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« Empowerment Builds the Future »: a new wave of generosity

On 18 May 2011, Accor Greater China officially launched the second phase of the programme “Empowerment Builds the Future”, supported by the Accor Foundation, at a press conference in Beijing.

The programme “Empowerment Builds the Future” aims to train and restore independence to women suffering from HIV/AIDS thanks to a cooperative that produces “eco-friendly” bags in the village of Xiaolizhuang (Henan province).

The bags manufactured by these women are sold for €2 apiece in over 100 hotels of the Group in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. Over €45,000 have already been collected thanks to the sale of 20,000 “eco-friendly” bags of the Chinese designer Tony Li. The profits from sales provide a living wage for these women and their families and finance the education of 38 teenagers also affected by HIV/AIDS.

At the official launch of the second phase of the programme, the new bag, realised by Mary Ma, a famous Chinese designer, was presented.

Mary Ma wished to show how hope is restored through aid. One side of the bag shows a suffering and despairing woman, while the other and more colourful side shows a confident and hopeful woman after receiving the aid of the Accor Foundation.

The goal of the Accor Foundation is to aid social welfare projects to be launched and to develop with the aim of making them independent. The programme “Empowerment Builds the Future” (supported by the Accor Foundation in 2009 and 2010 with €20,000) is a good example: today, thanks to the sale of bags, it is self-funding!