WE Charity misled donors about building schools in Kenya, records show

Multiple donors were sent photos of same schoolhouses WE Charity said each had fully funded. Marc and Craig Kielburger’s WE Charity routinely misled school-aged children and wealthy philanthropists across North America for years as it solicited millions for schoolhouses in Kenya and other projects in its Adopt-A-Village program, an investigation by CBC’s The Fifth Estate has found. Slick marketing videos, congratulatory social media posts and crowdfunding websites across the internet tell the story of two brothers on a mission to change the world, but under closer scrutiny those digital crumbs lead down a trail of contradictions and deception. “I don’t know how they thought they could get away with it for so long,” said a former WE employee. CBC agreed to conceal their identity because they were concerned about legal reprisals from the charity for speaking out. Years after Rukshan de Silva and his high school classmates in Oakville, Ont., raised money for WE to build a one-room schoolhouse in Kenya, he travelled there to see the fruits of their labour. What he didn’t know during his 2013 visit was that four small blue letters displayed prominently above the schoolhouse doorway were a clue that he and the students from Iroquois Ridge High School had been deceived.

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