Date Published: 19 January 2009

Le Méridien Hotels joins 'Check Out for Children' partnership

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts has joined parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ partnership with UNICEF by rolling out the unique programme ‘ART IS LIFE’ across its entire network of hotels and resorts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

As part of the ‘Check Out For Children’ partnership, ‘ART IS LIFE’ gives guests the opportunity to support UNICEF’s HIV prevention programmes in Africa through the addition of a $1 (or its local currency equivalent) donation upon checkout.

Preventing infection among young people is key to an effective response to the global AIDS epidemic, but only an estimated 40 percent of young people have accurate and comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention.

Examples of activities supported by ‘ART IS LIFE’ include:

* Child-to-child media networks which actively involve children in the development, production and presentation of radio and TV programmes for children. Topics discussed during the programmes include HIV prevention.
* Multimedia mobile units that travel to rural communities to disseminate information on HIV prevention using film and drama, and also offer HIV counselling.
* Community theatre groups which raise awareness of HIV and promote positive attitudes and behaviour through short plays conducted in markets and in other places in the community. Members of the audience are invited to participate in the plays and to make suggestions on how to solve problems raised in the story.

Educating young people about HIV

The launch of Le Méridien’s ‘ART IS LIFE’ programme marks an important step in our support of global educational, creative programming. Together with UNICEF, our guests will be able to support innovative programmes targeted at educating young people about HIV through creative media, drama and music,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide. “Le Méridien’s goal is to nurture creative skills of people young and old – hence ‘ART IS LIFE’ is a great opportunity to not only educate young people about HIV prevention but also to develop the creative skills of young people in Africa, which potentially could open a new door for them in their lives.”

There were nearly 2 million new cases of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2007 alone,” said UNICEF UK spokesperson Joanne Andrews. “A greater emphasis on HIV education for young people is essential if we are to reduce rates of new infection. By supporting the ‘ART IS LIFE’ programme, Le Méridien guests will be helping to give young people in Africa the chance to live a life free from HIV.

Since it was established in 1995, the Starwood and UNICEF Check Out for Children partnership has raised over $21 million worldwide for UNICEF’s work through guest donations.


Source: UNICEF Main Website.
See also UNICEF Online Gift Shop

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