The World Partnership Walk makes strides to end poverty

A walk to end poverty around the world. /Haley Klassen

A walk to end poverty around the world. /Haley Klassen

The 30 year old event has raised $82 million dollars

Every year Canadians take part in raising funds for an organization known as the World Partnership Walk. The World Partnership Walk is an organization that is focused on ending global poverty.

The Walk started 30 years ago. A small group of women voluntarily gathered together in Vancouver and started raising funds to help end global poverty. Originally, they were from parts of Asia and Africa and this was a way for them to give back to their community. Over time, they encouraged and gathered 1,000 walkers to join them in this mission. They succeeded in raising $55,000.

Today, 30 years later the Walk has raised well over $82 million dollars. This money directly goes to development programs and initiatives for third world countries, making it both the largest and most successful event of its kind in Canada.

Multiple volunteers in ten cities across Canada help organize the event: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Ottawa, Victoria, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

In an interview response to what makes this specific organization so special, Shahzad Khoja, Regina’s convener of the walk, responded by saying “It is an organization that is truly one of its kind. One hundred per cent of the donations raised goes straight to the project itself and not one penny is used for administration fee”.

All funds are collected by a non-profit international development agency known as the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC). AKFC is a Canadian registered charity and a worldwide agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

All raised funds go directly to “projects that revitalize a rural economy, ensure clean water and sanitation, strengthen community-based organizations and educate new generations of girls and women,” according to the World Partnership website. “One hundred per cent of donations made to the Walk are used by Aga Khan Foundation Canada to help alleviate poverty and build sustainable solutions in the poorest regions of the world.” It’s a long-term investment that devotes time and effort to building projects for better healthcare, education, civil society, and rural development.

Bamyan, Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world at 98 per cent, with many births taking place at home without any skilled attendant. The AKFC has trained midwives in monitoring pregnancies and skills for delivering children.

AKFC established a project where those women were now able to go to work while their children pursue their early childhood development education by a trained individual just next door. These are all initiatives in breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.

The Aga Khan Foundation Canada has a long-term partnership with the Government of Canada. With the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, millions of people are able to have access to health care and education. Furthermore, supporting corporate sponsors and businesses raised almost 2 million dollars.

Regina is holding its own walk for this year on June 1, 2014. The walk will be taking place on the grounds in front of the legislative building. In an interview with Anis Momin, convener, and Nadia Akbar Kamal, captain for the volunteers group in University of Regina, they emphasized raising awareness of this organization and joining hundreds of others in attending the walk for ending global poverty.

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