Saturday, June 05, 2010

On walking the Walk

Tomorrow (or today - Sunday, June 6, 2010 - depending when you're reading this) is the 2010 World Partnership Walk in Montreal. Yes, we have finally reached this long discussed date.
Rain or shine, we will be taking steps towards a better world at the Quays of the Old Port of Montreal (between Jacques Cartier Quay and King Edward Quay) starting at 10:30AM. You can't miss it. We've got a bunch of big white tents set up and loads of glorious orange and blue banners decorating the site. Our start/finish line arch is epic. Oh, and TV people? We've got a jib.

"So... wait. What's the World Partnership Walk again?" It's Canada's largest annual event to fight global poverty by raising awareness and funds for the cause. It takes place in 10 cities across the country, including Montreal! Over 70,000 participants walk the Walk and donate directly to programmes that help people help themselves in fields like education, health, sanitation, strengthening of civil society, rural development, the environment and gender issues.

"Wait, what? What do you mean, 'directly'?" I mean directly! 100% of the funds raised through the World Partnership Walk go directly to international development initiatives coordinated by Aga Khan Foundation Canada.

"Aga Khan... isn't he that religious dude?" Yes, he's "that religious dude", aka the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community and a world renown philanthropist. Most importantly, it's thanks to his private funds that 100% of your donations can go to AKFC's development programmes. And by the way, AKFC is a non-denominational, not-for-profit, registered Canadian charity. Look them up: 10007 2586 RR0001.

"Okay, so my money helps everybody?" That's right! The Foundation's approach is to go into some of the poorest communities in Asia and Africa, ask them what they need, and then give them access to training, resources and often, Canadian expertise, so they can take full ownership of the projects they are implementing. By supporting the Foundation, you are empowering some of the poorest people in the world to take charge of their own lives and change their futures, immediately improving their quality of life and livelihoods. Oh, and your donation helps leverage additional funding from partners like CIDA or USAID.

"So, why me?" Everyone needs to come up with their own answers, but you can't deny that global poverty is one of the most pressing issues of our time. As Canadians (and Americans and anyone else who has the necessary financial and intellectual capacity), it is our duty to help those in need. We've proved time and time again that we believe in the potential of the developing world. Why not encourage them by giving them the proper tools they need to carry their future in their own hands? It works. I've seen it with my own eyes.

"Why do you Walk?" I walk because I have hope for a better world. One where the world heals itself through understanding, care, and love. One where people who can, help those who can't. One where there is trust in humanity, trust in our capacity, and trust in the power of a dream. I walk because I've seen the smiles of the faces of those we've helped in the past and the hope in the eyes of those we have yet to reach. I walk because I care. I walk because I can. I walk because it's the right thing to do.

Now let me turn the tables over to you. Why do you walk? Show me when you come out to the 2010 World Partnership Walk at the Quays of the Old Port tomorrow - Sunday, June 6 - and walk the Walk. If you can't show up, please donate now - I'm $270 away from my 2K goal! - and know that you've taken steps to make the world a better place. The entertainment lineup is pretty good too ;)

It is time for you to take the lead in changing the world. As Ghandi said... You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

Oh, and "Be the change you want to see in the world."

To contribute to my 2010 World Partnership Walk in Montreal fundraising efforts in the fight against global poverty, please click here. 100% of your donation will go directly to helping people help themselves in some of the poorest countries in the world.
PS: Thank you.

No comments: