News Release

Free The Children Benefits from Over $250,000 in Equipment from Cisco Canada’s Technology Legacy Program to Empower Youth around the World

Cisco Press Release

Technology infrastructure gifted by Cisco on behalf of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will help Free The Children extend global reach

TORONTO, ON – December 21, 2015 – Announced today, Free The Children is the latest recipient of the Cisco Technology Legacy Program stemming from the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games; a program designed to assist not-for-profits to better Canadian and global communities. Free The Children will receive approximately CDN $252,000 of technology, helping staff further their mission of empowering youth around the globe.

The gifted equipment consists of Cisco switches, firewalls and access points which will enable Free The Children to grow, scale and reach a larger audience. This equipment will allow greater collaboration, and enhance productivity and communications, while ensuring greater security and increasing up-time and responsiveness of staff.

Internationally, Free The Children works to empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty through a sustainable international development model called Adopt a Village. This model focuses on providing communities around the world with access to education, clean water, healthcare, food security, and alternative income and livelihood. WE Day and WE Schools, initiatives of Free The Children in Canada, the US and the UK, educate and empower youth to become philanthropic leaders, and provide them with the tools they need to take action and create transformative social change.

“Free The Children acts as a champion in the not-for-profit sector, by continuously pushing boundaries and believing in the power of youth to create social change in our communities. This is a team that understands the potential that technology can provide to help them extend their reach and scale their incredible programming, making a difference in children’s lives around the globe,” said Bernadette Wightman, president, Cisco Canada.

“We are so thankful for this generous gift from Cisco Canada,” said Scott Baker, Executive Director of Free The Children. “As our organization grows its programming, this world-class technology will give our staff around the globe the tools to connect to each other and to our developing communities, helping us make a greater impact around the world.”

The Cisco Technology Legacy Plan from the Toronto 2015 Pan/Am Games is focused on deploying technology across four key pillars: Sporting venues; Ontario high schools, colleges and universities, including members of the Networking Academy program; select schools participating in the Connected North program; and select not-for-profit organizations with a focus on driving productivity, scale, innovation and economic development.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to and

About Free The Children

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization’s domestic programs – which include We Day, Free The Children’s signature youth empowerment event – educate, engage and empower 2.3 million youth across North America and United Kingdom to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects are implemented through a holistic and sustainable development model called Adopt a Village. Currently, Adopt a Village supports community development in eight countries; Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, rural China and India.

Together with partner communities, Free The Children has built more than 1,000 schools and school rooms around the world, empowering more than 200,000 children with an education, and provided clean water, and sanitation programs and facilities to 1 million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

The organization has received the World’s Children’s Prize for the Right of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah’s Angel Network. For more information, visit

Press Contacts

Laura Kucharchuk

Free The Children

Karin Scott

Cisco Canada

416 306 7164