Perception Is Reality

Posts Tagged ‘World Partnership Walk

In the first installment of the Transformers movie, in the ending battle, Megatron says to Optimus Prime,

“You still fight for the weak, that’s why you lose!”

If I was Optimus Prime, I would say, yes. I still fight for the weak. I still fight for the destitute. It is not my tradition, my culture, my religion to give fight for the weak and the destitute.

But I have not lost. In fact, everyday is a victory. For all of us. For over 25 years, the volunteers and donors of the World Partnership Walk have brought hope to over 3 billion people who live on less than two dollars a day. In the recent Montreal Millenium Summit (where Al Gore gave the keynote), stats said that about 50% of people previously living in extreme poverty have made their way up.

We are the hope for the future. Collectively. We are communities of change. Help keep the momentum going. Continue to give hope. Sponsor Me. Join the walk.

Why do I walk? I walk so that the mother who has to traverse over 5 KM to get fresh water for herself and her family, wont have to.


Al Gore was referring to accomplishing the Millenium Development Goals in the recent Montreal Millennium Summit whose slogan was Learn, Talk, Act.

And it was through learning, talking, and consequently acting, that we will be able to accomplish the eradication of global poverty, and move towards a society of an all-inclusive global economic upliftment.

“People sometimes don’t like to hear it described this way, but ladies and gentlemen, this is a moral issue. It is a challenge to our understand of who we are as human beings,” Gore said addressing the question on many people’s minds: why should we care?

Why Should We Care?

As Canadians, the question isn’t why should we care, but rather, why do we care. There are thousands of Canadians who join hands day in and day out to keep the momentum building, to make sure that we make a difference within our lifetimes: a difference that is sustainable, and long-term. And we have seen this difference: about 50% of people previously living in extreme poverty, have made their way up. Change is sometimes slow, but evident. It is an irrefutable fact, that as Canadians, we have brought hope to tens of millions of people.

“Shared Sense of Common Purpose”

“How did you rise to solve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve?” the future generations will ask of us, said Al Gore. He was referring to this evident change and accomplishment that we have achieved, and continue to achieve.

“I want part of the answer to be that on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in Montreal in the Palais, men and women from all over came together to lift the struggle against extreme poverty…and rally the forces of conscience and common sense.”

How You Can Keep The Momentum Building

It’s being done. Right before our eyes. And we are doing it.

Learn about the issue. Go to the World Partnership Walk website and learn about the issue. But more importantly, learn about how these issues are being overcome, and how you (yes, you) have played a major role in bringing an end to extreme poverty.

Talk about the progress. Those days are long gone when people could talk about problems inconsolably. We are now in the era where we can be confident about our abilities and future as a collective global village. Because we truly are a global village. Share your personal stories of hope and change with your friends, and invite them to participate and learn about the World Partnership Walk. Also follow the Twitter hashtag, #WPW

Act in any way that is possible. Sign up for the World Partnership Walk (Montreal has an exclusive, fully-functional, bi-lingual portal) as a fund raiser, an ambassador, a volunteer. Sign up on a team that already exists, or create your own. Take the leadership position. Donate any amount that you can, and ask your friends and family too. If someone can’t donate, ask them to donate collectively as a Family. Remember, 100% of the funds raised go to the development work, and you get tax receipts.

Because Canadians Can!

Here’s the entire history of media technology. In two sentences.

In the past, history has shown us that societies organized themselves around technologies. Current trends in social media show us that the new technologies have become so flexible, that we can organize them the way we already are, simply because the current cycle of societal reorganization has been completed.

The Short Version

Get on Twitter. now. If you’re already on it, start using it. Actively. While you’re at it, follow me, @TabishB. Don’t know who else to follow? Read this article on how to find people to follow.

The 140 Version

Okay, so this version is longer than 140 characters. But it’s worth reading.

As I mentioned earlier, societies used to organize themselves around media. And we still do today. Except, this only happens when a major change in media comes. So the internet was a major change, but the new technologies are so radical, that they are morphable. Due to its simple nature, Twitter has achieved complex functions. It’s like the sharpest Ockham’s Razor you will come across.

You may have heard that Twitter is great for networking, getting news, yadda yadda. This is only the tip of the iceberg and a very generalized notion. It isn’t enough for you to understand the power that you truly wield. Therefore, several of my friends/colleagues who happen to be on Twitter gave their insight on how they’ve aligned the technology to themselves, instead of aligning themselves to the technology. These friends, mind you, started off with no followers. But communities were formed around similar topics, and lo and behold, we built momentum.

RRSP At No Cost!

The entertaining, and engaging @clickflickca uses Twitter like an RRSP. Investing in different people, he’s been able to grow value through them to benefit both. A win-win situation! This is good PR! Clickflickca also practices #ICE: Interact, Communicate, Engage which is what social media is all about!

Roommate Found!

While Roomster, and Easy Roommate, might be great services, they’re a thing of the past. Our friend @AdamVincenzini of Paratus Communications and The Comms Corner actually found his roommate, Laurence (@blogtillyoudrop) through Twitter! Now, that’s really cool! Whoever claimed a stark difference between “online” and “real” friends, clearly haven’t met these two!

Causes, Anyone?

Whether its the fight against Thalassemia or a consolidated effort to eradicate global poverty, Twitter is great for mobilizing the community. @blessedAyesha has done just that. She has harnessed the power of social media to raise awareness about Thalassemia not only in Pakistan, but abroad. The world truly comes together, and a movement that’s gaining a lot of momentum in Pakistan, is working to building momentum for the same cause elsewhere. Let me hear you say, “synergy!”

Speaking of Synergy…

My #BeMyGuest guest (what a tongue twister!) @ThePRView uses Twitter to add to his social media prowess by cross-promoting his blog. And as a student, it has allowed him to gain valuable work experience and understanding of Twitter’s use for Crisis Management!

Whats Next?

It’s quite evident that Twitter can really get things done for you, if you know what you want. Ask yourself this:

What is my goal? What task would I like to accomplish? How can I leverage Twitter to do this?

Of course, the answers will come as you begin to immerse yourself in the company of blue birds. They’re still coming to me! How do YOU use Twitter?

Recently, I gave a 5 minute talk, a call-to-action about the World Partnership Walk in McGill University to some 50 students and several other adults. When I was writing down what I was going to say, my heart started beating fast.

It was because for the first time that I’ve told a story, It meant something to me. It was about empowerment. It was about hope, and about confidence in the future. It was about the generosity and leadership.

For the first time, I realized that I could speak about the positive side of international development and refrain from using words like “poverty” and emotional blackmailing. Because, truly, in the 25 years (going on 26) that the World Partnership Walk has been around, Canadians have shown nothing but proactive, meritocratic involvement in the issue.

So, this is what I spoke to. Canadian values, and the results. I went straight to the specific examples, down to the names and the work that was done. The story I told was of Kokilaben from a village in Gujarat, and how Canadians had empowered them to ask questions about their future and make choices about what was important to them. I saw many smiling faces, and many nods.

While I wish I had water before stepping up, I didn’t get a chance. I’m never one to be frightened by large audiences and I remember being on stage since I was at least 4 years old. That’s a long way back, and quite a good memory to have.

But, for the first time in years I was nervous, because I was going to make myself vulnerable to my audience about how I felt. My passion about the walk. In hindsight, it served as a wonderful reminder about Kokilaben’s story.

The challenge was then to talk enough to make a personal connection, but not too much to make it a sap story. The time limit was 4 minutes. I wanted to get across key messages of the Walk that my audience could relate to, doing it in a setting that did not allow for interaction. Yet again, a reminder that those less fortunate don’t always have a voice.

I ended the speech by telling my audience why I walk. They were the reason why I walk.

After you have reviewed the World Partnership Walk website, please sponsor me. 100% of your donations go to the development work. Not a cent goes to admin costs.

Bridges That Unite is coming to Montreal this 7th March. Please come to see where your funds are going. This is an immersive, interactive, and inspiring exhibition. See where your donations are going. For more information, please look at the official Bridges That Unite website.

About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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