MCLEAN, Va.--(Hilton Worldwide announced today a three-year partnership with Room to Read – a global nonprofit organization focused on improving literacy and gender equality in education. The partnership supports Room to Read’s holistic approach to literacy and girls’ education in South and Southeast Asia -- aiming to reach more than 2,000 young people in the first phase of the program – and it solidifies Hilton Worldwide as the organization’s leading hospitality partner in India. In addition, Hilton Worldwide will leverage its hotels across the Asia Pacific region to engage team members, guests and business partners in its work with Room to Read. During the month of May, Hilton Worldwide will also support Room to Read’s annual spring fundraising campaign promoting the Girls’ Education program by matching donations up to US$150,000 beginning today through May 31.)--
“This partnership offers young people the fundamental literacy and life skills to succeed in school and beyond,” said Jennifer Silberman, vice president, corporate responsibility, Hilton Worldwide. “As a leading global hospitality company and employer with more than 3,800 hotels around the world, preparing young people for the future is vital to our success as a company. Room to Read has been recognized by international development experts for its innovative approach to providing quality education, and through its work, millions have the potential to be lifted out of poverty.”
“Room to Read is thrilled to partner with Hilton Worldwide to ensure that young people in South and Southeast Asia have equal access to education. It is a pleasure to work with a global company that is committed to investing in the enrichment of the local communities where it does business,” said Erin Ganju, Room to Read CEO and Co-founder.
“It is imperative as we grow our business in Asia Pacific that we remain connected with the communities where we operate. Team members in our corporate offices, and our currently more than 88 operating hotels in the Asia Pacific region, are excited about engaging in and supporting Room to Read, which should garner a significant contribution and impact to the partnership,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
Hilton Worldwide’s support of Room to Read began this past January in India. To date, funding is supporting the establishment of 30 new school libraries over the next three years, the initial participation of more than 75 girls in the Girls’ Education program and the publication of six original, local language children’s books over the next three years and distributed to Room to Read’s network of libraries and NGO partners throughout India.
The first 10 new libraries will be established in Delhi, India, this year. The sites are in the process of being chosen by Room to Read teams based on school population, test scores, literacy rates and structural integrity. Each library will be filled with English- and local-language books that are organized according to Room to Read’s book leveling guidelines, a process of matching titles to the reading abilities and interests of students, to encourage children’s independence and enable book selections without teacher assistance.
The Room to Read Girls’ Education program ensures that girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary school education. For example, in India, the life skills training component promotes physical and mental health education, peer pressure avoidance, and encourages peer-to-peer support through ongoing workshops. Some of the recent activities have included the girls attending an interactive session on how to avoid abusive situations.
Hilton Worldwide is also expanding its partnership with Room to Read to support the Girls’ Education program in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Across these countries, there is a high degree of poverty with a significant percentage of the population surviving on less than US$2 per day. Particularly in rural areas, many children are forced to drop out of school early to find work to support their families. For girls, there are additional obstacles that impede their access to education which increase their risk of sexual and economic exploitation or trafficking. Room to Read’s Girls Education Program addresses these challenges by identifying girls in late primary and secondary school who are at risk of dropping out and ensuring they have the financial, academic and mentoring support to complete school with the skills they need to succeed.
In 2011, Hilton Worldwide launched Travel with Purpose, its commitment to providing shared value to its business and communities around the world. Travel with Purpose is built on four areas of focus: creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where we operate; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainability through the measurement, analysis and improvement of its use of natural resources. For more information on Hilton Worldwide's corporate responsibility initiative, visit www.HiltonWorldwide.com/corporate-responsibility/.
About Room to Read
Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than six million children in Asia and Africa and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,800 hotels and timeshare properties, with 630,000 rooms in 88 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.
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