Surveying the river and summoning up the courage to enter into the “Walking World”.

Starting in August we have been part of an eight week RIVER WALKING FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN sponsored by Initiative 360, Primary Care Niagara, and  Bridging the Gap Africa .  Each week focuses on raising awareness of a specific social impact provided by footbridges in Kenya.  Several Canadians have agreed to see what their lives may be like if they did not have bridges to cross the rivers in their communities.  During the campaign there will be a blog posted every week that features the social impact of the week by providing photos and stories from Kenya that will be paired with photos and a personal statement from the walkers in Canada.

Below you can read Tim Windsor’s Blog Post about his river crossing experience and you can CLICK HERE to read and follow the Blog Posts of other river walkers through out Canada.




Over the past 13 years I have spent much of my time creating processes and tools to increase access to same-day health care in the Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada. I have to admit, that none of my planning and strategy sessions included mapping out the local river system and making sure our patients could safely cross them to get to our Clinics.  My world, is a “first world”, a driving world – not a walking world.

Recently, on a sunny Friday afternoon I parked my car, opened my door, and stepped into the “walking world”, into the … “I must cross a river because I need to get to a Medical Clinic kind of world”. As I stood on the bank of the Welland River in Niagara Falls I now recognize that I had no idea what was ahead of me and how entering into this wet, shadowy, and much more worrisome world would affect me.

Right now, in the safety and comfort of your office, your home, or your favorite local coffee shop you can walk into this world with me. Just watch the video of my river crossing and allow this firsthand, GoPro Head Cam experience to connect your heart to the plight of thousands of people for whom this experience is an everyday reality.

Now that we have crossed this river together, what are you thinking? What are you feeling?

Here are my lasting impressions. First, you don’t get to choose your river, it choses you. I wanted to cross a knee deep, walkable river but I couldn’t find any in my local area. So, I sucked it up and said, “if I was born in Kenya ‘my river’ would be the river in my community. If it’s a barrier between me and the health care I need for myself or my family, I am going in and across it.” Second, if I had to battle a hippo or crocodile in that river and not just fight my own fears and fatigue, I would not be typing this blog today. And lastly, although this experience was for a great cause and as real as I want it to get, quite honestly, I never want to live in a place where I “have to” do this to get health care. My world, is a “first world”, a driving world – not a walking world, and I appreciate that more today than I did before I entered into the wet, shadowy, and much more worrisome world called the Welland River.

Tim Windsor, Director of Clinical Services
Primary Care Niagara