At the U of T Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting on Sept. 6, speaker Craig Kielburger posed a challenge to U of T: become the first post-secondary institution in Canada to require 100 community-service hours before graduation.
Kielburger (BA 2006 Trinity), a human rights activist, founded Free the Children at the age of 12. His brother, Mark, is the chief executive director. Under their leadership, the organization has constructed more than 450 schools and created programs for kids in developing countries. Kielburger, 23, spoke of the 50 U of T students who volunteered in rural Kenya through a Free the Children project: they picked up shovels and, alongside community members, dug wells, built schools, and then filled those schools with desks and supplies. He noted that volunteerism provides students with new skills and friendships, and a higher grade point average. You can listen to Kielburger’s speech at www.alumni.utoronto.ca/groups/utaa/utaa.htm.