His Royal Highness Honours Philanthropic Work of Quebec Youth

    Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, Joined Free The Children Founder
    Craig Kielburger for a Special Event in Montreal

    MONTREAL, Oct. 10 /CNW/ - His Royal Highness, The Prince Edward, Earl of
Wessex honoured Quebec student leaders today for their efforts to raise
awareness about social justice issues and their fundraising initiatives to
support development opportunities for children around the world, at a special
event held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Hosted by Free The
Children, the largest network of children helping children through education,
the event brought together more than 40 student leaders from numerous high
schools in Montreal who are actively involved in the organization's youth
volunteerism and leadership initiatives.
    The Earl was joined by Craig Kielburger, Founder of Free The Children, in
recognizing the efforts of socially active youth. "We are honoured to host His
Royal Highness and share with him the outstanding accomplishments of Quebec
youth," said Craig Kielburger. "We are very proud of what these students have
accomplished and we are constantly amazed and inspired by their creativity and
determination to affect positive change in the world. They are setting an
example for others to follow in demonstrating that youth really can make a
difference in the world."
    At this time last year, with the support of major sponsor National Bank
Financial, Free The Children established a permanent office in Quebec to
provide youth programming in both official languages. Since then, throughout
the Province, the organization - known as Enfants Entraide in French - has
established dozens of Youth in Action Groups and attracted thousands of youth
through motivational speaking tours and outreach activities.

    Making a difference for marginalized youth around the world

    The combined actions and efforts of these students, representing schools
across the city, have helped provide educational opportunities and develop
alternative income and water sanitation programs for marginalized children and
their families in developing countries around the world. Students from each
high school prepared a booth about their social action efforts and had the
opportunity to present their projects to the Earl. Prince Edward visited each
booth, interacted with the students and presented them with an award to
celebrate and recognize their achievements.
    The celebration brought together Free The Children representatives,
educators and special guests to recognize the efforts and actions of students.
As an avid supporter of youth-focused organizations and a patron for many
charitable organizations, His Royal Highness publicly applauded the
fundraising, volunteerism and public awareness initiatives of local students.
This was the second year that he supported the work of Free The Children.
    The 10 Montreal area schools that participated in today's event are:
Laurentian Regional High School, Collège Stanislas, F.A.C.E, Westmount High
School, Laurier Macdonald High School, Margaret Manson School, Wilder Penfield
Elementary School, Collège St. Anne de Lachine, Ecole Lucien Pagé, Académie
François Labelle/Ecole de L'Assomption.

    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 450 schools around the world, shipped
more than $11 million US in essential medical supplies, and provides education
for 40,000 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

    Please visit www.freethechildren.com for official photos and background
information on the schools and students who were honoured today.

    Interviews with Free The Children spokespersons and youth participants
are available upon request.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Cristelle Basmaji, NATIONAL Public Relations,
Office: (514) 843-1907, E-mail: cbasmaji@national.ca; Amy Schlein, Free The
Children, Cell: (416) 579-8982, Office: (416) 925-5894 x152, E-mail:

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