Over 6500 Participate at Atlanta Partnership Walk
Over 6,500 participated in Partnership Walk on October 29th at the Centennial Olympic Park, an event held annually in five major cities across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds to help alleviate global poverty. Approximately $875,000 was raised by the Atlanta Walk. Partnership Walk brought together families, friends, students and leaders in government, business, media and the arts for a day of learning activities, fundraising and entertainment. The walk was held nationwide in Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles with over 27,000 participants and raised approximately $ 3.4 million.
Partnership Walk is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) and was organized by a network of volunteers in communities across the U.S. AKF USA, established in 1981, is a private, non-denominational, non-profit international development organization committed to alleviating poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. It is a part of the Aga Khan Development Network (www.akdn.org), a network of private, non-denominational, development agencies around the world, established by His Highness the Aga Khan to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, improve living conditions and opportunities
In a keynote address at the opening ceremony, U.S. Representative David Scott, acknowledged the valuable contributions that Aga Khan Foundation has made by saying, "The answer to so much of the conflict in the world today rests in our ability to deal with the wretched conditions of poverty...that's what makes the Aga Khan Foundation so significant". He further elaborated by saying that the Foundation also worked in empowering girls in Africa and Asia with education and knowledge.
Noting that this year marked a special milestone for AKF USA as it celebrated its 25th anniversary, Iqbal Noor Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. remarked, "The work of the Foundation could not be possible without the tireless dedication and commitment of our volunteers, especially the youth. As is apparent in today's show of support, the city and people of Atlanta truly epitomize our theme this year - Diversity is Strength".
The theme for Partnership Walk 2006 highlighted the Foundation's community-based approach that values pluralism as a cornerstone for building peace, security and development. The Foundation invests in people to help impoverished communities and families seize the opportunity to move toward greater choice and voice in order to improve their lives. By promoting quality education, improving health care and placing tools for economic empowerment into the hands of people, the Foundation helps them build the skills necessary to lead self-sufficient, healthy and dignified lives.
A stage program of speeches, music, dance and performances throughout the day engaged participants in a celebration of world cultures. Serving as master of ceremony were Suchita Vadlamani, co-host of FOX's Good Day Atlanta and Tom Jones, WSB-TV news anchor.
One of the Walk's most inspiring features was the "Village in Action". Participants of all ages engaged in interactive games and obstacle courses to learn how people in developing countries overcome the challenges of low incomes, poor health conditions and limited educational opportunities. In recognition of AKF USA's 25th anniversary, a large exhibit displaying a world map and flags, showcased a quarter century of positive impact achieved through the Foundation's projects in health, education, rural development, microcredit and community organizations.
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