WE Charity had multiple 'opening' ceremonies for Kenya school: former donor

Man who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE Charity to commemorate his son's life tells Commons committee that WE later removed the dedication plaque and resold the space to another donor. 

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A man who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE Charity says he believes two different groups of donors were told they had raised the money for a school in Kenya.

Reed Cowan testified before a parliamentary committee today where he said he discovered a plaque that had once borne his late son's name had been replaced with the name of another donor.

Cowan says he then found a video online that showed an opening ceremony for the school building, almost identical to one he participated in, that took place with a different group of donors two weeks before the one held for his group.

Cowan, who was a member of the advisory board to a WE-affiliated group in the United States, says he began raising money after his son Wesley died in an accident at age four and that helping children in Kenya helped him deal with the loss.

In an email, WE Charity says there was only one opening ceremony for the school and Cowan misunderstood what was happening in the video.

WE says it inadvertently failed to notify Cowan about the removal of the plaque and that it has now been returned.

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