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WE Charity's rise to prominence — and unexpected fall

In the wake of political controversy, WE Charity is shutting down its Canadian operations. We look at the meteoric rise — and the unexpected fall — of WE Charity.
The co-founders of WE Charity, Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, announced Wednesday they are winding down the charity's operations in Canada. (Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press)

Back in 1995, a 12-year-old in Thornhill, Ont., was so moved by a newspaper story about the death of a boy in Pakistan who fought against child labour that he created a charity called Free the Children.

Craig Kielburger, along with his brother Marc, went on to create a mass movement of youth activism. But 25 years later, and following a political controversy related to a student volunteer grant program, the Kielburgers announced they were stepping down and closing the Canadian arm of WE Charity.

Today, Marie-Danielle Smith and Jason Markusoff of Maclean's magazine report on the stratospheric rise — and the unexpected fall — of WE.

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