Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending We Day UK which brings together children from across the globe to celebrate empowerment, inspiration and incredible success stories.
We Day is an inspirational event like no other that allows like-minded individuals to connect and encourage each other to fulfill their dreams of helping those around them. It celebrated the remarkable stories of people leading change and provides young people in attendance inspiration to find their place in the world and the We Day movement.
Founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger, the foundation now boasts nearly 1 million social media followers and works in countries across the entire world. Craig’s journey as a child rights activist began at the age of 12, when he reached for the morning comics and noticed the newspaper’s front page. The headline read, “Battled Child Labour, Boy, 12, Murdered.” Being just 12 himself, Craig felt an immediate connection and took the story with him to school. When he asked his class for help to tackle the issue of child labour, 11 students raised their hands. Free The Children was born.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Craig, and when asked about We Day, he explained how his advice is that “we all have a gift to share, and so often young people struggle to find out what it is! Whether it’s volunteering, music, sport…find your gift!” He went on to explain how the organisation has massive plans for the future and they are already working w
ith incredible partners, including Barclays and Virgin Atlantic.
Guests to the event included Sam Branson, Son of Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and we couldn’t resist asking him about what it was like to grow up with Richard as a father. Sam said that he was ‘always impressed’ by how much time Richard spent with both him and his sister, Holly. Sam highlighted that his father simply has the most ‘incredible zest for life’ and always encourages them to ‘push boundaries and try new things’.
This led us perfectly onto Virgin Galactic, Virgin’s latest mission where it hopes to develop spaceships which will carry passengers into the orbit of space and back again for an astronomical holiday…(quite literally).
“It’s very exciting. Galactic launched a few weeks ago in California and myself, my wife and my daughter were there for it. I’m so excited for what we are going to achieve in terms of entering the world of space and in my daughter’s life, there will be so much space travel and much more”, Sam said.
Next up was Professor Brian Cox. As a famous astronomer who has graced our television screens, we could think of nobody better to continue this topic about space and science in general.
Brian comments : “I’m going to be old fashioned today and I’m going to read from a book. Today is about changing the world, so I want to give a perspective on our world in comparison to the universe. The best piece of writing about our planet is by Carl Sagen in a book called Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, so I have picked that.
As a child, my inspiration came from astronomy, from Apollo moon landings and people who thrived in that field. I want to encourage children to get more involved in technology, science and maths. It is vital for our economy but also, children need to know about how our universe works. We particularly need the girls on board in physics and engineering and we are missing talent!”
When asked to elaborate on space travel and Sam Branson’s dreams of Virgin Galactic, Brian was quick to add how “Sam is right is saying that normal people will be able to go into space and see earth from space, and the bes
t new discovery from recent months evolves around gravitational waves which backs up everything Einstein said over 100 years ago. Science is always incredibly fast-paced and exciting, and I have no doubt that the next step from space travel is space hotels and space houses”.
In addition to businessman, entrepreneurs and scientists, celebrities and musicians also graced We Day’s red carpet at Wembley Arena.
“Anything that does amazing things for young people is something I want to get involved with. Giving back is a very important thing and it’s best to remember that. I want to be here and I want every kid to feel special around the world. I’m inspired by events like this and I will continue to get more involved.”
Labrinth was accompanied by fellow pop singer, Fleur East, who found fame on the X Factor with Simon Cowell as her mentor. Her most recent single, Sax, zoomed to the top of the charts, causing her to be the next artist tipped to ‘break America’.
“We Day is an amazing cause and the foundation is getting young children involved in local and global organisations. I wish I had had the opportunity to do something like this when I was a child”, Fleur said.
We went on to ask about her music and future plans and Fleur said with confidence how ‘Sax was very successful and 2016 will be exciting’.
“My album is out now so I need to push more songs which will follow Sax. There’s a lot of pressure to break America and that would be a dream, but I want the support in the UK first. There’s talk of the X Factor ending and I want to just say that it should definitely continue – anything that helps to find talent is brilliant and my life has been a complete whirlwind since the show”, she added.
We Day UK co-hosts, Laura Whitmore, Bluey Robinson, Yasmin Evans and Becca Dudley motivated the crowd throughout the day which included powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances. Overall, highlights included hearing from Spencer West who lost both his legs age 5 and yet continued to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair, Singer Rita Ora, who gave a compelling speech about immigration and acceptance, and Labrinth’s overwhelming finale performance where he excited crowds with a vamped up version of Earthquake.