Collaboration to make a difference

Cape Town, 24 August 2016: In the words of author, Miya Yamanouchi, “We can all make a difference in the lives of others in need, because it is the most simple of gestures that make the most significant of differences.”

Her profound words ring true for the impact of a project run by Protea Hotels by Marriott® in conjunction with a local not-for-profit organisation, Relate Bracelets. “We have partnered with Relate Bracelets since 2009 to help those in our community in need,” explains Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing Manager of Protea Hotels by Marriott.  “Over the years, through our combined efforts, we’ve made a significant contribution to 40 causes that reach the people of our country, making a positive difference to their lives.”

The collaboration reflects a sensible and down-to-earth approach: Protea Hotels, with its presence throughout the country, offers the products made by Relate Bracelets for sale to its customers.  As Barenblatt explains, “Relate Bracelets provides employment to senior citizens from disadvantaged backgrounds.  These people, largely women, are the gogos who so often bear the responsibility of caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and for their grandchildren, so the opportunity to earn an income is crucial to the survival of their extended families. These colourful beaded bracelets are then displayed in our hotels for purchase by guests and visitors, including international tourists to the country.”

The 83 000 bracelets sold during this period equates to a whopping R1, 275 million, all of which has been pumped into the various causes that Relate Bracelets supports.  “The beneficiary organisations represent a wide range of projects – from those fighting malaria, to saving the rhino and elephant, to making the dreams of seriously ill children come true,” Barenblatt says.  “All in all, these are truly meaningful initiatives that impact thousands of lives.”

Barenblatt is mindful of the role that the Protea Hotels guests have played.  “We are very thankful to each and every person who has purchased a bracelet from one of our hotels.  Each one’s contribution, though relatively small, adds up to a really significant total, a total amount that provides a considerable amount to the pressing causes in our society.”

This initiative is but one of many Corporate Social Investment projects undertaken by Protea Hotels to support a range of NPOs and causes.  It’s driven by a philosophy of commitment to society. As Barenblatt explains, “All our hotels and corporate offices are immovable parts of their local communities and as such have a responsibility towards them, which is why we consider social investment to be one of the cornerstones of our business.”