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Asper Foundation sending more children to freedom memorials, museums

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The Asper Foundation announced details of its annual human rights program this morning.

The 2014 Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program is expected to see approximately 58 schools and community organizations in six provinces -- over 1,100 children and chaperones in total -- travel to freedom memorials and the renowned U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington this spring.

The initiative, designed to promote the understanding of global human rights issues, started in March and is expected to continue through June.

Besides learning about racism, genocide and the lasting impacts of both, Grade 9 students participating in the program are also asked to volunteer for 16 hours each in their communities on public projects of their choosing.

Since its inception in 1997, the human rights program become one of Canada’s largest philanthropic educational initiatives, reaching over 12,600 high-school students and chaperones in 204 communities spanning 12 provinces and territories. It has also inspired over 135,000 hours of volunteer community service.

"The basis of protecting human rights begins with the recognition that each of us has a personal responsibility to be vigilant and an agent of change," offered David Asper, the foundation Chair. "For almost 20 years, this fundamental belief has been deeply imbued in the many thousands of Canadian high-school students who have participated in this program."

According to the Asper Foundation, the program and its partners contribute and raise over $1-million annually to facilitate the participation of students and their chaperones.

Established in 1983, the Winnipeg-based Asper Foundation was formed to further the philanthropic objectives of Dr. Israel Asper and the Asper family.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a national museum inspired from those humanitarian objectives, is scheduled to open at The Forks in September.

 

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