigation:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21044335-we-responses-to-canadaland-2019?responsive=1&title=1

WE.org Transparency page:
https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/we-charity

WE.org Financials page:
https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/we-charity/governance/

ME to WE Transparency page:
https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/me-to-we

Further reading:

Canadaland’s reporting on WE Charity:
https://www.canadaland.com/?s=we+charity

 

This episode contains source materials used under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Sources:

It Takes a Child
Craig Kielburger’s Story – A Journey into Child Labour
Directed by Judy Jackson
Produced by Judy Films
Youtube

The Story of Craig Kielburger
Produced, and narrated by Sherine Mansour
CPAC
Youtube

In Search Of Character
LiveWire Media
Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc
https://www.livewiremedia.com/product/in-search-of-character/

The Price WE Paid
The Fifth Estate/CBC

Interview with Craig Kielburger
CSPAN
Craig Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video
Youtube

Marc Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video
Youtube

WE Movement Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6agaIkn5aBJlLLds7P1HQ

MeToWe Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6agaIkn5aBJlLLds7P1HQ

CTV News – Kielburger brothers interview with Lisa Laflamme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_p5PRLy2os

MTV Cribs: Craig Kielburger Episode
Haddon Strategy
https://vimeo.com/49975157

September 13, 2021
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