On Boxing Day, Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre celebrated Christmas with about 120 disadvantaged women and children in a day filled with activities that included a tour of the Convention Centre and a copious meal at the hotel’s Larder Restaurant.
Hotel Manager Sami Ounalli explained they had invited three organizations: Nyamirambo Women Centre, which is a self-help group for women; Centre Cyprien et Daphrose Rugamba, which helps street children reintegrate in society, and the MAI Childhood Academy, a primary school located in Nyamirambo started in 2009 which provides quality education to disadvantaged children.
Ounalli said Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre wants to be a responsible business.
“That means, responsible towards the community, the people and the environment; we have a monthly responsible business program,” he remarked.
For the festive season, the hotel decided to invite disadvantaged people to celebrate Christmas.
“We want to be some kind of family to them, to help them,” Ounalli said.
Radisson Blu has been working from the start with Nyamirambo Women Centre, which, Marie Aimee Umugeni, the coordinator, said is a group of women who try to help each other to improve their lives. They have organized literacy classes as well as courses such as how to make soap, for which they use soap rests given to them by Radisson Blu.
The Centre has also created a library where children from Nyamirambo can have access to books. They also produce handicrafts, which they have sold and exhibited at Radisson Blue, Umugeni explained, adding that spending the day at the hotel had been very exciting.
“It was very nice,” she said. “The children are very happy, and thrilled to have visited the convention centre, which they’ve only seen from afar; but today they were even in that big conference hall, which we’ve only seen on TV.”
Thomas Sankara, the secretary of the MAI Childhood Academy, was also very happy with the day.
“We are very grateful to Radisson Blu for the love and kindness they’ve showed to our kids,” he said. “We very much look forward to continue this kind of activity that includes our children as they grow.”