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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Serena Hotels Commemorate Rwanda's Genocide

CSR is a way of life at Serena Hotels

Serena Hotels has a large footprint in Africa. The hotel group is committed to nurturing both people and the planet and has dedicated corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to uplift and empower the lives of local communities.

Rwanda’s Genocide: 100 Days of Remembrance

Since April 2013 staff and management at Serena’s hotels in Rwanda have been taking action to honour the victims of the Rwandan genocide at the Kigali Serena Hotel and the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.

Rwanda’s genocide took place in 1994 - a mass slaughter of Tutsis by Hutus in which more than 500,000 people lost their lives. The United Nations (UN) has named April 7 as the Day of Remembrance of the Rwanda Genocide and Serena Hotels has set up various initiatives to pay tribute to this turbulent time in the country’s history.

During the commemoration period, which runs for 100 days from April 7, the staff and management of Serena Hotels in Rwanda invest their personal time and energy to help change the lives of those affected by the civil war.

Films are shown at the Kigali Serena Hotel as an innovative way to raise funds. Denise Benzinge-Omany, Serena’s Country Sales and Marketing Manager for Rwanda, says: “Every year in April, we screen movies related to the genocide. We charge an entrance fee and the proceeds are used to buy food and fulfill other needs for victims.”

During the 100-day period, Serena Hotels is also focused on women’s groups and donating clothing and linen to various charities. Staff members also take time out to visit genocide memorial sites. Activities of commemoration are carried out within the local communities in Kigali, the district of Rubavu, and its capital, Gisenyi (where Lake Kivu is located).

Investing in Rwanda’s Future

Benzinge-Omany says commemorating the genocide is very important and stresses that Serena Hotels is invested in the future of those affected by this tragic chapter in Rwanda’s history.

She says: “We at Kigali Serena have been working with an association for genocide survivors which is made up of families headed by children who were orphaned in the genocide. Nineteen years after the genocide, these children have grown into young adults looking for jobs and skills, and also to further their education”.

Benzinge-Omany points out that Serena Hotels offers training opportunities, with a chance of employment where possible. Other CSR activities hosted by Lake Kivu Serena Hotel include supporting the local orphanages, women co-operatives and visiting Gisenyi Hospital. While Kigali Serena Hotel is also involved in supporting a local orphanage among other activities.

The Kigali Serena Hotel is ideally situated in a charming boulevard in the heart of Kigali. This five-star hotel is close to all the business amenities and attractions in the city. The Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is located on the sandy shores of Lake Kivu and is surrounded by tropical gardens. Visitors can go gorilla tracking to the Volcanoes National Park from the hotel.

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About Serena Hotels

The Serena selection spans some of the most evocative, exotic and enchanting destinations in the world. The Serena Group comprises a collection of 32 safari lodges, camps, hotels and resorts located in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Uganda and Mozambique) and Southern Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan).

The Serena service profile guarantees unprecedented luxury, extensive amenities and unrivalled warmth of personal attention. TPS Serena Hotels is an affiliate company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). AKFED promotes tourism by building, rehabilitating and managing hotels and lodges that contribute to economic growth in an environmentally and culturally sensitive manner.