Potash workshop focuses on children

Published 9:52 pm Monday, June 3, 2013

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Thanks to a workshop held last Saturday, Beaufort County is crawling with ambassadors for change.
Craig Kielburger, founder of Free the Children, spoke to 155 PotashCorp-Aurora employees and local residents at First United Methodist Church. Each family received a copy of “The World Needs Your Kid- Raising Children Who Care and Contribute.”
This is the first PotashCorp Family First workshop within the company.
“As part of our sponsorship of the Food and Agricultural Pillar within Free the Children, each of our sites will welcome the Free the Children team to host similar events,” said   Melissa Nanney, a public affairs specialist.
Kielburger encouraged local youth to become “ambassadors for change” and lead meaningful action.
He speaks from experience. In 1995, he was a 12-year-old flipping through the newspaper looking for comics when a headline caught his attention.
The news article was about a 12-year-old South Asian boy who was sold into slavery as a 4-year-old. The boy spent six years chained to a carpet-weaving loom. After his story became public, the boy started speaking out for the rights of children and was murdered, according to FreetheChildren.com.
Kielburger started a movement to free children from poverty and exploitation and empower others to affect change.
The program starts with campaigns started by children to fundraise for issues that engage them. Funds donated to Free the Children support an “Adopt a Village” program that empowers developing communities.
Seven Free the Children facilitators joined Kielburger at Saturday’s workshop. The children shared their experiences with the nonprofit organization.
“When asked how they would use their gifts to achieve their goals, answers ranged from organizing a softball tournament for autism awareness to playing a guitar to benefit homeless people to growing a community garden to help feed the hungry,” Nanney said.
PotashCorp-Aurora’s Ray McKeithan, public affairs manager, and Chris Toppin, human resources manager, led the event. A 22-member committee assisted them.
To learn more about Free the Children, visit www.freethechildren.com.