Canadians Walk to End Global Poverty
By Dilzayn Panjwani
“There are those who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived both of means and motivation to improve their lot. Unless they can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will sink into apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us who are more fortunate to provide that spark.”- His Highness the Aga Khan
The Walk in Toronto was attended by a number of dignitaries and honorable guests including Dr. David Naylor (President of U of T), Hon. Glen R. Murray, MPP (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities), Mayor Rob Ford, Hon Kathleen O. Wynne, MPP, Hon Bob Rae, MP, John Tory (former PC Party Leader). There were many captivating stage performances and lively entertainment items following the Walk.
What could be a better way than to walk to promote literacy for women in Afghanistan, provide better quality education for girls and boys in East Africa, and support new livelihoods opportunities in Pakistan and Mozambique? These are just a few of the projects supported by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. What could be a better reason to donate, since 100% of funds raised will go directly to international development projects such as these, without a cent spent on administration! Every dollar raised supports poverty-alleviating programs in health, education, rural development and strengthening community-based organizations.
The Walk is symbolic of Canadian values and an expression of leadership in being part of the solution when some parts of the world are facing challenges and living in tough times, according to Khalil Shariff, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Canada. Since its inception, the Walk has raised over 70 million dollars. In 2011, AKFC raised almost $7 million and attracted about 40,000 people to walks held across 10 cities. This year, over 70,000 Canadians will walk to end global poverty.
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is a not-for-profit non-denominational charitable Canadian international development agency that has been working for over three decades with Canadian institutions and individuals, including CIDA, to support high-impact initiatives in Africa and Asia that improve sustainably the quality of life of poor, marginalized communities. AKFC have also been involved in Canada in establishing the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa as well as the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.