We Day Alberta 2013 - October 4, 2013 @ Calgary Saddledome
There are a MANY words that I would use to describe WeDay 2013 - bright, emotional, loud, life-changing, inspiring. Just to name a few. This event, I have to admit, has been on my calendar for over a year. I was really really looking forward to attending (I mean, have you seen the promotional videos?! Who wouldn't want to go?). The morning of WeDay, I could barely eat I was so excited. The chance to hear speakers like Martin Luther King Jr. III, Spencer West, and Amanda Lindhout got my inner Social Studies and social justice nerd pumped up to change the world. What I didn't anticipate was how deeply motivated and invigorated I would be after a whole day in the Saddledome with 18, 000 youth screaming and jumping around. As well, I had multiple "Thank You's" from students, coordinators and parents over the course of the day (thank you Free the Children! Made my teacher heart swell with love!). I realized early on in the day, that the hours of work needed to organize attendance at We Day has immeasurable value. To me. To kids. To the world. I realized days like WeDay are necessary, and seeing how much the students got out of the day, made me happy I worked extra hours, made those extra phone calls and had those parent meetings. It was all worth it. Everything was worth it. My favourite moment of the day was when a young environmentalist-blogger, Hannah, got on stage and talked about her hero Malala. I was blown away with her passion and message. She was up on that stage, pumping her fist and speaking so articulately that before I realized it, tears were rolling down my cheeks. I had a huge smile on my face. A 9-year old with so much passion she was almost leaping out of her body to shout out to 18, 000 young adults. YOU ARE THE CHANGE. I was mesmerized. I looked over at my students, they too were under her spell.
This year, Free the Children has a HUGE and AWESOME goal. They want to raise the money for 200 new schools in their partner countries. This is the Year of Education. Pretty cool considering I am also highly invested in Education. Why, you may ask, is Free the Children dedicating this year to building schools? Because as Nikkole Heavy-Shields, FNMI activist and speaker, told us "...education is our liberation". If we truly want change in our world, we need to educate our world. It is a basic right to attend school, yet so much of the world is denied access to this right (especially girls). The more schools we build, the more people have access. It is a vital first step. More schools - More access. Simple hey? Our social justice club at St. Mary's also has a HUGE and AWESOME goal. We want to build a school in one year. We have a plan, Sexsmith style, to make this happen. It involves farming. That's all I will tell you. I'm sure I'll be posting about it later. One brick costs $20. It takes 500 bricks to build one school. $10 000. Yup. That's a lot of bake sales. But one thing I know for sure after attending We Day in Calgary, is that without a doubt, IT IS WORTH IT.
“Spread the word! Have you heard? Our nation is going to be a great generation!”
Mrs. Katherine (Kate) Weber