Nokia collaborates with Free The Children to raise social consciousness of Canadian students



    Joint initiative, Directors of Change, encourages youth to engage with
    the world around them

    TORONTO, March 12 /CNW/ - Nokia and Free The Children announced today
that they are working together to launch the Directors of Change program, a
joint initiative that aims to create a generation of socially engaged and
globally aware Canadian youth.
    Directors of Change gives youth the tools to bring the world into the
classroom through new forms of media and innovative use of communication
technology. Each year, a dedicated team of high school students travels to
developing countries such as Kenya, India and Mexico to volunteer and explore
critical global issues. Guided by an experienced filmmaker, the students
create a documentary film that they can share with their North American peers.
Accompanying the films is a resource guide developed as an educational tool to
be used in North American schools. The Directors of Change program helps youth
to become healthy, engaged adults and active citizens and encourages them to
make a positive contribution in the world around them.
    "We are committed to having a positive impact on the society in which we
work and live and giving youth the opportunity to drive changes within their
communities," said Carla Carmichael, Director of Marketing, Nokia Canada. "The
Directors of Change program puts youth at the forefront of the agenda and
allows them to take an active role in all aspects of the program, from
identifying global issues to sharing the information with their peers."
    Research has shown that North American youth can feel disconnected from
their communities and disempowered when it comes to making change in the world
around them. The goal of the program is to have 80 per cent of primary
beneficiaries - those students that are directly involved in the program -
involved in new social change initiatives. Between 75 and 90 per cent of the
participating students will improve their creative thinking, critical
thinking, and empathetic skills. It is expected that youth volunteer groups
will be formed by at least 50 per cent of classrooms using the resource guide.
    "Free The Children is very excited to be working alongside Nokia and IYF
on this one of a kind initiative," said Craig Kielburger, Founder and Chair.
"This program is a great way to incorporate the growing use of technology as a
means of communicating the message for social change. Directors of Change will
empower youth to express themselves from their unique perspective in a way
that will resonate and inspire their peers. This will be our first bilingual
program, providing an amazing opportunity for youth across Canada to become
engaged in local and global social issues."
    The Directors of Change program is offered by Free The Children and is
part of a global youth development initiative of Nokia and the International
Youth Foundation. Since 2000, nearly 400,000 young people in 26 countries have
participated in programs that equip youth with the knowledge and skills to
participate as active citizens and contribute to their communities.

    About Nokia Canada

    Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and
growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a
wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music,
navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through
these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for
communications networks. Established in 1979, Nokia Products Limited, the
Canadian subsidiary of Nokia, has been bringing the best in mobile phones and
enhancements to Canada to satisfy the diverse needs of Canadian consumers.
Nokia has a strong national presence in Canada, with a global Multimedia R&D
facility in Vancouver, global Enterprise Solutions business in Kanata, and the
national Head Office responsible for sales and marketing of mobile phones in
Ajax. Since January 2006, Nokia has launched at least one new handset in the
Canadian marketplace each month and there are currently over 40 Nokia handsets
available to Canadian consumers.

    About Nokia - Community Involvement

    Nokia is committed to having a positive impact on society that extends
beyond the advanced technology, products, and services it creates. It has
invested in community projects supporting young people and education in 30
countries, benefiting more than one million young people. The company has an
active employee volunteering program which last year saw its employees give
more than 18,000 hours to local community projects. Nokia is also supporting
innovative technology projects designed to bridge the digital divide and bring
the benefits of mobile technology to communities around the world. More
information about Nokia is available at: www.nokia.com.

    About Directors of Change

    The Directors of Change program aims to create a generation of socially
engaged and globally aware Canadian youth who are equipped to take action in
their own communities and contribute to the lives of their disadvantaged
peers. Through the program, secondary school students immerse themselves in a
developing country community, learning how to make short documentary films and
contributing as volunteers. For each film that is produced, corresponding
resource materials are developed and used as educational tools in
200 classrooms. Implemented by Free the Children, the Directors of Change
program is part of a global youth development initiative of Nokia and the
International Youth Foundation. For more information go to
www.freethechildren.com/directorsofchange.

    About Free The Children

    Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping
children through education, with more than one million youth involved in
innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995
by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children has
a proven track record of success. Through the energy and passion of youth,
Free The Children has built more than 500 schools around the world, shipped
more than $15 million US in essential medical supplies, and provides education
for 50,000 children everyday. The organization has received the World's
Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (also known as the Children's
Nobel Prize), the Human Rights Award from the World Association of
Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with
leading school boards across Canada as well as Oprah's Angel Network in the
United States. For more information please visit www.freethechildren.com

    About the International Youth Foundation

    The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary
potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a
worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society
organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and
engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people
obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices,
and improve their communities. To learn more visit www.iyfnet.org.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Nicole Tuschak, Ketchum (on
behalf of Nokia), (416) 355-7422, nicole.tuschak@ketchum.com; Melissa Yaw,
Free The Children, (416) 925-5894, ext. 248, melissa@freethechildren.com; Jim
Peirce, International Youth Foundation, (410) 951-1605, jim@iyfnet.org

Organization Profile

Nokia Canada

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890