LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS WITH EMERGING PLAYERS
Partnerships with Leaders in Corporate
Social Responsibility: Serena Hotels,
IFC is partnering with regional industry leader Serena Hotels to expand an innovative AIDS program as part of the company’s
employee wellness program. The goals are to reduce the spread of the disease, improve worker productivity, and enhance
the company’s bottom line. Serena’s commitment to social responsibility parallels its strong corporate growth—the com-
pany is expanding throughout the region, with a focus on both the business and tourist travel markets. Its strategy is to give
guests access to some of the world’s most exotic locales while preserving and protecting the environment.
About Serena Hotels
• Owned by Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and
managed by Tourism Promotion Services Limited, the largest
international hotel chain in the booming tourism industry in
East Africa. AKFED’s development agencies work in health,
education, culture, and rural and overall economic develop-
ment, primarily in Asia and Africa.
• Operates 18 hotels and lodges in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,
(including one in Zanzibar) and Uganda. Focus is on high-
quality, ethnically inspired design that integrates into the
landscape and encourages ecotourism.
• Provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention,
and treatment programs for employees of Kenya properties;
now rolling out to broader local community.
• Recently expanded its successful HIV/AIDS program to en-
Serena Hotels wellness educators from Samburu Serena Safari Lodge talking to the compass full scope of wellness, with focus on disease preven-
local community about malaria prevention using treated mosquito nets.
tion, healthful living, and safe workplace practices.
Partnership with IFC
Since 2006, IFC has supported the wellness efforts of Serena Hotels:
• Training in monitoring and evaluation of program effectiveness
• Offered advisory services in developing the Serena HIV/AIDS
• manual in partnership with the National Organization of Peer Educators.
• $20,000 in grant funding from IFC’s Against AIDS Seed Funding Program: Serena is the first IFC client to receive funding through this
performance-based grant program that supports clients’ implementation and monitoring efforts in HIV/AIDS programs.
Development and Economic Impact
• Contributes to Kenya’s tax base, helping support critical services. The tourism industry as a whole contributed $730 million to Kenyan
government revenues in 2005; as the largest hotel chain, Serena generates substantial revenues for the country.
• Provides 2,662 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs in the region.
• Lower rates of HIV infection and death from diseases: since wellness program started, the number of hotel employees who have died
from HIV/AIDS has declined from seven to two people a year.
• Better workplace safety and higher employee morale leading to improved productivity.
• A role model for corporate social responsibility.
• Bottom line improvements: $90,000 reduction in Serena’s life insurance premium; improved worker productivity and efficiency; and
• Enhanced company brand.
“In any business, productivity is very much based on a healthy workforce that is motivated. Anyone in the private
sector that does not look at [wellness programs] as a good commercial investment is making a mistake.”
Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels
LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS WITH EMERGING PLAYERS
Serena Hotels Elevates HIV/AIDS Education, Treatment, Outreach to Strategic Level and Improves Bottom Line
Since 2002, Serena Hotels has been engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS by
targeting not just its workforce, but also surrounding communities as part of
its corporate social responsibility mandate. In 2007 Serena transformed this ef-
fort into a broader wellness program that covers the full range of health issues
affecting its staff. In partnership with IFC Against AIDS and other partners such
as the National Organization of Peer Educators, the company is implementing
an extensive wellness program for its employees in Kenya and reaching out
to 150,000 people in the surrounding communities. Efforts are underway to
extend this program to Serena employees in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The effect on HIV-positive staff has been remarkable, leading to improvements
in worker productivity and less absenteeism. Many staff who had been bedrid-
den resumed work after receiving anti-retroviral medicine as part of the well-
ness program. “We started seeing a reduction in the time they spent in bed
and out of work. We saw individuals completely transformed,” says Catherine Caleb Obura, the nurse at Samburu Serena Safari
Waruhiu, Serena’s Group HR Manager.
Lodge treats a patient.
Serena’s comprehensive HIV/AIDS workplace and community program en-
compasses several components:
• Education and prevention: 180 employees in Kenya trained as peer
educators promote awareness, education, and behavior change among
• Comprehensive care and treatment, including antiretrovirals, health care
facilities, clinics, and nursing staff.
• Voluntary HIV counseling and testing
• Condom supplied free of charge by Family Health Options Kenya are dis-
tributed to employees by clinic staff and through dispensers in employee
Serena staff trained as wellness educators organize
regular information sessions for the local communities
For more information about Serena Hotels and IFC’s other projects in the hotel sector, please contact:
Martin Lutalo, Washington, D.C., USA. Tel: +1.202.458.1406. E-mail: email@example.com.
or Noleen Dube, Johannesburg, South Africa. Tel: +27.11.731.3059. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
or E-mail: email@example.com Fax: 1.202.522.3762 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about IFC Against AIDS, please visit: www.ifc.org/ifcagainstaids or www.serenahotels.com
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