BE Stories

Witnessing peer health educators’ work in Djibouti

Observing peer health educators’ work in the community and understanding the challenges they meet was in Henk Meyknecht’s mind when he accompanied them on 25 July during one of their raising-awareness sessions in Djibouti. As Kempinski’s COO Middle East and Africa and member of the management board of Kempinski Hotels, he knows that it isn’t easy to openly talk about HIV and sexual behaviours in traditional communities. “I find it personally very brave for the peer health educators in Djibouti to go out and meet people in public areas or community centres to discuss health topics which are very personal and intimate, and often very sensitive.” But Henk also admits that there is a strong need for increased levels of information and education as lots of people are still not aware of the health risks related to TB and HIV. “What I witnessed that day clearly confirms the value of the peer health educators’ work and we must raise additional funds to extend the positive impact of BE Health’s programme in Djibouti”.

Together with the entire team in Djibouti, we would like to thank Henk Meyknecht for his deep interest and thoughtfulness for our work and outcomes. It’s simply inspiring.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a way to give back to the community

Bernold Schroeder is Kempinski’s COO Europe and Vice Chairman of the Management Board of Kempinski Hotels. He actively supports BE Health fund collection in the European hotels, which partially finance the non-profit association’s activities. Bernold understands well the importance of engaging with the community.  “It’s not only the quality of product and services that drive performance at Kempinski. A positive social and environmental impact has a multiplier effect on financial results. Numerous studies show that two-third of customers won’t hesitate to spend more for products and services produced by reputable brands. This is particularly true for the millennial population who will be our hotel guests of tomorrow. Generating social good makes sense because everyone benefits. For us as luxury hoteliers it makes good business sense to support causes that matter to our employees and customers, and to maintain strong relationships with the local community. At the same time, BE Health receives the necessary financial resources, endorsement and awareness to achieve its mission for those in need. We are proud to support BE Health to spread health in local communities.”

Khun Saowaluk Moonsarn joined BE Health in Bangkok

Good health is the foundation of our daily life, says Khun Saowaluk Moonsarn, our new programme manager in Thailand. Her positive thinking and open minded philosophy led her to study public health because she believes that everyone should have access to health care. It was her determination to turn beliefs into reality that brought her to join our programme in Bangkok. She wants to help her country to end TB and HIV and support those in need. She now organises and monitors active TB case finding and social protection for TB patients in Khlong Toei, promotes health behaviour change in the workplace, and trains our peer health educators and community health volunteers in better communicating and building capacity around them. We can change the world through education, says Saowaluk. As for myself, I love to learn something new every day, but I want to enable our patients and their family and neighbourhood to learn how to care for themselves to prevent them from infectious diseases.

An exceptional draw to win a signed shirt from famous football players

The Adlon Kempinski hotel team is aware that each penny counts to pilot impoverished tuberculosis patients through their 6-month treatment. That’s why they considered the final of 75th German Cup a perfect opportunity to raise some money and organised a prize draw to win a competition shirt signed by all players of each team (Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt). Their colleagues in Munich and Frankfurt helped them to collect every single signature on the shirts which were exposed in the lobby. Until the very last minute before the competition on 19 May, hotel guests were invited to participate by donating five Euros against one entry into the draw.  

Thanks to the hotel team’s commitment and drive for wanting to make a difference for those in need for concrete support, and the participation of their guests, we are now able to provide social protection to an additional TB patient living in Khlong Toei.

One step further

BE Health in Bangkok supports a LGBT youth music band of 15 musicians and 10 dancers. They design and sew their costumes, compose their music, train hard and rehearse continuously. Often poor, sometimes homeless or stigmatised by their family, these youth restore a sense of self and purpose by promoting health and raising funds through their performances. Being made aware of BE Health’s activities in Bangkok, the Nomad’s Annual Christmas Charity 2017 invited BE Health Bangkok’s team and ​four​ dancers​ of the youth music band​ at its annual event, which was broadcasted on TNN 24 television channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fmEb1Ter4s) on 24 December 2017.

Together with local company sponsors, BE Health will produce their shows in 2018 and facilitate HIV and TB screening during the entertainment, in collaboration with the public health sector.

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