Los Angeles Mayor joins thousands in Partnership Walk

Source: India Post

Los Angeles, Ca: Several thousand people participated in the Los Angeles Partnership Walk last week at the Memorial Coliseum, an event held annually in five major cities across the US to raise awareness and funds to help alleviate global poverty. Partnership Walk brings together families, community groups, students and leaders in government, business, media and the arts for a day of walking, learning activities, fundraising and entertainment. Nationwide, almost 15,000 people participated at Partnership Walk also held in Chicago and Dallas on the same day.

The Atlanta and Houston Partnership Walks are scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2007. Partnership Walk is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation USA (AKF USA) and organized by a network of volunteers in communities across the US. All the funds raised at Partnership Walk go directly to the projects of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) supported by the Foundation.

The cost of organizing the Walk is completely underwritten by AKF USA and in-kind contributors. In an inspirational keynote address at the opening ceremony, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa acknowledged the valuable contributions that the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A has made, saying “Partnership Walk is a commitment from all of us to address poverty, hunger, illiteracy and the AIDS pandemic in the world.

AKF is something bigger than just the number of people here today. Though it is an impressive number, it is about commitment to the human race.” He added that AKF is about the importance of teaching young people to give back and develop a responsibility to all people, regardless of religion or community. Highlighting the value of partnerships, the Mayor emphasized “This Walk is a walk against poverty; it is a walk for peace; no justice, no peace. We cannot address all the poverty in the world unless we come together.”

Stressing the level of diversity in his staff, the Mayor introduced Arif Aly Khan, LA Deputy Mayor in charge of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Eric Garcetti, President, L.A. City Council remarked that “the Holy Quran talks about Zahir [physical or external] and Batin [spiritual or internal]. The Walk combines both, the physical by walking and the spiritual through compassion and caring for others.”

Bernard Parks, Los Angeles City Council member and long-time supporter of Partnership Walk imparted enthusiastic and congratulatory wishes to the Aga Khan Foundation and Partnership Walk. He spoke of a recent visit to East Africa, where he had an opportunity to see for himself how the local people were living without the facilities we take for granted here in the United States. Yet what struck him was the optimism, the spark of hope that the local people possess, made possible by organizations such as the Aga Khan Foundation.

Other speakers included Leroy D. Baca, L.A. County Sheriff and Matt Dababneh, representing Congressman Brad Sherman. Several mayors and other distinguished guests also attended the Walk, including Mayor Pro Temp J.R. Revickzky of Hermosa Beach, Alex Padilla, Lieutenant Police Chief of Santa Monica, Calvin Beard, Captain, California Highway Patrol, J.Curtis Mack, President of the World Affairs Council as well as City Council member Jan Perry. Dean Roy Young, consul general from Belize stated that what AKF does is not a “hand out” but a “hand up”.

He was accompanied by consul generals from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Kenya, Pakistan, Syria and Thailand. Serving as master of ceremonies was KNBC morning news anchor, Chris Schauble accompanied by Beverly White, a long time AKF supporter and master of ceremonies from previous Partnership Walks. A stage program of music, dance and performances throughout the day engaged participants in a celebration of world cultures.

As part of the awareness campaign, the walk route contained live exhibits depicting the various innovative projects of the AKF within their cultural settings. Examples included a girls’ school in Central Asia and a water well project in Gujarat. The theme for Partnership Walk 2007 “Innovative Solutions to Create Hope and Opportunity” highlighted the Foundation’s depth, scope and impact of a quarter century of achievements. In every undertaking, the overriding goal of the Foundation’s work is to assist in the struggle against poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy through the discovery and implementation of innovative solutions to development.

Throughout the Walk site, attendees participated in the exhibits of the Global Village in Action that demonstrated how AKF is alleviating suffering and hardship with innovative solutions that help people help themselves. As participants visited pavilions representing different geographic regions where the Foundation implements development projects, they got a taste of the culture’s traditions, music, dance and food.

The exhibits introduced them to the practical ways AKF is making a difference in the developing world. Specific exhibits included a Microfinance program in Afghanistan, a water harvesting project in India, the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa and health initiatives in Tajikistan.
India Post News Service

India Post

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

One thought

  1. Thank you, Ismaili Mail team, for your judicious efforts in providing ever new information about His Highness the Aga Khan’s activities. This year is special as it is the 50th anniversary! Great job!

    Please visit the Ismaili Web for Partnership Walk 2007 pictures where Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa made a moving speech and performed the opening ceremony and walked with us.



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