Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Over 7000 Attend Atlanta Partnership Run/Walk to Help End Global Poverty

Students from JC Booth Middle School in Fayette County participated in the run.

Over 7000 participated in the Atlanta Partnership Run/Walk to demonstrate their support for ending global poverty. Partnership Walk, now in its 15th year, is an event held annually in major cities across the U.S. The Walk is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) to raise awareness and funds to alleviate global poverty and promote partnership between America and the developing world. Nationwide, over 30,000 are expected to participate in the Walk in nine cities, including Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orlando and San Francisco. Visit

The Run/Walk brought together families, friends, students and leaders in government, business, media and the arts for a day of learning activities, fundraising and culturally diverse performances. Approximately $1,000,000 was raised at today’s charity event to expand opportunities for impoverished communities in Asia and Africa. 100% of funds raised at Partnership Walk go directly to the projects supported by the Foundation. The cost of organizing the Run/Walk is completely underwritten by AKF USA and in-kind contributors. No contributions are used for administrative costs. Since 1995, PartnershipsInAction events have attracted over 280,000 participants, raising $32 million.

The 2009 Atlanta Partnership Run/Walk was held at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. In addition to the traditional 1K Walk, Partnership Run/Walk featured its first ever 5K Run/Walk, 1K Run for children ages 7-13 and 100-yard Run for children 6 and under. Participants walked or ran to demonstrate their solidarity and commitment for helping the less fortunate in some of the poorest regions of the world lift themselves out of poverty.

The event featured celebrities and distinguished guests, along with entertainment celebrating the diversity of world cultures. Special guests included Dikembe Motumbo, Chair and President of Dikembe Motumbo Foundation and NBA All-Star of the Houston Rockets. Other dignitaries included Melvin Everson, Georgia State Representative; Jerry Oberholtzer, Mayor of Snellville; and Gwen Desselle, Georgia State Teacher of the Year. The lively stage program was hosted by media celebrities Suchita Vadlamani of Fox 5 “Good Day Atlanta.”

Below are comments made by the guest speakers:
Dikembe Motumbo in reminding us of our responsibility towards the less fortunate said, “When you take the elevator to go up you always gotta make sure to send that elevator back down because there are people who need that same elevator you took to come up.”

Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer presented a key to the City of Snellville to AKF U.S.A. CEO Iqbal Noorali. In his address he stressed the need of people to be involved in a worthwhile cause to build a better and closer community.

Melvin Everson, Georgia State Representative has been impressed with the works of AKF of helping to stamp out global poverty. He said that,” AKF is doing an exceptional job in bringing the cause in front of the people and I support its cause.”

Gwen Desselle, Georgia State Teacher of the Year reminded to the participants that ,”You’re here because you believe that we can make a difference, you’re here because you believe that we can eradicate the problems that plaque society and most of those problems stem from poverty, problems such as illiteracy problems such as hunger. We who are more fortunate have an obligation, we have a duty to help out brothers and sisters by extending to them education by extending to them encouragement and you know that is something the Aga Khan Foundation has been doing for the last 25 years.”

Iqbal Noorali, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A in his address to mentioned that Poverty is the main cause of instability in the world but we have to be partners in relieving the poverty.

An agency of the Aga Khan Development Network

The 2009 theme for the Walk, “Education – The Universal Bridge” highlighted the impact of Aga Khan Foundation’s educational activities. Serving as a bridge to help individuals and communities build more productive, fulfilling and dignified lives, the Foundation’s educational activities span across a broad range of initiatives to help people in Asia and Africa reach their full potential, covering early childhood development, primary and secondary school improvement, and skills and management training for professionals, entrepreneurs and community members.

Aga Khan Foundation’s education programs bring to light the power of partnerships and reflect the Foundation’s enduring commitment to education. For over a quarter century, Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. has worked in the developing world in the areas of health, education, rural development, civil society and the environment. These efforts equip people with life-long skills to overcome poverty and embrace the time-tested principle of helping people to help themselves.

One of the most inspiring features of Partnership Walk was the Village in Action, where participants enjoyed interactive displays and hands-on exhibits that spotlighted how the Foundation is implementing creative solutions in poor regions from Afghanistan to Zanzibar with projects that promote quality education and health care, expand microcredit opportunities and improve incomes and agricultural productivity. Volunteers guided participants through the Village in Action to introduce the innovative ways that Aga Khan Foundation is alleviating hunger, disease and illiteracy.

AKF USA, established in 1981, is a private, non-denominational, non-profit international development organization committed to alleviating poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. AKF USA is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (, a network of private, non-denominational, development agencies around the world, established by His Highness the Aga Khan to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, improve living conditions and opportunities. 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. The Foundation presently supports over 100 programs in 18 countries for the common good of all citizens regardless of their gender, origin or religion. The geographic focus of the Foundation’s development programs is in East Africa and South and Central Asia.

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