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Food for Thought in Saskatchewan
Our ears are still ringing from the voices of the 15,000 young world-changers who packed into Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre today. We Day Saskatchewan was absolutely spectacular, and we’re humbled by the enthusiasm and commitment we witnessed in the crowd and in our speakers.
The show kicked off kicked off with a traditional Aboriginal blessing for the audience, followed by a We Day Dance lesson with Danny and Touch. Our audience must have studied up before the event, because 15,000 kids took to their feet and, with a little help from our dancers, busted out into the four-step We Day dance—showing us some of the best boogying we’ve ever seen.
With the crowd pumped and ready, we launched into a day of passionate speeches and breathtaking performances. Uplifting appearances by Hedley, Shawn Desman and Karl Wolf kept the crowd energized all day, while returning We Day favourite Martin Sheen reminded the youth of Saskatchewan that they are not asked to great things, but to do all things with great care.
Reminding the audience that February 27 is Anti-Bullying Day across Canada, Molly Burke shared the moving story of how she found her voice after being the victim of bullying, and encouraged every student in Saskatchewan to show the power of their voice, and their silence, by joining together in the We are Silent campaign. “Together our voices are strong, powerful and loud. United, we are one voice.” The audience shared their voices with Molly, cheering her on and giving wild applause to hip-hop performer Jake “Lil JaXe” Zeldin who performed his song “Kid With a Dream” and shared his own experiences with bullying.
Since We Day Saskatchewan took place in the agricultural centre of Canada, the topic of food security was top of mind all day. Agriculture and Food Security is the fifth and newest pillar to be added to Free The Children’s Adopt a Village development model. It’s made possible by founding partner PotashCorp, who also brought We Day to Saskatchewan. Bill Doyle, CEO and President of PotashCorp came on stage to talk with Craig Kielburger about food security, sharing his belief that “one person hungry is too many.” He explained how access to adequate nutritious food is essential to the development of a community and provides students with the energy to learn.
Food security was also an important topic for our speakers, including actress and Activist Mia Farrow, who recounted her experiences witnessing starvation and malnutrition as a human rights ambassador in Angola. Luke Bilyk of Degrassi talked about seeing unequal access to food in the markets of Haiti on a Me to We Trip and how it opened his eyes to the realities of hunger. His co-star, Aislinn Paul, encouraged the audience to do their part to help others. “Together we can take this earth-sized house we share, and turn it into a home,” she urged to a cheering crowd.
We are so grateful for everything our amazing youth have done so far, and excited to see what they will achieve in the coming year. Thanks to all you who gave your energy to making our first-ever We Day Saskatchewan a resounding success, and for showing your passion for local and global issues.
We Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and educators in attendance, thanks to the generous support of sponsors led by National Co-Title Sponsors RBC and TELUS. We Day is brought to Saskatchewan by Regional Title Sponsor PotashCorp. Young people earn their way into the event by committing to take action on at least one local and one global issue through Free The Children’s year long engagement programs. Learn more at www.freethechildren.com/weschools