Press Releases


INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KIMMIE WEEKS TO ADDRESS STUDENT CONFERENCE

Repercussion Theatre

MONTREAL, JANUARY  22, 2010 – Internationally renowned speaker and acclaimed children’s rights activist Kimmie Weeks, the founder of Youth Action International (YAI),  will be the keynote speaker  Wed. Jan. 27 (10:30 a.m.) at a lecture to be hosted by Marymount Academy (5100 Côte Saint-Luc Road).

The McGill University Chapter of YAI is bringing  Mr.  Weeks to Montreal to share his story of survival during the Liberian Civil War, as well as his present day work  inspiring young people around the globe to make changes for a better world. Students from Montreal area secondary schools, private and public, will be among those in attendance, as well as those from CEGEPs.   

Mr. Weeks will   share his personal life with his audience.   “This moving, thought provoking and extremely important event, will serve as an inspiration for many young people - our future leaders - who will be touched by the words of Kimmie Weeks, ” stated McGill YAI president Lili Liang.

The lecture fits in perfectly for those students enrolled in Marymount’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP). The aim of the IBMYP  is to help students relate the content of the classroom to the realities of the world outside by combining knowledge, experience and critical observation.

Mr. Weeks has worked to alleviate poverty and human suffering in Africa and around the world since he was a child. Born in Liberia  in 1981, he came face to face with civil war, human suffering, and death at the age of nine. Over the years he has formed partnerships and led organizations that have provided education to thousands of students in West Africa, lobbied the disarmament of over 20,000 child soldiers, and provided health care and recreation supplies to children. In 1998, he investigated and released a groundbreaking report on the Liberian government’s involvement in the training of child soldiers. As a result, former Liberian President Charles Taylor made several attempts to assassinate him until he fled the country and was granted political asylum in the United States

YAI (www.youthactioninternational.org) is an established non-profit, entirely youth-run organization originally founded by Mr. Weeks in  2002 at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Since its creation, YAI has expanded across the United States and to Canada. It works not only on providing basic aid to post-war countries to alleviate the suffering of children, but also on breaking the cycles of poverty and violence through programs such as child soldier rehabilitation programs, micro-loan programs, and vocational training programs. Most of all, Youth Action focuses its efforts on six post-war countries, namely: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. The ultimate goal is to help these children regain their lost childhoods.             
Later in the day at St. George’s School of Montreal  Mr. Weeks will participate in workshops with students and speak at an insider’s briefing.  

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca