May 2014: Marriott International has sent 5 000 small pieces of Africa to all four corners of the earth to celebrate its purchase of the Protea Hospitality Group, and in the process secured clean drinking water for some 100 African families, or approximately 500 people, for the next three years.
The 5 000 Relate Bracelets – hand-beaded by senior citizens in Cape Town’s townships – have been distributed to all staff at the Marriott International’s continental offices around the world to mark the momentous purchase which makes the hotel group the largest in Africa.
Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Middle East & Africa, says that while there were already 18 different hotel brands among the group’s 4 000 properties in 79 countries, few brand acquisitions in the past have sparked so much excitement within Marriott International.
“The spark that was created by news of the purchase of the Protea Hospitality Group is being felt around the globe, and as such it was great to be able to mark the occasion with a tangible memento that our people will be able to keep to remember the day we became the largest hotel group in Africa.
“It also felt right to mark our entry into Africa by giving to a charitable cause, and there is no better one on the continent than providing clean drinking water, because there are so many people desperately in need of this.”
Relate Bracelets is a Cape Town-based non-profit organisation making hand-beaded bracelets that fund more than 50 charitable causes.
Marriott International nominated the Rotary LifeStraw project as the beneficiary of its bracelets, which will see enough money raised to distribute LifeStraws to some 100 families. Each family-sized LifeStraw water filter is able to provide clean drinking water for approximately three years.