fbpx
The 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States

The 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States

Giving Hope to 7 Billion People With a Smile and a Loving Heart!

That was the slogan for the relay of walkathons hosted by the International WeLoveU Foundation in Brazil, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea and now here in the United States. The New Life Family Walkathon that Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah has organized annually for the past two decades in Seoul is now taking place in multiple countries around the world. Each one bearing the same purpose in mind: to console those seriously affected by the devastating climate disasters in Mozambique.

Earlier this year, two cyclones—Idai and Kenneth—slammed the country in Southern Africa back to back, leaving it to put itself back together during this humanitarian crisis. It’s reported that subsequent flooding destroyed $1 billion of infrastructure. On top of the country’s fragile framework and people’s lives turned upside down, animals are also suffering as a result of these disasters.

>> What happened in Mozambique?

Saddened by the news of climate disaster, Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah dedicated the 23rd New Life Family Walkathon in the United States to help those in Mozambique. Together, our steps can translate to love, life, and harmony to those undergoing present difficulties.

We Are Here for You, Mozambique!

On the bright morning of Sunday, July 28, 2019, approximately 2,500 participants checked in, ready to walk! Activity booths with interactive and fun games made it easy for everyone to learn about the 17 Global Goals including a WeLoveU original comic about how to implement the SDGs in daily lives. In addition to supporting Mozambique, WeLoveU launched the #AIMfortheGoals campaign to raise awareness about the SDGs that were established to protect our planet.  

Before the opening address, there was time for a couple of performances by the WeLoveU Foundation volunteers. There were two dance pieces: one dedicated to Mozambique and another one fostering camaraderie to take care of our world together. The last performance was the WeLoveU theme song.

A Special Spotlight on Our Speakers

Right when the guest speakers took the stage, everyone was in for a special surprise visit by U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district—Donald Payne Jr. Given the Congressman’s tight schedule before the August recess, everyone from the President of WeLoveU to the guest speakers and all 2,500 guests were honored to have an opportunity to hear from the U.S. Representative. Not to mention, Liberty State Park in Jersey City where this year’s walkathon was held is included in Congressman Donald Payne Jr.’s district!

The President of the WeLoveU Foundation then took to the podium after Congressman Donald Payne Jr.’s surprise visit. His introductory message reminded all participants of Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah’s message that we are one family living in a big home called ‘Earth.’ 

Therefore, as a global family, we must encourage and serve one another with the heart of a mother. This was the perfect introduction for the Ambassador of Mozambique Carlos Dos Santos followed by UN DGC Representative Felipe Queipo. 

“It’s a sense of joy and appreciation for the kind of solidarity to say, ‘Mozambique and Mozambicans, you are far away, but we are with you. We want to support you; we want to help you.'” – Ambassador Carlos Dos Santos

The next following speakers that the WeLoveU Foundation had a privilege to have speak at the 23rd New Life Family Walkathon was Climate Reality Project Leader Tim Guinee, and Lindsey Prowse from the French-American Chamber of Commerce. The more each speaker presented about the effects of climate change, the importance of an individuals role in tackling it, and so on, the moral of the volunteers were heightened as they anticipated to walk for such a meaningful cause.

One, Two, Three—Let’s Walk!

By the early afternoon, all 2,500 participants comprised of family, friends and local officials met at the starting line. On the count of three, everyone began taking their steps one by one in support of Mozambique.

To stay hydrated all-day long, all who registered received a glass water bottle. A water sponsor provided free water and so volunteers were able to refill their bottles as much as they needed. Not only that, through the glass water bottles, WeLoveU and its participants are reducing the use of plastic, which is good for us and our planet. In addition, a majority—if not all—carpooled for this event. Having fewer cars on the road means carbon emissions are reduced and our air quality improves.

Let us know below if you’re in WeLoveU’s photo gallery! 

 It was a pleasant afternoon across from the New York City skyline. Families and friends had opportunities to catch up and talk together while participating in a wonderful cause. Through the volunteers efforts, WeLoveU hopes those in Mozambique can feel refreshed and comforted knowing there are people supporting them from across the globe.

 

The 2018 East Coast New Life Family Walkathon

The 2018 East Coast New Life Family Walkathon

New Life Family Walkathon: A Walk for Bright Minds

On Sunday, August 5, 2018, the first-ever East Coast New Life Family Walkathon took place in the country’s capital—Washington D.C—to help our neighbors in the global village. Nearly 2,000 participants gathered on the 3rd Street Gravel at the National Mall—the long, grassy home of iconic monuments—across from the U.S. Capitol Building.

It’s been twenty years since WeLoveU’s Chairwoman, Zahng Gil-jah, began her journey to benefit marginalized populations, refugees of climate change and war, children with incurable diseases and more through walkathons. And now, her seed has taken root and blossomed in the East Coast Region of the United States.

 “I’m pleased to see the New Life Family Walkathon contributing to saving life and strengthening unity between family members. I think the greatest power in this world is love.” – Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah

Embraced by the summer rays, members flocked from all points along the East Coast—from Florida to Boston—to participate in this very special event.

Back in May, the WeLoveU Foundation delivered 3,000 solar-powered lanterns to vocational students in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This effort known as The #BrightHaiti Project was created to provide vocational students with a clean and safe source of light. While at the same time act as a tool of hope as they study for a brighter future.

Now, the New Life Family Walkathon is the vehicle to launch the second phase of The #BrightHaiti Project. The next phase involves installing solar panels in vocational schools and donating school supplies. Under the slogan, “Bright minds need bright lights,” the WeLoveU East Coast Region pledges to take the lead in caring for our family members in need in the Western Hemisphere.

A Mother’s Love: The Power That Makes the World Go Round

At 10 a.m., the opening ceremony began with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem accompanied by the U.S. Navy Color Guard. Next, a cultural dance followed and then the President of the WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region, Daniel Lee, gave his opening remarks.

Mr. Lee began by reminding the participants of the purpose behind their gathering. It’s to make a bright Haiti and for the well-being of humanity, but moreover, he emphasized the unique driving force behind WeLoveU’s activities, which is a mother’s love. With this love, WeLoveU is able to see, hear and also take care of the difficulties experienced by many in the global village.

He said, “The love of a mother is the core to each and every activity, initiative and event carried out by the International WeLoveU Foundation. In this world where individualism is increasing, people in tough times are often left behind in despair. For those with such difficulties, the best solution is a mother’s love. It is only a mother’s love that has the capacity to care for and consider all people of the world.”

Following Mr. Lee, another WeLoveU speaker introduced WeLoveU’s international works to the audience. From installing water pumps, assisting entire communities in the aftermath of disasters to building schools and more, it’s clear the WeLoveU Foundation is busy working all-yearlong—just as a mother gives herself no rest until all her children are cared for.

“I could continue to go on and on about the activities that have been made possible because of volunteers like you. But I mention all these examples as a way to demonstrate that all of us today are making a difference beyond what our eyes can see,” said Rebecca Parker, Vice President of Communications.

Afterward, another representative stepped forward explaining how WeLoveU’s activities and initiatives align with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including 17 goals to fulfill their universal vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. In a nutshell, the SDGs intend to transform the world.

Along the walkway were panels highlighting WeLoveU’s activities that contribute to the fulfillment of these goals. For example, installing water pumps goes hand-in-hand to accomplish the sixth goal of clean water and sanitation. Delivering solar-powered lanterns to vocational students in Haiti helps fulfill quality education and affordable and clean energy.

After reading the panels, members pledged their support to fulfill the goals through WeLoveU’s volunteer service projects. After signing a pledge, they placed a sticker on the world map. It’s because WeLoveU’s initiatives not only impact one region but extend a helping hand to the whole world.

“WeLoveU has been carrying out initiatives, activities, and events similar to these goals for nearly two decades. And during this time, WeLoveU has developed an approach to our humanitarian work that is driven by four major core values: humility, encouragement, love, patience, and sacrifice. In short, WeLoveU H.E.L.P.S.,” said John Casas.

To wrap up the opening remarks, a special speaker came forward—Mayor Dean Mazzarella from Leominster, Massachusetts. Just an hour outside of Boston, the mayor has been supporting WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD activities and spreading WeLoveU’s message throughout the city of Leominster.

He said, “I can’t encourage more to other local elected officials, state or federal officials across the world: this is the organization you want to team up with. The definition of community is WeLoveU Foundation.”

Walking for the Happiness of Seven Billion People!

Around noon, all participants rallied to the starting point for the main event—the walk! After the ceremonial ribbon cutting at the front line, President Lee cued by saying, “Start!” The marching band began to play and the walkathon officially started.

A sea of blue shirts paraded around the 2.5-mile course for the happiness of all seven billion people. All ages from the youngest to the oldest walked together hand-in-hand with their families and friends. And giving an extra boost of encouragement, a cheer team held signs and cheered on the walkers saying: “Don’t give up!” “Shine the Light, Make it Bright!” “WeLoveU!” “Walk for Bright Minds!”

When everyone reached the finish line, a loud ‘hooray!’ resounded throughout the National Mall. It was a meaningful time for all to reflect on the impact of their actions while also realizing once again that all people of the global village are one family. By the early afternoon, families and friends ate their lunches together enjoying the shade and summer breeze.

Through the New Life Family Walkathon, WeLoveU affirms to deliver hope and support to those affected by adversity and misfortune. This can be accomplished with acts of compassion, devotion and an unconditional love of that of a mother. The participant’s steps will reach those in overseas countries and resound throughout the whole world.

Pin It on Pinterest