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Trent University Alumna Takes the Helm of Free The Children


Dalal Al-Waheidi Becomes Executive Director of the World’s Largest Network of Children Helping Children Through Education

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that alumna Dalal Al-Waheidi recently became the Executive Director of the Toronto-based charitable organization Free The Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. A native of Palestine’s Gaza Strip, Ms. Al-Waheidi attended Trent from 1998 to 2002, graduating with a degree in International Development Studies (IDS).

While attending Trent, Ms. Al-Waheidi spent her third year studying abroad through the Trent-in-Ecuador program, an experience which she credits as enabling her to “find her niche” that ultimately led to her career with Free The Children.

“Studying abroad for a year really made a difference when it came to employability,” Ms. Al-Waheidi explained, adding that she found it extremely useful to go to a developing country and actually carry out development work. “It provided a link between theory and practice.” Through the IDS Department at Trent, Ms. Al-Waheidi learned about Free The Children, and after graduating successfully gained an internship there which led to her current career path.

Free The Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in 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 Oprah’s Angel Network. To date, Free The Children has built more than 500 schools in developing countries around the world, providing primary education to more than 50,000 students every day.

Through her role at Free the Children, Ms. Al-Waheidi manages Free The Children’s global operations at the international headquarters in Toronto while overseeing and building capacity of the organization’s humanitarian projects around the world. In 2006, she was recognized for the Top 100 Women Award in the Future Leader Category by the Women’s Executive Network.


For further information, or to interview Ms. Al-Waheidi, please contact Marilyn Burns, director of marketing and communications, Trent University, at (705) 748- 1011, ext. 6184.