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The Foundation seeks sustainable solutions to longterm problems of poverty, with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous and other resourcepoor areas. Priority is given to integrated approaches that are communitybased, participatory and innovative, and reinforce civil society and respect local culture. The geographic focus of the Foundation’s work is in East Africa and South and Central Asia. The Foundation’s activities are guided by the conviction that selfhelp brings dignity and selfrespect, which in turn generate human creative energy. Key characteristics of the Foundation’s programmatic approach are promotion of integrated development in a given area? longterm engagement in order to build locally sustainable models of development? developing solutionoriented models? and partnerships with local counterpart organizations to implement projects and longterm relationships with donor agencies and peer organizations. The Foundation is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private, nondenominational development agencies and institutions that seek to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of Africa and Asia. Active in over 31 countries, the Network’s underlying impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society and its agencies and institutions work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of origin, gender or religion.
PartnershipsInAction is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. and its network of volunteers across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds for innovative programs that create hope and opportunity for disadvantaged communities in the developing world. Through the PartnershipsInAction initiative, the Foundation and its volunteers organize events across the nation to help create a more peaceful and prosperous future for people around the world. These events inspire and inform Americans about the power of global partnerships - partnerships that transcend borders, class lines, and religious, gender and age differences.
At each event, you can take part in fun activities and learn how you can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Since the first Partnership Walk in Los Angeles in 1995, PartnershipsInAction has expanded into a variety of nationwide activities that reach tens of thousands each year, including the signature Partnership Walk and Partnership Golf events. Through volunteering, awareness-raising and contributions, people of all ages and backgrounds partner with the Foundation to advance human dignity and peace around the globe. Participants, sponsors, partners and volunteers are part of a worldwide movement that is mobilizing around the universal Millennium Development Goals to cut global poverty in half by 2015.
My role for the 2011 Partnership Walk is that of the Development Education and Communications Manager (DECM). The DECM works with AKF USA to create and customize messaging and communication for regional needs relating to awareness and education. The role of the DECM includes:
- ? Oversee and organize all aspects of the Development Education component for the PartnershipsInAction initiative in that region including training, planning and implementing activities that (i) build greater awareness about the impact of AKF and AKDN?s integrated approach to international development; and (ii) engage volunteers and the public in valuable learning experiences to equip them with information, skills and attitudes that help them to act responsibly as global citizens and social entrepreneurs concerned about alleviating global poverty.
- ? Work in coordination with the various outreach and fundraising leads to ensure distribution of literature and multimedia materials in schools, public libraries, colleges and universities produced, provided and approved by AKF USA
- ? In coordination with the Project Manager, manage the execution of the Village in Action held on-site/elsewhere at the Partnership Events/ Walk and supervise the planning, recruiting, organizing and training involved in the months of preparation prior to the event/Walk.
- ? Act as point person with AKF USA on matters related to Development Education programs and Village in Action activities for that PartnershipsInAction event.
- ? Recruit a local team and assign responsibilities to team members, focused in the areas of content/research, curriculum development, training & outreach, on-site logistics, and construction/design of Village in Action. See chart of team responsibilities.
- ? Act as key contact for cross-regional exchange and participate in conference calls and planning meetings with representatives from Development Education teams in other regions and for other events in your region and AKF USA staff to plan, share information, evaluate experiences, and exchange ideas and lessons learned. As AKF USA provides substantive and current information about its programs, regional Dev Ed teams are responsible to develop imaginative, interactive activities that creatively convey the messages and key elements in ways that entice people to participate in meaningful learning experiences.
- ? With the approval of the Regional Chair and in coordination with the appropriate outreach and fundraising lead, conduct presentations at targeted schools, universities and religious community centers.
- ? Coordinate, on a regular basis, with the AKF USA regional team, to provide current information and resources, particularly connecting with:
- ? Youth Outreach and Fundraising Manager re: outreach, presentations and activities for schools and youth;
- ? Corporate Outreach and Fundraising Manager re: educational presentations, resources and activities on AKF/AKDN?s impact to be used in generating greater awareness and interest in PartnershipsInAction; and in sharing information with volunteers involved in outreach to keep them current (i.e., provide project information distributed by AKF USA and share methods for conveying AKF?s achievements and success stories);
- ? Media and Public Relations Manager re: preparations and execution for the initiative’s development education component to suggest newsworthy stories of human interest, local-global connections, community service, and colorful activities and events where local citizens are organizing around a worthy cause;
- ? Other Team Managers that request training, information or guidance on how to present and best convey information about the work of AKF/AKDN.
- ? Other Project Team Development Education Managers on how to share ideas and resources to be both time and cost efficient.
- ? In coordination with the Regional Chair/Vice-Regional Chair and other projects? development education managers as appropriate, identify individuals in your region who are good candidates to serve as "regional ambassadors." Selected individuals should be articulate in public speaking, enthusiastic about the Foundation’s work, and committed to their role. The primary role of the ambassadors is to support outreach efforts of the entire team and deliver presentations about the impact of the Foundation and AKDN. Ambassadors would receive training from AKF USA staff to become competent and confident with presenting educational resources/materials developed by AKF USA.
- ? Document major achievements, successes and challenges experienced in meeting objectives during your tenure and offer recommendations on how to improve the organizing, training and educational efforts; provide feedback and input to AKF USA which in turn will share and facilitate the exchange of lessons learned among all Dev Ed teams.
The Activities promoted by the Development Education team play a key role in helping to mainstream PartnershipsInAction events. Educational events, activities and resources organized by the Dev Ed team help to facilitate broader outreach audiences, such as schools, community organizations and young professional groups. The process of preparing displays and learning activities for the public at Village in Action offers an opportunity to engage and motivate youth, university students and young professionals in a worthy cause and build their understanding about the impact of AKF/AKDN.
- Karim Ukani
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