Effectiveness of We Day should be questioned

There is no doubt that the We Day event held last week at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was well-intentioned, designed to inspire the 6,000 students who attended to make the world a better place. It is important to question, though, how much of this event is actually about making a difference and how much of it is about making a big splash.

While other speakers attended the conference, the ones who received the media attention afterward were the celebrities. What began as a grassroots event to inspire youth has become a place for celebrities to get some press and attract a crowd. How much could the celebrity class be accomplishing on its own if it actually harnessed its massive collective monetary potential to do good deeds?

At the root of We Day is a group called Free the Children, founded by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger who set out to abolish child labour in the third world. The benefits of the foundation, however, have been called into question.
GiveWell, an organization that evaluates the intentions of various charitable organizations, did not clear Free the Children based on two criteria: the lack of substantial evidence regarding the impact of the charity’s work and the lack of quantitative assessment available to judge the charity’s effectiveness. As the organizers for this event, Free the Children should be providing a broader picture of the effectiveness of its aid.

As an inspirational event, it is well executed and hopefully students actually take something away from it. It is necessary, however, to evaluate the actual aid that this event generates and whether it is truly about changing the world.

—The Cord Editorial Board

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