Me to We

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For the song by Public Enemy, see the album article, Man Plans God Laughs
Me to We
Social enterprise[1]
Industry Lifestyle and travel
Founded Toronto
2008
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Roxanne Joyal
(CEO)
Divisions Trips
Leadership training
Style
Artisans
Website metowe.com

Me to We is a for-profit social enterprise[1] founded in 2008 by Canadian brothers Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger that provides socially responsible products and services and donates half of its net profits to non-profit partner Free the Children.[2]

History[edit]

Me to We begun when brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger of Thornhill, Ontario, travelled to Ecuador in their teens to build a school for a developing community. Inspired by their own volunteer experiences, they founded Me to We, originally called "Leaders Today", to offer leadership training and volunteer trips to developing communities served by their charity, Free the Children. They also wrote the book Me to We, with contributions by Oprah Winfrey, Richard Gere, Jane Goodall, Desmond Tutu and others, explaining their philosophy of volunteerism, service to others and social involvement.[3]

Mission and structure[edit]

Me to We is a socially conscious lifestyle brand, with half of its annual net profits donated to Free the Children and the other half reinvested to keep the social enterprise sustainable.[4] The enterprise has been noted in Canadian media for setting new standards of governance in the social enterprise field.

Offerings include:

  • Leadership camps and seminars
  • Volunteer travel to Kenya, Ecuador, Nicaragua, India, Arizona, Tanzania and China, where participants volunteer on Free the Children development projects.
  • Canadian-produced, sweatshop-free environmentally friendly clothing (Me to We Style)
  • Accessories handmade by artisans in Free The Children communities (Me to We Artisans)
  • A bureau of motivational/inspirational speakers

Me to We Trips[edit]

Me to We runs volunteer trips for various groups to a number of developing countries around the world, such as China, Ecuador, India, Kenya, and Nicaragua [5]

Notable individuals who have traveled on Me to We trips include Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Hedley, Kardinal Offishall, Nelly Furtado and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Participants volunteer in communities where Me to We's charity partner Free The Children has longstanding relationships, and they contribute to the advancement of those projects – by helping with construction of schools or water wells. They also are immersed in the local culture with home visits and customary celebrations; and they participate in workshop to develop understanding of local history and issues, and as well as gain leadership skills to make a difference on their return home.[12][13]

A trip experience in Kenya is the "water walk," where participants join Kenyan women on their daily trek to collect water for their families.[6]

Me to We Artisans[edit]

Roxanne Joyal founded Me to We Artisans in 2009, which works with women in Kenya. These women receive a sustainable source of alternative income for their work; Me to We states that more than 812 women earn fair wages from traditional beading skills to make fashion accessories for the North American market.[14]

As of October 2014, the program employs about 1,200 women in Kenya, in 34 independent beading collectives in 14 communities.[15]

Other activities[edit]

Founder Craig Kielburger appears on Toronto news channel CP24 on regular segments focused on socially responsible lifestyle tips, entitled "Living Me to We". The enterprise also operates a retail store in Toronto that features its products and services.

Partnerships[edit]

Celebrity spokespeople[edit]

Me to We works with celebrity figures in designing T-shirts, promoting pieces from the Me to We Artisans collection, and promoting volunteer trips. Past spokespeople have included:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Me to We
  2. ^ The Toronto Star, Friday August 26, 2011, Rita Zekas, From Kenya to Me to We to you
  3. ^ Canadian Living, Christine Langlois, The accidental activists: Craig and Marc Kielburger
  4. ^ The Globe and Mail, Josh Wingrove, Marc and Craig Kielburger's do-gooding social enterprise
  5. ^ "Youth Trips - Me to We". 
  6. ^ a b adams, Morgan Ian (2014-06-16). "Students return from Kenya, better from the experience". The Enterprise Bulletin (Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin). Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  7. ^ Gerstel, Judy (2013-09-16). "Joe Jonas sings praises of hands-on experience". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  8. ^ Abate, Sabrina (2014-11-23). "WATCH: Hedley Helps Build A School In Ecuador With Me To We". Confront Magazine. Confront Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  9. ^ Israelson, David (2014-09-29). "Rapper finds truths amid Maasai culture". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  10. ^ O'Neil, Doug (2015-01-05). "Graduation day at Free the Children's first all-girls secondary school, Kisaruni, Kenya". Canadian Living. Canadian Living. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  11. ^ "Victoria Duffield: Reading about Malala Fund's recent trip to Africa...". Volumeet. Volumeet. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  12. ^ "Me to We Volunteer Trips". Student Universe. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  13. ^ "Tri-County students come back from Me to We Ghana experience with new perspective on life". Shelburne County Coast Guard. TC Transcontinental. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  14. ^ Greenwood Davis, Heather (May 2014). "How fair trade jewellery is changing the lives of Kenyan women". Canadian Living. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  15. ^ http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/life/2014/10/01/me-to-we-artisans-stories-from-a-kenyan-maasai-mama/
  16. ^ "Me to We". 
  17. ^ "Make shopping for school supplies a breeze". 
  18. ^ "Nordstrom Debuts "Me to We" Line of Kenyan-Made Artisan Accessories". 
  19. ^ "Me to We artisans brings can-do attitude direct from Kenya". 
  20. ^ "Show them the money… being used for good Read more: http://strategyonline.ca/2014/04/23/show-them-the-moneybeing-used-for-good/".  External link in |title= (help);
  21. ^ "MINNETONKA ME TO WE MAASAI MOCS". 
  22. ^ a b "Unilever and Walgreens Team Up with 'Me to We' to Provide 15 Million Gallons of Water to Families in Need".