I don’t claim to be a friend of Craig and Marc Kielberger. Yet I did meet Craig several years ago when I was asked to “suss him out” on behalf of one of my clients who was considering sponsoring the “We Charity” that the lads were building. Craig and I met and talked for some time about what he and his brother were up to. I thought then – and continue to believe now – that these are extraordinary young men who want to change the world for the better. I recommended the client proceed. In fact, Craig was so keen on their mission that I agreed to take myself and my two sons over to Africa to help build a school. (Sadly, a local conflict broke out in Kenya just after I signed up and they had to curtail operations for a while; we ended up not going.)
If Marc and Craig erred in their development of an idea into a far-reaching enterprise, it was likely turning over too much control to technocrats to run the business end of their operations, plus trusting the government to have their backs. Instead, they’ve been thrown under the bus: they’ve been caught in a political cross-fire and I think that’s not only unfair but wrong.
Were their actions a little over to the top occasionally? For me, yes, but I can’t blame enthusiasm for being destructive. Marc: “Doing good is not simple. We’ve made mistakes over the 25 years, and we apologize.”
My hope for these guys is that they keep their non-Canadian activities going strong. And shame on you politicians who have chosen to victimize these well-meaning gentlemen in order to save face for yourselves.
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