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Partnership of 5500 Walkers Helps Global Poor

October 2005
Partnership of 5500 Walkers Helps Global Poor

About 5,500 people participated in the Atlanta Partnership Walk on Sunday, September 25th at the Centennial Olympic Park to show their support for international cooperation and for ending poverty around the world. An estimated $1,000,000 was raised through this annual event of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA).

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Partnership Walk, high-profile dignitaries participated in the opening ceremonies at the Walk. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss acknowledged, "The Aga Khan Foundation is one of the very few organizations where all the donations go directly to the efforts for elimination of global poverty." He also stressed that "the global war on poverty has to be a team effort and the Aga Khan Foundation is a major key player in this war on global poverty."

Referring to the theme of this year's Walk, "Investing in People," which highlighted the vast potential that microcredit has for reducing poverty and empowering women, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor remarked, "The opportunity of providing a small amount of working capital all over the world is going to be very powerful in changing lives. We can truly teach people to catch fish instead of [giving them] fish to eat."

A message of support to AKF USA from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was read, stating, "It is especially encouraging that you have dedicated this year's walk to the cause of microcredit? . Let us use International Year of Microcredit to put millions of families on the path to prosperity."

Imtiaz Ladak, Vice Chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. National Committee also addressed the crowd, especially thanking those attending the event on behalf of all who will benefit from their generous contributions.

Serving as masters of ceremonies were Suchita Vadlamani, Co-Host, Good Day Atlanta and Russ Spencer, news anchor for FOX5 News and Tom Jones, News Reporter for WSB-TV. Following the Walk and a picnic lunch, there was a program of entertainment celebrating world cultures.

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 and limited educational opportunities. Through displays and hands-on demonstrations, the Village in Action showcased the positive results that are achieved through the Foundation's community-based, self-help development programs in Africa and Asia. Volunteers from the Atlanta metropolitan area researched, planned, designed and created the exhibits. Through this process, they gained an understanding of global citizenship.

Partnership Walk has been held since 1995 in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles. 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. Approximately 13,000 people participated nationally with approximately $2.5 million raised.

The Foundation works in partnership with other institutions dedicated to international development such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. State Department, the World Bank as well as private foundations and corporations.

AKF USA is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, a family of private international non-denominational agencies working to improve the living conditions and opportunities for people in specific regions of the developing world. The overarching goal of the Network's programs is to help poor communities achieve a level of self-reliance whereby they are able to plan their own futures. With a focus on improving health, education and the standard of living in some of the poorest communities in Africa and Asia, the Foundation seeks sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health.

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