November 2013: Helping the fight against rhino poaching and fulfilling sick children’s dreams is cool in anyone’s book. That’s why Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! has joined forces with not-for-profit social enterprise Relate to help their GUESTS donate to good causes – and still look stylish and funky while they do it.
Both hotels in Cape Town and Melrose Arch are selling Relate bracelets at their reception desks that support Reach for a Dream and the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s rhino anti-poaching programmes.
The Protea Hospitality Group has been involved with the Relate Trust from inception, says Lauren Gillis, founder of the social enterprise. Hotels have bought some 30 000 bracelets for gifting or resale in support of various causes and as a result have raised nearly half a million Rand for good causes.
In total the social enterprise has sold approximately 1 million bracelets since registering as a trust in 2010.
The trendy beaded bracelets cost R35 each and are hand-made by Cape Town-based Relate bracelet-makers, all of whom were previously unemployed.
All Relate bracelets are made with their signature ‘R’ bead, to show they are committed to accountability and transparency.
Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing Manager for Protea Hotels, says the joint venture is good for both parties.
“Our GUESTS can buy these bracelets as travel mementos and at the same time feel good about their contribution to a worthy cause. In return they receive a funky bracelet for their kids or themselves to wear, and from the proceeds Relate is able to donate at least two thirds of their proceeds to NGOs, social enterprise development opportunities as well as earnings and skills training for the bracelet-makers.
“It’s also a good fit for us, because our typical GUEST is someone who cares about causes such as conservation. The partnership is an all-round win-win.”
Relate is a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise that provides opportunities for the less fortunate to create better lives for themselves. They generate funds for causes, create earning and upskilling opportunities for bracelet-makers and support enterprise development initiatives that uplift communities.
The sale of these bracelets at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! forms part of Protea Hotels’ overarching CSI programme that includes a plan for all hotels to engage in at community outreach and social investment initiatives. This plan is also carried through to the regional and national offices.