Thursday, August 9, 2012

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Marc Kielburger--Against Apathy

Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and waiting to receive more wisdom to help me lead our Operation Christmas Child team---

Marc Kieelburger is the first Canadian to speak at the Global Leadership Summit and heads two organizations that awaken children to global needs.   (this reminds me of the child-to-child connection forged through Operation Christmas )

Marc and his brother Craig started in social justice issues at ages 12 and 13.  His parents asked Craig to look at a newspaper article when he was 12 about a child who was sold into child labor then escaped and began to educate parents about children's rights.   Craig took the article to his 7th grade class and they all were mobilized to help.  This group of 12 twelve-year-olds called themselves "the group of 12" and began a movement called Free the Children and now 17 years later have 1.7 million members.

They work domestically and internationally to build schools and they had the problem that girls weren't attending the schools.  They found that girls had to get water for their village and couldn't go to school so they began funding water for the villages also.

Then children were getting sick so they started to provide health care but then the people were becoming dependent.  They then began giving micro-loans to allow women to start businesses.

They empower children from kindergarten and up to work for social justice. Each year they have 150,000 kids take a vow of silence in solidarity for kids who have no voice.

Someone asked Marc this question, "Marc, what type of legacy do you want to leave?"  We don't ask young people that question enough.  That was the question that changed his life.

Now have 16 offices around the world but it's so critical to do this in a way that's tangible.  "We 'sell' hope."  So they foster a culture of listening, community, meaning, gratitude, and legacy.

Why did the brothers decide to co-lead?  He says "two leaders are better than one."  How do they keep looking forward?--They have events called "We Day" to use peer pressure in a positive way to mobilize more youth.  You have to earn a ticket through service that involves 20,000 students per stadium event.

School students are mobilized to continue the movement.  Do they really believe children can make a difference?  Yes--we need to help young people know they are gifted and help them find an issue they care about.

Gift + Issue = Better World

Look for young people who have empathy.  When you communicate empathy you create passion.  Show, not tell.  Show us what you're doing to change the world.  Shameless idealism needs to be translated into action.

Take young people out of their comfort zone.  Take 3,000 youth a year to help build schools and most are girls between 14-17 years old.   (showed video of students going with local women to make a walk to get water -- 2 hour walk each way)

A billion young people on the earth and 9/10 live in developed countries so this generation can end poverty if they are engaged now.

Marc talked about meeting Mother Teresa--4'8" tall and when they went to leave she grabbed their hands and looked deeply into their souls and said, "We can do no great things but we can do small things with great love."

We have a saying we want you to contemplate, "We are the generation that we've been waiting for.  Invest in them now.  Engage them now and they will be the leaders doing small things with great love."

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