In a continuous effort to support children in need across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Marriott International has kicked off the 11th edition of its highly successful Road to Awareness (R2A) campaign. The initiative will see a number of the hospitality group’s hotels participate in a range of fundraising activations for local charities throughout the year, in addition to an anchor fundraising 600km-cycle event around the Western Cape, South Africa between 2–4 August 2018.
32 cyclists who work for Marriott international across the MEA region will be led on the challenge by passionate cyclist and founder of R2A – Guido de Wilde, Chief Operating Officer of Marriott International in the Middle East. The selected riders will not only commit to riding the challenging 600 km over three gruelling days, but they will also need to each raise USD 1,500 (ZAR 15,000) for their local charities. Combined with individual hotel fundraisers, the organization has been able to raise a staggering USD 9 million for children in need since its inception in 2008.
Guido de Wilde, said:
I’m so very proud of the impact the R2A campaign has made over the last 11 years as well as the growth it is making, so that each year it is bigger and better than before, enabling us to help even more children from across the region. In previous years, we have collaborated with global charity partners and this year we are supporting local charities and hope to see the difference we are able to make through our very own eyes.’
The group’s hotels organize a wide range of fund-raising activities such as charity auctions, fun runs, sporting events, bake sales and others, including a tennis tournament at Sheraton Club des Pins Resort & Towers, Algeria; donations during Iftar, Suhoor as well as at the reception at the 8 Marriott International properties in Qatar, and the annual Westin Cape Town Charity Ball in South Africa among many others.
With the hotels’ support we have a robust annual campaign that keeps the cause at the forefront of the minds of hoteliers, hotel guests, consumers, and Marriott international employees. Together, I’m positive that we can really make a difference to the region’s children in need.’
This year for the first time, the hospitality group will unite with RELATE, a not-for-profit social enterprise who make hand beaded bracelets. RELATE has made 22,000 bracelets specifically for Marriott International’s Road to Awareness campaign so that participating hotels can sell them to help with their fundraising initiatives.
The confirmed charities include South Africa, Laureus Sport for Good; Qatar, Education Above All; Jordan, King Hussein Cancer Foundation; Lebanon, Bonheur Du Ciel; Seychelles, Soroptimist International Club of Victoria.
For the 2018 edition of the cycle challenge, Marriott International will be joined by Craig Edwards who is a guest rider from South Africa, and an experienced cyclist who will be guiding the group throughout the three days. The cyclist’s progress can be tracked on the Marriott International Road to Awareness Facebook page: facebook.com/MarriottR2AinMEA