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 from August 2-4, 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.

Besides committing to the 600-km cycling challenge, the riders will also be fundraising US $1,500 each towards their chosen local charity. Since its inception in 2008, through the R2A campaign, Marriott has raised $9 million for children in need.

“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,” said de Wilde.

For the campaign, Marriott’s hotels have organised 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; 10km fun run hosted by Al Maha, a luxury collection desert resort & spa in Dubai; a charity bazaar for new and second hand items to be held at Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait and Sheraton Kuwait, and the annual Westin Cape Town Charity Ball in South Africa among many others, a statement from the company said.

The hospitality group will partner with Relate, a not-for-profit social enterprise who make hand beaded bracelets. Relate has made 22,000 bracelets specifically for Marriott International’s R2A campaign so that participating hotels can sell them to help with their fundraising initiatives.

The confirmed charities include: UAE, Al Jalila Foundation; South Africa, Laureus Sport for Good; KSA, Disabled Children’s Association; Jordan, King Hussein Cancer Foundation; Lebanon, Bonheur Du Ciel; Seychelles, Soroptimist International Club of Victoria.

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