WE Charity has been at the center of the storm since last year when investigations on conflict-of-interest started in Canada.
It began when the Canada govt under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the charity a $900-million student grant program to manage. The $912-million Canada student service grant (CSSG) was given to the charity non-competitively.
The direct award was resisted by the Canadian opposition lawmakers because of Prime Minister Trudeu’s close ties to the charity. In short, corruption in tender award.
In Kenya, the issue started as a former staff exposed the co-founder Marc Kielburger as a racist who mistreated his staff while also having a stranglehold on information, about such, from leaking from the company fearing bad publicity.
In 2019, Marc had manhandled a staff member of WE Charity Kenya who was about to resign from his post.
“The next 24 hours was the most tormenting time in my life. Marc opened the meeting by saying, “We are going to have a serious conversation and it is going to be a tech free talk, please turn off your phone”. I reaching into my pocket to get my phone to turn it off, and as I got it out, Marc forcefully grabbed my wrist, twisted with his left hand and took my phone and gave it to Karin. At this point I became furious, agitated and almost walked out of the boardroom, this is when he said, “you do not want to do that because there are two armed men out there who are going to deal with you in a more ruthless manner”. Marc was accompanied to the meeting by 2 police officers, they stood outside the whole time he interrogated me about the blackmail letter”, Santai Kimakeke wrote on a blog post that was deleted after getting threatened by WE.
Luckily, we had the whole article, read more by clicking here.
WE Charity (MeToWE/ Free The Children), apart from trying to hide Marc’s own illegalities, had other issues on its schools.
Former staff and children from WE Charity-run schools in Kenya exposed the charity for using corporal punishment where some kids were whipped with sticks on the back, legs and buttocks. This was happening when the Kenyan Ministry of Education had banned the habit due to its adverse effects, paralysis and death of some school kids.
Investigations in Canada
Earlier in January, committee member Charlie Angus sent the panel a letter asking them to examine allegations that pupils at some WE-operated schools in Kenya were sometimes subjected to corporal punishment by teachers. He also said it would be necessary to invite other witnesses that worked in the WE organization, or students at its overseas schools, to provide testimony.
WE Charity was started by human rights advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger in 1995. It is the non-profit arm of WE, which operates educational and social justice programs in Canada and internationally. Me to We is the organization’s for-profit social enterprise.
In December 2020, Bloomberg Businessweek reported allegations of corporal punishment from three former students and a former teacher at charitable schools operated by WE in Kenya. Students described being caned multiple times from 2012 to 2016, on the back, legs, buttocks and hands.
WE has disputed the allegations and criticisms of its Kenya operations, as well as other concerns and allegations raised in the article about oversight, corporate structure and the organization’s real estate portfolio.
“Any suggestion that some students at WE-operated schools were caned has been disputed in formal statements by four former students, three former teachers and the former principal, all of whom would have been present during the time of the alleged caning incident, as well as senior representatives from the Kenyan Narok County for Education who confirmed the same,” WE said in an email following the committee’s decision.
It declined to comment on whether the Kielburgers, Elm (WE Charity’s lawyer in Kenya), Marquez or Li would appear before the Committee voluntarily.
WE Charity has also been accused of showing nude and semi-nude photos to kids in its videos. We have documented evidence from YouTube videos that support these allegations.
Showing such (nude and semi-nude) photos and videos promote a culture that is not original to human nature of kids and in some quarters it has been rightly condemned since it normalizes child trafficking and pedophilia.
After the investigations in Canada is done, the Kielburger brother and those involved in the WE Charity must all be extradited to Kenya to face child abuse charges.
Problem is they have gotten away with much atrocities because of close ties with big political families and bribing Kenyan authorities.
Part 2: Evidence of child abuse in Kenya
If you worked or schooled at WE Charity and was abused, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp +254 710 280 973