Marriott Hotel in Kigali shared Christmas and New Year with 30 children with severe disabilities and their parents at Heroes Day Care Centre located in Gikondo in Kicukiro District.
As part of Marriott’s Spirit to Serve, a social corporate outreach programme, the hotel’s staff members on Monday went to the centre with assorted donations that included food stuffs, diapers and mats worth Rwf1 million.
According to Victoria Obiakor, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Marriott Hotel, the initiative is part of their monthly community outreach which aims at giving back to society.
“As an international company, we have an obligation to give back to the community. Yes we’re a source of job opportunities everywhere but we like particular like reaching out to the communities around us and make a change directly,” she said.
The Executive Secretary at Heroes Day Care Centre, Ines Musabyemariya, who is also one of the four co-founders of the centre, said Marriott Hotel’s gesture came at a time it was much needed.
She said that since most of the children they take care of come from vulnerable families, the donation will be used to feed the children and their families mainly during this festive season.
“Most of the parents who have children here are vulnerable and anything that would bring a smile to their children during the festive season is most welcome. We’ll send some of the rice and other food stuffs to their homes and that will make a difference,” said Musabyemariya.
She added that gestures such as that of Marriott helps in ensuring the children with disability feel like an integral part of the community and not stigmatized including in their own families.
“For example when we send them the food stuffs Marriott donated, they will definitely see that it is a contribution of their child with disability to their family,” she said.
She added that the school generally runs on donations from well-wishers.
“It basically takes up to Rwf300, 000 per month to sustain a single child with disability at the centre and that’s too huge an amount for us. It is donations such as these that help us make ends meet,” Musabyemariya said.