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6500 Participate in Partnership Walk

November 2003
6500 Participate in Partnership Walk

Atlanta, Georgia, October 19, 2003 ? Approximately 6,500 people participated in this year's Atlanta Partnership Walk today at the Centennial Olympic Park to show their support for international cooperation. Over $1,400,000 was raised through this event.

The Partnership Walk is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) and is organized by its network of volunteers in communities across the United States. The Partnership Walk has been held since 1995 in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. The aim of the Walk is to raise public awareness and funds to help communities in some of the poorest areas of Africa and Asia create long-term solutions to poverty.

The Partnership Walk also took place in Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles today and in Chicago on September 29. Approximately 25,000 people participated nationally with an expected $4 million raised.

At the opening ceremonies for the Atlanta Partnership Walk, Georgia Senate Majority Leader Dr. Tom Price offered the keynote address. "With epidemics and pandemics occurring in various parts of the world, it is in all of our interest to support programs and organizations that work to secure better health care for people throughout the world ? and this Partnership Walk is on such program," said Dr. Price State Senator Leiane Levetan and Senator Mike Crotts also participated in the opening ceremonies.

Proclamations were received from Governor Sonny Perdue and Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta declaring October 19, 2003 as Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. Partnership Walk Day. Foundation representatives addressing the crowd included Salim Bhatia of the AKF USA National Committee.

Serving as Masters of Ceremonies were Kathleen Kennedy, news anchor for CNN Headline News, Trish Hoffman and Jeff Fisher of American News Network. Following the Walk and a picnic lunch, there was a program of entertainment celebrating world cultures. The diverse range of musical and dance performances included Booker T. Washington High School Marching Band, Total Dance Company, Expressions of the Silk Road, Village Trio-Water Folk Dance, among others.

At the Village in Action, participants of all ages had an opportunity to engage in interactive activities and learn how people in developing countries create solutions to overcome the challenges of low income, poor health conditions and limited educational opportunity. Through displays, photo exhibits and hands-on demonstrations, the Village in Action showcased the positive results that are achieved through the Foundation's development programs. Youth volunteers from the Atlanta metropolitan area researched, planned, designed, and helped create these exhibits. Through this process, they gained an understanding of global citizenship.

In line with the United Nations International Year of Freshwater, the theme for this year's Partnership Walk is "Water for Life." Special emphasis was placed on issues of water scarcity, water resource management and conservation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), collaborating with the Partnership Walk, showcased an exhibit entitled "Think Globally, Act Locally." EPA's exhibit included two interactive models that demonstrate the importance of protecting groundwater and surface water from external threats of pollution.

One hundred percent of the funds raised at the Partnership Walk go directly to the projects supported by the Foundation. The cost of organizing the Walk is completely underwritten by AKF USA and in-kind contributors. No contributions are used for administrative costs.

For more information, visit www.akdn.org.

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