Helping organize the World Partnership Walk was an eye-opening experience
It’s difficult to see me in this photo unless you look hard but I’m on the far right in one of the middle rows – one of only a couple of non-Muslims.
By Pat Rediger
For the past number of months, together with my team at Benchmark Public Relations, I have had the great privilege of working with volunteers from Saskatchewan’s Muslim community to help organize the World Partnership Walk – Canada’s largest public movement to fight global poverty. This is an initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation that supports programs that help million of people in Africa and Asia.
There are many reasons why I was happy to play a role in this event. Probably the biggest reason is that it allowed me the opportunity to work with a community that was new to me. It’s no secret that our province’s demographics are changing. Just take your children or grandchildren to a playground in Harbour Landing where we hear dozens of different languages being spoken and children from numerous cultures and ethnicities are playing together.
I was happy to be involved with this project because I believe meeting new people and learning about other cultures is fun and personally fulfilling. But as an entrepreneur, I also know a business case can be made for increasing cultural understanding and broadening your circles of friends and acquaintances to include New Canadians. Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to grow a business is by working on personal relationships. Getting to know people. Face-to-face. One customer. One referral at a time.
We got great support from the Muslim community for this annual event. Our goal for the future is to create greater linkages with the broader community. Creating connections to communities that don’t know each other very well can be difficult. It requires time, a commitment to open communications and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. If you want to meet people who care passionately about creating a better world for our future generations, consider getting involved in this great event next year, as a sponsor or walk participant.
People in Saskatchewan have helped raise more than $70,000 already for the World Partnership Walk. If you would like to make a donation you can do so until the end of June at worldpartnershipwalk.com. If you’d like to talk to me about getting involved as a sponsor and marketing your products and services to this growing community through this event, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org