Free the Children Tribute to Nelson Mandela

On December 5th, 2013 the world had lost the great politician, philanthropist and revolutionary known as Nelson Mandela. Quickly following his passage, Free the Children alongside members of the TCDSB hosted an event at St. Josephs College, to pay tribute to Mandela’s life, philosophies and his overall impact on the world.

A warm welcome from co-founder of Free the Children, Marc Kielburger .
A warm welcome from co-founder of Free the Children, Marc Kielburger, our official master of ceremonies
Trustees
TCDSB Student Trustees Will and Enrique lead us in prayer

Marc speaks about their experience meeting Mr. Mandela. He explains that it was his words and virtues that inspired them both to dedicate this year to education.
Principal of St. Joseph's College,
Principal of St. Joseph’s College Helen Lesniak, officially welcomes all students and guests
All rise for Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David Onley.
All rise for Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David Onley. “Like Mandela, we need to FORGIVE those who have hurt us for only then we will be FREE.”
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Chair of the Board, Ms. Jo-Ann Davis – a St. Joe’s alumni – gives her greetings. “We are looking to you student leaders to give light and hope to communities and carry on Mandela’s legacy.”
Angela
TCDSB Director of Education, Angela Gautier speaks directly to the students to encourage them to make a change in their schools. “Social justice is when education comes to life in our students.”
Two Kenyan Maasai Warriors take the stage.
The last 2 Kenyan Maasai Warriors, Wilson and Jackson take the stage. “It’s our job to continue where Mr. Mandela left off.”
He tells of his experience performing for Mandela as a child and how it's made him live his life to the fullest ever since.
Kardinal tells of his experience performing for Mandela and how it’s made him live his life to the fullest ever since. “Nelson Mandela was a magical man who was able to bring his dreams into fruition.”
Surprise, surprise! Nelly Furtado joins the Tribute!
Surprise, surprise! Nelly Furtado joins the Tribute! “Have the courage to follow your convictions and raise your voice in defense of what you believe in.”

 

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The young Gr.12 student poet Mustafa Ahmed inspires the crowd with his powerful words. “The greatest glory in life is not falling while we live but by rising every time we fall.”

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Marc quotes Mandela as we get a live feed from our friends from South Africa. “A leader is like a Shepherd, leading the flock from behind.”
Our friends from Kenya! Top right corner is Craig Keilburger, Co-founder of Free the Children.
Our friends from Kenya! Top right corner is Craig Keilburger, Co-founder of Free the Children.

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Up next, a beautiful performance by St. Joseph’s choir.

candle-collage
CSLIT leaders share they personal commitments to continue Mandela’s legacy. Everyone in the crowd holds a light and does the same as the lighting of the candles symbolizes the renewal of our promise to live by and through Mandela’s teachings.
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Shawn Desman closes off the celebration with a musical performance

The overall atmosphere of the event was similar to the WE Day experience. It left a lasting imprint on all its attendees and renewed their promises to make a positive change, especially through FTC’s Year of Education and TCDSB’s year of Hope.

A special thanks goes out to all those who made the event possible. Teachers, coordinators, guest speakers, Free the Children, St. Joseph’s College, CSLIT and all students who attended the event.  Special thanks to Greg Rogers for help pulling it all together.

Erica and Simeon back stage with the one and only Sean Desmand!
Erica and Simeon back stage with the one and only Shawn Desman!
Our student leaders from CSLIT
Our student leaders from CSLIT – Great work everyone!

Now back to the board for E-CSLIT online at 3:15pm.  Wow what a busy day.

Nap time for Erica!
Nap time for Erica as we drive back to the CEC 🙂

One thought on “Free the Children Tribute to Nelson Mandela

  1. Great memories, it was an honour to be part of such a wonderful tribute!

    Have a great Christmas Night!

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