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2011 Walk and Fundraising Initiatives

Saturday, 10 September 2011 saw 54 brave participants walk 23km through the lush valleys, countryside villages and Saxon settlements from Glynde to Seaford, UK. With all 4 seasons of the year descending upon us from the suns rays, to high winds to severe thunder storms, we battled our way through to the top of the chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters to reach our final destination. There were dangerous slippery and muddy paths on the

Walk for Iraq (UK) 2011 © Walk for Iraq

high hills which saw some minor tumbles and with many walkers about to give up, our driving force was to raise funds for the ‘Empowering the Widows of Mesopotamia” project. We had many participants travel from different parts of the UK and abroad (Dubai and Belgium) for the event. Raising a successful 20,500 GBP, all funds were donated to Help the Needy Charitable Trust (www.helptheneedy.org.uk), a UK registered charity focusing on orphans and widows and the managers of the project. Please click here to see the donations collected for this cause.

The ‘Empowering the Widows of Mesopotamia’ project has now been kicked off and will tackle and change the lives of many widows who do not have the means to survive by helping them through job placements, better healthcare and education that will indirectly impact their families and children. For more information on the project, please click here. To see the kick-off video, please click here.

Several fundraising initiatives also took place on the side and coupled with our walk, all proved to be a huge success.

  • Iraq Relief Charity (www.iraq-relief.org) stepped forward in sponsoring our event. A dinner was held on Sunday 14 August welcoming over 120 guests. Our UK team leader Yasser Astarabadi and our dedicated walker and project manager Lamees Ibrahim gave a speech on Help the Needy’s project ‘Empowering the Widows of Mesopotamia’ and the Walk for Iraq movement which was also covered by Al Furat TV Station.
  • Our team in New Zealand also held their 3rd Walk for Iraq football tournament on Sunday 13 November in Auckland. The tournament attracted many people from different cultures who came together to unite and fundraise for the Widows project.
  • A Walk for Iraq Charity Dinner Cruise was held on 19 November which saw 110 people attend. The dinner which had a ‘Titanic-esque’ theme to it had Miss Middle East UK 2010, Ms Dania Omar as our main presenter on the night. There were raffle prizes donated from numerous recognized companies such as D&G, DKNY, Givenchy, Celebrity Hair Stylist etc. A silent and open auction also took place to raise money with Burberry summer collection items and a Messi signed football shirt all up for grabs. There were also unique items for sale, from Swarvoski handmade jewellery and Iraq novelty items. To see our photos on the night, please click here.
  • Finally a charity lunch was held at Lamees Ibrahim’s home and with the help of her daughter Aseel and friends it was a huge success. The event raised awareness of the project as well as a significant amount of money.

Click here to see a list of the people we would like to thank for making this all happen.

2010 Fundraising Initiative

On 30th August 2010 Walk for Iraq UK announced a fundraising initiative in cooperation with Masgouf restaurants in London offering you a delightful experience of tasting traditional Iraqi cuisine during the month of Ramadan. 10% of all proceeds were donated to the Iraqi Orphan Foundation (www.iraqiorphanfoundation.com) in addition to cash and cheque donations. A total of 1,000 GBP was raised (300 GBP was donated from Masgouf restaurant and 700 GBP was raised on-line)

With 5,000 orphans receiving aid from the Foundation and a further 3,000 on the waiting list, your support and generosity has helped provide food, shelter and educational projects throughout Iraq. The money was also  used to help university students on their journey to graduation.

Please click here to see the letter of thanks from the Iraqi Orphan Foundation.

Walk for Iraq (UK) 2010 © Walk for Iraq

2009 Walk

Following on from the success of our previous walks, Walk for Iraq UK launched a 24 km walk on Saturday 23rd of May 2009 from Folkestone to Deal. With stunning views of the English Channel, and ferries buzzing in and out of the harbour, the journey is known as one of the finest coastal walks in England taking the 38 participants right along the top of the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Our brave walkers, all from different parts of the UK let alone the world were presented with un-anticipated challenges on the day; namely covering 32km instead of the initial planned distance and all for a good cause!

The team work was astounding and despite the aches, pains, blisters, and sunburn our walkers did a great job walking through the endless British fields driven by a noble goal of planting a seed of hope in the hearts of the Iraqi orphans.

Walk for Iraq (UK) 2009 © Walk for Iraq

This event not only raised 17,107 GBP through the www.justgiving.com/walk4iraq website to support the work of the Iraqi Orphan Foundation in the UK but also raised awareness about the every day life sufferings and struggles of children all over Iraq. The amount raised also includes a fundraising dinner party for 140 guests which was organised by two participants raising a successful 2,275 GBP.

For more information on the charity please visit www.iraqiorphanfoundation.com and to see our letter of thanks and how your money was spent, please click here.

2007 Walk (Walk for Iraq Launch)

On Saturday 16th of June 2007, 30 of us took part in a 19km walk from Hastings to Rye (by the South Coast of England) to help raise funds for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

With the current crisis in Iraq, civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence. The ICRC is helping people on a daily basis through emergency relief activities such as food distribution, supplying essential household items and hygiene parcels. They also provide access to clean water as well as sanitation services, two things which have become incredibly precious due to their rare supply. Additionally, they support medical services, hospitals, and health centres giving people access to vital, life saving medical treatments.

Walkers hiking through the fields
© Walk for Iraq

We were besieged by both media and peace groups to work together with them in highlighting this cause and not only was the event covered by Asharq Al-Awsat, the leading international Arabic newspaper. It was also recognised by Arabic News Broadcast (ANB) Satellite Channel and Media groups within Iraq. In addition to this, we created 2 groups ‘Walk for Iraq’ and 'Walk for Iraq Toronto' on the on-line networking facility Facebook, which to date, has more then 3000 members.

When 30 of us embarked on the Hastings to Rye walk, we were all fuelled with a desire to change something in Iraq. Facing harsh British weather and surrounded by landscapes as English as fruit cake none of us could have imagined the result of our hike would generate so much interest globally. What started as a small step has now become a collective aspiration of many.

The bewildering interest in Walk for Iraq inspired different groups in Canada and New Zealand to set up their own Walk for Iraq, with many more cities on the way such as California, Dubai, Boston,etc.

Well done to all the participants for their hard work. Many of them worked on this with their hearts and souls and without them this would not have happened. A very big thankyou to our lovely guide Eric Randall, our wonderful photographer Ezzidin Alwan and Yazen El-Safi, our New Zealand lead for his support and inspiration to globalise the event and set up of the website www.walkforiraq.com.

We would like to thank everyone who has given us the support and encouragment to setup and promote this project. (Please see our 'thankyou section’)

An estimated 21,000 GBP was raised from the UK walk (www.justgiving.com/walkforiraq) Your good wishes helped us to carry on to the end and for every smiling step we took was a step for a better Iraq. Displaced Iraqis around the globe have taken a special interest in our campaign and website and it is to them and to the millions in Iraq and all those who have been affected by the wars that we dedicate our work.

Well done to all for making a difference.


Nadia Al-Shadhir


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