World Partnership Walk
In December 2007 I was in New Delhi for the International National Trusts Organization conference. This conference was attended by over 400 people from around the world and among them was one from Afghanistan, Abdul, who was an employee of the Aga Khan Heritage Trust. Abdul presented a very interesting and inspiring paper on the value of ‘place’ in a war torn country. He spoke of two projects sponsored by his organization in the city of Kabul, in particular about the rebuilding of a city park where on a weekend around 3,000 people gather to enjoy the green space and the peace. His talk was fascinating and inspiring.
In Victoria we have a special attachment to Afghanistan because so many of our brave Canadian Forces members have seen active duty there. So many have been injured or lost their lives. For me it was important to hear how, in the background of this horrendous situation, havens of comparative peace and new freedoms for women are being created. Progress is being made. After Abdul’s talk I spoke with others from the region, from Pakistan and from Africa. The people I spoke to thanked me for Canada’s help in building their communities (a pretty humbling experience).
I had, of course, heard of the Aga Khan, but really did not know much about his work. Well I learned a lot. Everyone I spoke to had stories of the work of the various Aga Khan charities in their countries. They spoke about how the organization’s staff and volunteers worked with the grass roots; how they did not tell communities what they needed but, instead, they listened to the community members and then worked directly with and through them. In places where no one else would go, the foundation was making a lasting difference.
When I returned to Victoria I started to pay attention to the foundation in Canada and became involved in the World Partnership Walks. I met the amazing people involved in organizing the walk, people of all denominations: Naz Rayani, Vicki, Karima and so many others. I paid close attention to documentary reporting from Meribeth Burton on Victoria television of her exploration of Aga Khan projects in Africa. I spoke with many of my colleagues at The Land Conservancy about the need to get more involved, and we promptly formed our first World Partnership Walk Team, made up of TLC staff, volunteers and members.
We have had a team every year since. This year the team will walk under the banner of Change Canada Consultants. We remain committed to doing our part to help make this world a better place and one of the best ways we can do this is by helping organizations like the Aga Khan Foundation raise funds and bring awareness to Canadians of the needs of those less fortunate. The World Partnership Walk does not sponsor the work of the Aga Khan Heritage Trust but works instead to address issues of global poverty.
Please join our team (you will have a wonderful time, some good food, amazing company and know in this small way you are making a difference) or if you can’t walk with us, consider sponsoring a walker. Its easy, just follow this link: