Inspiring children to be the change the world needs is the best investment we can make for our future. We Day is doing just that. By showcasing the amazing initiatives, campaigns and differences that children are making, Free the Children is inspiring our next generation to make a difference. Thanks to the wonderful folks at RBC and the #Make150count campaign, my daughter and I had the privilege of attending Montreal We Day recently. Growing up I was fortunate to have parents who always encouraged me to be the very best version of myself but others are not always so fortunate.
For culturally diverse children, having leaders or role models that look like you is not always easy. In fact, at times it can be downright disheartening. It often feels like there aren’t too many people who look like you making a difference in the world. Growing up, I remember feeling the lack of diversity among role models.
Ms B and I loved seeing Sara Abdessamie, a hijab wearing woman on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. It reassured us (Ms. B in particular) that empowering others is something anyone can do regardless of skin tone, faith or background. As her mother, and someone who had faced discrimination for much of my youth based on the colour of my skin, it made my heart sing.
In fact Ms. B was so inspired by attending previous We Day’s and this one that it inspired her to help raise awareness about the plight of Syrian refugees. Her class was studying the political situation in Syria around the same time our family had connected with a few local Syrian families in need locally here in Montreal via a volunteer run centre aiding Syrian families resettle in Montreal. She shared what we were doing with her classmates and inspired them to get involved in their own way. As a result, the children donated clothing, toys and household items to help Syrian refugees that have recently arrived in Montreal.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary on July 1, 2017, RBC is challenging thousands of young Canadians to “Make 150 Count”, to prove that when we invest in youth, great things happen.
It starts with RBC employees choosing young Canadians across the country, giving them $150, and encouraging them to use it to make a difference. How they use the money is up to them, all that is asked is that they show what they did through videos and photos, and then share it via social media. RBC hopes to collect some amazing stories showcasing the power of young people to truly make a positive impact in communities all across Canada and demonstrate the importance of investing in youth to help shape our country’s future.
Here’s are some questions about the #Make150count campaign:
Q: Why is RBC celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary?
A: We are a proud Canadian company and wanted to help celebrate 150 years of what makes this country great. And what better way than to look to our future – young Canadians – and give them the opportunity to do small acts of good to positively impact their local communities. RBC believes that when we invest in youth, great things can happen.
Q: How does the #Make150Count project work?
A: RBC employees are selecting thousands of young Canadians from coast to coast and challenging them to do something great with $150. How they use the money is up to them but we are asking them to take videos and photos and share what they’ve done through social media, using the hashtag #Make150Count. We want this project to ignite a national movement of young people doing acts of good that will inspire others and help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. That’s what makes this country great.
Q: How can a client or the general public get a $150 kit?
A: To be part of our national movement and RBC’s #Make150Count, tell us how you will help create a better Canada through Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Make150Count or submit your application at rbc.com/make150count. We will randomly select individuals. Those who apply must be between the ages of 16-25 and not be an immediate family member to an RBC employee.
Q: Why can’t anyone get a kit? Why are you limiting it to youth?
A: RBC believes in the creativity, optimism and potential of young Canadians and by engaging them to make an impact on their communities, we can shape our country’s future. We want this project to ignite a national movement of young people doing acts of good that will inspire others and help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Q: What’s the catch?
A: There isn’t one. We are giving young Canadians the opportunity to make $150 count in their community. No strings attached.
Q: What happens at the end of this project?
A: RBC will celebrate the stories from small to big within a national marketing campaign.
Ms. B and I have been incredibly inspired by We Day and we look forward to attending each year. It is a priceless experience. We are thankful to be invited by RBC to take part in such a unique learning experience and invite you all to learn more about #Make150Count.