Marriott International’s travel program, Marriott Bonvoy, pledges to support implementation of sustainable development projects in Kabolwo through WE
Today, WE announces the expansion of the organization’s sustainable development efforts through a new community partnership with Kabolwo, a rural region in Bomet County, Kenya, made possible by Marriott International’s travel program Marriott Bonvoy. With a history of more than 20 years working in the Maasai Mara area, WE is embarking on a new journey of sustainable change with Kabolwo through its holistic sustainable development model, WE Villages. The unique model, designed to meet the basic needs of developing communities, works to end poverty by focusing on five pillars: Education, Water, Health, Food and Opportunity—when implemented together, these pillars are key interventions that empower a community to help build a brighter future for themselves and future generations.
The challenges faced by Kabolwo provide an opportunity for partnership and implementing WE Villages’ sustainable practices. Located an hour away from a nearby WE Village partner community, Kabolwo’s elders learned about the positive impact WE Villages has had on their neighbors—like new school facilities, agricultural initiatives including school lunch programs, and entrepreneurial skills development that led to economic opportunity for community members—and reached out to explore working with WE. Now, WE and Kabolwo are working together to build a sustainable future for everyone in their community.
“Due to the high poverty levels in this community, we sought partnership with WE so that we may be empowered to become independent,” said Stanley Ruto, Kabolwo community elder. “Based on the development we have seen in the nearby Enelerai community, we believe that one day Kabolwo will be like that: a good school with beautiful classrooms, water flowing in our community and community members empowered with economic opportunities.”
“We partner with communities to offer a hand up, not a handout—to empower them to reshape their futures for generations to come,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Thanks to the commitment from Marriott Bonvoy, families in Kabolwo will be inspired to bring lasting change with solutions that are adaptive, effective and sustained long-term by their own community members. Working collectively with local government, we devote time and resources to every new initiative and help keep projects running once complete with the goal of reaching a point after approximately five years where communities are self-sustaining. When people are driven to transform their lives, real lasting change is possible.”
To support the new community partnership, Marriott Bonvoy has teamed up with WE, empowering the people of Kabolwo to achieve their vision for a brighter future. With three participating hotels and more than 500 hotel associates who wear the Marriott International badge in Kenya, Marriott Bonvoy is committed to continuing Marriott International’s legacy of “serving our world.” This is why Marriott Bonvoy, which connects all its hotel brands including St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott and others, is embarking on this journey with WE. Over the next three years, Marriott Bonvoy has committed to supporting the implementation of the WE Villages model in Kabolwo, ensuring that community members will be empowered with the tools and resources, providing opportunities for future generations.
“Marriott Bonvoy is excited to join forces with WE to help the Kabolwo community achieve its vision for their future,” said David Flueck, SVP, Global Loyalty, Marriott International. “this will provide another opportunity for enriching travel on our travel platform and allow our members to get directly involved in supporting the aspirations of the Kabolwo community.”
To date, WE has worked with communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to build more than 1,500 school rooms, giving 200,000 children the opportunity to gain an education, provide access to clean water and sanitation programs to one million people and empower 30,000 women with the tools to gain economic self-sufficiency.
Based on more than two decades of collaboration with local communities and experts in Africa, Asia and Latin America, WE Villages has engineered an international asset and rights-based development model end to end. It’s not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves. Rooted in the understanding that poverty isn’t the result of one single cause, WE Villages’ five pillars work in tandem to provide solutions that support and amplify each other.
Currently working in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Sierra Leone, rural China, Tanzania and Ethiopia, WE’s partner communities take ownership of the programs and projects. WE works with community members to develop the skills, strategies and infrastructure to take charge of their future, maintain long-term change, and thrive for generations.
To learn more about how to get involved in Kabolwo’s journey, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com/WE
To learn more about how to get involved in other WE Village partner communities, visit www.we.org/our-work/we-villages.com
WE is a family of organizations that makes doing good, doable. WE is made up of WE Charity, empowering domestic and international change, ME to WE, a social enterprise that creates socially conscious products and experiences to help support the charity, and WE Day, an unparalleled series of events, and the greatest celebration of social good.
WE Charity was founded by New York Times Bestselling authors Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, in 1995, with a mission to fight child labor. WE has since grown and evolved to address the root cause of child labor - extreme poverty. In the past 24 years, WE’s programs have empowered over 1 million people with clean water, built 1,500 schools and schoolrooms overseas, and empowered more than 200,000 children with access to education.
WE enables youth and families to better the world—supporting 7,200+ local and global causes by volunteering millions of hours of service, shopping daily with an impact, and raising millions of dollars that directly benefit their local communities and the world.
WE’s headquarters is based in Toronto, Canada at the WE Global Learning Center, a service and social innovation accelerator for young people, leading them to become the next generation of leaders and towards a brighter future.
Join the movement today at WE.org.
For further information, please contact:
Alison Clarke, Director of External Communications, WE