The countries are far away, but it didn’t stop thousands of Ottawans from walking in two events yesterday to make a difference in the lives of those countries’ citizens.

An estimated 1,000 people gathered at Confederation Park yesterday to take part in the 25th annual World Partnership Walk.

Organized by Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the walk increases awareness and raises funds to help fight global poverty, with 100 per cent of the money raised going towards international development in poor countries.

“We’re global citizens,” said walk spokeswoman Zahira Dhalwani. “It’s a Canadian attitude that whatever happens outside Canada still affects us.”

The funds help the countries to become self-sustaining in the long-term, she said. In the past, the Ottawa walk has raised about $100,000 a year.

It’s always heartwarming to see people dig deep in their pockets for a cause like this, but more so in a recession, said Ottawa Vanier MP Mauril Belanger.

More than 70,000 people are participating in this year’s walks in nine cities across Canada. Since its inception, the walk has raised more than $45 million countrywide.

Over at Dow’s Lake, another group walked to raise awareness and money to feed schoolchildren in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The UN World Food Programme held its seventh annual End Hunger: Walk the World event. In addition to the Ottawa event, the walk involved participants in more than 70 countries.