News Release

Cisco and TELUS Help Free The Children Expand Global Reach

TelePresence and Other Video Technologies Give Employees More Face-to-Face Time
Apr 30, 2013

TORONTO, April 30, 2013 – Cisco and TELUS are helping Free The Children expand its global reach by deploying video and collaboration tools that are enabling its organization to be more connected, collaborative and mobile while providing greater access to its inspiring leaders. Thanks to the donation of key collaborative technologies from Cisco and TELUS, Free The Children has gained new capabilities and mobility for its staff to help achieve their mission of empowering youth to be active global and local citizens.

Free The Children’s co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, are well-known for their dynamic organization, which has inspired a generation into service, and their ability to make strong connections with youth, governments and leaders around the world. These meaningful connections are critical to the success of Free The Children, as demanding schedules can make it difficult for the co-founders to stay connected. From global employee meetings and speaking engagements to reporting from the field, Cisco TelePresence® and Jabber Video™ will enable Craig, Marc and the entire Free The Children team to make direct, live, face-to-face connections with anyone from anywhere in the world.

TelePresence® technology has already begun to revolutionize the way Free The Children and its regional offices operate.  From training, to interviews, to information sessions, the technology has helped drastically reduce travel costs to the organization and has also improved relations between Free The Children’s regional office staff and staff based in Toronto. It has enabled all staff to make connections with colleagues spread across the country in a way that is not possible through email and traditional telephone lines. Free The Children has also used the collaboration technology extensively in providing professional development to regional staff following their initial training period in Toronto and, as a result, has improved programming provided to clients and stakeholders across the globe.

Highlights / Key Facts

  • Cisco and TELUS have joined together to provide collaborative technology solutions to Free The Children.  Six Cisco TelePresence EX90 units, WebEx® Telepresence and Jabber® Video have been deployed and are being utilized by the organization. 
  • Cisco TelePresence technology creates a live, face-to-face communication experience over the TELUS network that empowers participants to collaborate like never before. Cisco TelePresence solutions help people meet, share content, create high-quality video recordings and events, consult with experts and deliver powerful personalized services, all using the power of the network for an immersive in-person experience.
  • WebEx Telepresence, a cloud-based service, is an application that extends the reach of telepresence. WebEx Telepresence works with a compatible PC or Mac and a webcam or Cisco TelePresence PrecisionHD camera to provide high-definition video communications to more people, on more devices, from more places. WebEx Telepresence can connect to telepresence systems, resulting in a wider community of colleagues, partners, and business customers.
  • Cisco’s donation to Free The Children is part of its larger corporate social responsibility efforts to leverage technology to multiply impact and improve lives across the focus areas of education, health care and economic empowerment. Other projects include Connecting Sichaun, Jordan Healthcare Initiative and the 21st Century Schools Initiative.

In 2012 TELUS entered into a five-year partnership with Free The Children.  This partnership includes:

  • TELUS being named a National Co-Title Sponsor  of Free The Children’s youth empowerment event, We Day, along with RBC in Toronto, Vancouver, Alberta, Manitoba, Montreal, Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada We Day in Halifax and National We Day in Ottawa-Gatineau Region; a means to inspire youth to create change in their communities and around the world.
  • In addition to its sponsorship of We Day, TELUS holds a cause marketing campaign each year to raise awareness and funds for Free The Children; this past year’s campaign was a Phones for Good campaign where TELUS donated $25 from the sale of every TELUS Samsung Galaxy SIII or Samsung Ace Q to Free The Children, raising $500,000.
  • TELUS and Free The Children worked together to develop the Give Where You Live curriculum and Speaking Tour.  This program, delivered within high schools, will educate, encourage and empower young Canadians to identify social issues, take action and make positive change in their local communities.
  • TELUS also provides Free The Children with in-kind wireless services, internet and devices for their employees and teams across Canada to stay connected at all times.

TELUS’ long standing partnership with Free The Children dates back to 2006, and has supported text to screen at We Day events since its inception.

About Free The Children

  • Free The Children was founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995 when he gathered eleven friends to begin fighting child labour at age 12. It has since grown into an international charity focused on educating, empowering and engaging youth in North America and the United Kingdom with the tools, knowledge and network to create meaningful change in the world through awareness building, fundraising and volunteerism.
  • Free The Children’s outreach programs include large stadium events called “We Day” which bring together a generation of youth to create a movement of young people committed to leading local and global change.

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  • Nitin Kawale, president, Cisco Canada

When you connect technology and human networks, you can multiply impact. For Cisco, it’s not just about the technology; it’s about what the technology enables for organizations like Free The Children. It’s about creating opportunities for collaboration, brainstorming, and the ability to fire up Jabber video and meet face-to-face with anyone anywhere in the world over any device to improve lives and build thriving communities.

  • Tony Krueck, vice-president of Business Products and Services at TELUS

This is a very dynamic organization full of young people that understand the powerful capacity of technology to help change the world. By enabling this team with technology, we’re allowing them to work as they want, when they want and where they want.  We’re proud to help create a new avenue for Free The Children to inspire thousands of youth across the country and around the world.

  • Marc Kielburger, Co-founder, Free The Children

Cisco TelePresence technology will revolutionize the way we interact with our staff, offices and youth around the world. We are truly thankful to Cisco and TELUS for their support and generosity and for helping us leverage technology to stay better connected as an organization and create programs with a truly global reach.

Tags / Keywords

Cisco, TELUS, Free The Children, Corporate Social Responsibility, giving back, collaboration, TelePresence, Jabber, WebEx TelePresence

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TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.9 billion of annual revenue and more than 13.1 million customer connections, including 7.7 million wireless subscribers, 3.4 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 678,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $300 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit