Premier Christy Clark, Health Minister Michael de Jong and Minister of State for Multiculturalism John Yap joined thousands of British Columbians who participated in the World Partnership Walk 2012 and supported its goal of helping end global poverty.
"We are proud to support Aga Khan Foundation Canada and this year's World Partnership Walk," said Premier Clark. "It is great to see families and individuals of all faiths and nationalities joining together to support the foundation's work in creating programs and initiatives that benefit families around the world who are in the greatest need."
The World Partnership Walk began in 1985 when a small team of women in Vancouver voluntarily started raising funds and walking to help end global poverty in their own small but meaningful way. The women had come from Asia and Africa and wanted to give back to the communities they had left behind. The provincial government provided a one-time $25,000 contribution to Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) to support the walk this year.
"Walking is a great activity for families of all backgrounds," said de Jong. "The World Partnership Walk builds on our formal partnership with ParticipACTION to promote physical exercise and healthy living."
One hundred per cent of the money raised through the World Partnership Walk goes directly to international development initiatives in more than a dozen developing countries, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya and Mozambique. Funds raised also help AKFC leverage additional support from major donors like the Canadian International Development Agency.
"B.C. is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in the country, with almost 30 per cent of our residents moving here from another country," said Yap. "It is fitting that today, B.C. families join together to walk and raise funds to support the fight against global poverty. Thanks to the World Partnership Walk, some of the world's poorest communities will have improved access to such basic rights as clean water and sanitization and education for women and girls."
In 2011, AKFC raised almost $7 million and drew almost 40,000 people to walks across 10 Canadian cities. In B.C., walks are held each year in Vancouver and Victoria.
"We thank the Province for their generous support of the foundation and the World Partnership Walk 2012," said Khalil Shariff, chief executive officer of AKFC. "Every cent of this funding will go directly towards programs that revitalize rural economies, deliver better health care, strengthen local organizations and educate women and girls in impoverished communities in the developing world."
AKFC is a non-profit international agency that supports social development programs in Asia and Africa. As a member of the Aga Khan Development Network, AKFC works to address the root causes of poverty: finding and sharing effective and lasting solutions that help improve the quality of life for poor communities. AKFC programs focus on four core areas: health, education, rural development and building the capacity of non-governmental organizations. Gender equity and protecting the environment are integrated into every program.
For more information on AKFC and the World Partnership Walk, please visit www.akfc.ca
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