A group of Ismaili Muslim women from Vancouver came together more than 25 years ago to walk and support the poorest of the poor.
It was a gesture of what they had gained in coming to Canada from troubled Uganda. That was the beginning of the World Partnership Walk.
Uganda’s brutal dictator Idi Amin expelled the entire Asian population from Uganda in 1972, blaming them for controlling the economy for their own ends.
Since the inception of the walk, more than $56-million has been raised to fight global poverty.
Last year alone, nearly $6 million was raised.
This popular World Partnership Walk is now the largest and the longest running event of this kind in aid of global development in the country.
The primary goal is to alleviate world poverty at a time when severe food crisis is escalating and sometimes erupting into unprecedented riots.
The World Partnership Walk, fuelled by the energy and dedication of committed volunteers, has engaged tens of thousands of Canadians with Aga Khan Foundation Canada and transformed millions of lives in some of the poorest parts of Asia and Africa.
Every cent collect goes directly to projects that encourage community participation and ultimately, the self sufficiency of third world villages.
The World Partnership Walk attracts around 50,000 participants in nine cities across Canada.
This year the walk will take place over three Sundays this month and in June.
In Ottawa, the walk will be held June 13.
The Montreal walk is scheduled for June 6.
In Toronto and Vancouver, the walk will be held May 30.
The World Partnership Walk is Canada’s largest annual event dedicated to increasing awareness and raising funds to fight global poverty.
Held in nine cities across Canada, the walk attracts thousands of Canadians united in a common effort to bring hope and renewal to some of the poorest communities in the world.
The walk will be held in Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.
Funds raised by the walk have helped the Aga Khan Foundation Canada to leverage additional support from partners like the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The walkers, along with 1,000 corporate sponsors, contribute to fight poverty.
Since its start in Vancouver in 1985, these walks have raised money to fund education, improve health care, increase rural homes and build community organizations in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.
The AKFC, a registered Canadian charity, is part of the Aga Khan Foundation, the world’s largest private international development network, established by His Highness the Aga Khan , the 49th hereditary imam of an estimated 12 million Ismaili Muslims around the globe.
The foundation is non-denominational agency dedicated to the promotion of equitable and sustainable development particularly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East without regard to faith, origin, or gender.
AKFC currently funds more than 40 development initiatives in a dozen developing countries.
All of the funds raised by participants in the walk go directly to international development initiatives like health programs, education and support for community based initiatives.
Not a single cent is spent on administration, which are covered by the foundation.
AKFC officials emphasize events like the World Partnership Walk bring Canadians together in a common effort to bring hope and renewal to some of the poorest nations in the world and provides a tremendous help in alleviating global poverty.
One of the most significant global challenges is fighting poverty, whose affects are far reaching.
The walk’s continuing success is a tangible sign of the commitment of individual Canadians to the cause of global poverty alleviation.
In light of the tough economic situation, the AKFC is urging its supporters to invite Canadians from all walks of life to join in the vital partnership with communities in the developing world.
“Canadians have a tradition of caring about the world beyond our borders that has found expression in the World Partnership Walk,” said Khalil Shariff, chief executive officer of AKFC.” For a quarter century, we have counted on the support of our volunteers and the generosity of Canadians to help AKFC bridge the gaps that deny opportunities to the poor.”
Participants can register online, quickly and easily, at http://www.worldpartnershipwalk.com.
The foundation and the Canadian government, primarily through CIDA, have enjoyed a close working relationship for more than a quarter of a century. CIDA provides funding for a number of programs that the foundation supports in developing countries.
CIDA and AKFC work in close partnership to develop effective solutions to poverty.
And with assistance from CIDA, the impact of funds raised in Canada is multiplied many times.
This effort by Canadians is helping to bring true meaning to the “partnership” between them and impoverished communities around the globe.
Aid agencies around the world are openly expressing fear they may not be able to feed the poorest of the poor.
They expect 100 million people will experience food shortage.
The Aga Khan Foundation is respected for the work it does in areas of health care, education, rural development and strengthening civil society.
The foundation’s approach is unique.
It makes a long-term commitment to creating opportunities for families and communities living in some of the poorest parts of the world become self reliant.
Source: Cornwall Seaway News