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RBC and Free The Children inspire local youth to take action

Support includes funding of $300,000 for water education in Canada and overseas

TORONTO, ON (September 3, 2009) — RBC today announced that it would throw its support behind programs offered by Free The Children, a Canadian-based children's charity founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995. With the assistance of RBC, Free The Children will be able to continue developing important initiatives and programs to help educate children around the world.

RBC will support the following programs:

H2O for You - In August, RBC announced a $300,000 RBC Blue Water Grant to support Free the Children's water education programming in Canada and abroad. The H20 for You educational speaking tour will cross Canada to inform youth about the global water crisis, give them the tools to take action on local water issues and demonstrate how to fundraise for international water initiatives. The Blue Water Grant also supports community education programs in India and China.

Adopt a Village campaign - This Free The Children program is designed to help remove barriers that prevent children from accessing education and break the cycle of poverty. RBC will help support Free the Children's international work in the areas of education, health care, clean water and alternative income programs for marginalized children and their families in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

We Day, Toronto - RBC has come on as a special partner for Free The Children's largest youth empowerment event taking place October 5 at the Air Canada Centre.

GO Local - RBC recently served as the title sponsor for an event that provided the seed funding for the GO Local Program. This program offers resource-poor schools the tools to create change in their own communities and eliminate the barriers to a safe and successful learning environment. Funds raised through various events will directly impact schools in Toronto and Vancouver that have been targeted as in need of greater social assistance.

"I want to express my sincere gratitude to our friends at RBC for their generosity and applaud them for making such a profound difference in the lives of children in need," said Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder, Free The Children. "Support from outside organizations allows us to continue doing the good work at home and abroad - for this we say thank you."

"We are so pleased to stand behind an organization that empowers youth to be a catalyst for social change," said Jennifer Tory, Regional President, Greater Toronto Region, RBC. "RBC is encouraged by the possibilities of this partnership and how it will help children locally — and around the world — realize their potential."

RBC's support for Free The Children is part of a long history of funding programs that positively affect children. From providing funding to organizations that directly serve children through its RBC After School Grants program, to the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, RBC is proud to support children and youth-oriented organizations that seek to make a difference in their communities and inspire others.

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 our 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. 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 and international organizations.

About RBC
RBC believes in building prosperity by contributing to the communities in which we live and work. As one of Canada's largest corporate donors, RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives, through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. RBC contributed $99 million to community causes worldwide in 2008, through donations of more than $51.5 million, and an additional $47.5 million in sponsorship of community events.


For more information or to speak with someone directly, please contact:
Jackie Braden

Lindsey Coulter, Director of PR & Publicity
Free The Children


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09/03/2009 12:21:19