The White Saviors - CANADALAND
The story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good.

The White Saviors

Hosted by Olusola Adeogun

Over 25 years, WE built a golden brand by inspiring children to rally around their charismatic leader. But behind the scenes, employees experienced a cult-like culture and a troubling blur of charitable and commercial activities. In the aftermath of a national scandal, thousands of donors and volunteers (and dozens of ‘celebrity ambassadors’) are left wondering where the money went, and whether the savior industry creates a constant need for victims.

From CANADALAND, the news company that exposed it all, this is the exclusive story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good.

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UPDATE (September, 2021)

What's up with the WE Organization now? An update on recent developments.
September 21, 2021

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...
September 13, 2021

Chapter Four – Crimes In Kenya

Kenya was the jewel in the crown of the WE Organization's global empire. It's where they took celebrities and CEOs for life-changing "experiences" with needy children, followed by stays in their 5-star luxury beach resort. It's also where WE co-founder Marc Kielburger hired a private security firm staffed by an ex-Israeli military operative and a Sri Lankan fugitive to deal with Kenyan employees who he thought were robbing or blackmailing him. They in turn accused Marc of kidnapping them and financial misconduct. This is an explosive tale of death threats, bribery and corruption in a country where WE was supposed to be helping.
September 6, 2021

Chapter Three – The Halo Effect

In the age of “corporate social responsibility,” giant corporations are tired of looking like the bad guys. Microsoft, Dow Chemical, Allstate Insurance, Hershey’s, Teck Mining – these companies were used to being blamed and boycotted. But by donating to WE Charity, they got more than tax benefits - they got a whole new PR strategy. This is the story of how WE turned virtue into a commodity, and sold it to the world’s biggest companies. But at what point does a charity become a marketing firm?
August 30, 2021

Chapter Two – The Cult of Kielburger

Kids in 17,000 schools have been encouraged to take the WE Pledge, join the WE movement, and “Live WE.” But what does that really mean? In practice, it has meant fundraising for WE, paying the Kielburgers’ private company for a “voluntourism” trip, going to work for WE, and living in communal WE housing. According to many of those who lived WE, it meant joining an organization very much like a “cult.”
August 23, 2021

Chapter One – The Children’s Crusade

Craig Kielburger was the Greta Thunberg of the 90s – a 12 year-old kid from the suburbs who dreamed of freeing the world’s children from slavery. His activism made him famous, and he was endorsed by Oprah, the Pope, the Queen, and the Clintons. His campaign became a global movement and a powerful brand.  But right from the start, there were uncomfortable questions about money and exploitation. Decades later, it all came crashing down. But the seeds of WE’s self-destruction were planted right from the start…
August 20, 2021

Trailer: The White Saviors

The exclusive story of a charity that did well when it was supposed to be doing good.
August 11, 2021
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