When Craig Kielburger was 12 years old, he saw a newspaper article about a child slave who was about his age. The article inspired him to eventually found Free the Children, an organization that 15 years later has student groups in 3,500 Canadian schools that have helped build 650 schools around the globe.
Kielburger didn’t wake up one day and discover he was an activist. His deep engagement with the cause of children’s rights began with a rather low-commitment action of reading a newspaper article. Many people who argue for the value of social media as a tool for social change feel that the “like” button can function, like the article did for 12-year-old Kielburger, as the first step in a ladder of engagement.
“You’re not going to get everyone who liked your Facebook Page to volunteer their summer building schools and helping out, but it’s still part of that journey,” Kielburger says.