Fifty-eight Accor heartists (employees) have completed a three-day cycling journey along the Mekong Delta, from 15th-17th November, as part of the hospitality group’s amazing bike ride 2019. Now in its second edition, the project gathers team-members from hotels and corporate offices around the world for an epic cycling challenge with the ultimate goal of raising funds for local charities and NGOs in the upper Southeast Asia region.
This year, participants cycled over 300 km along the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam. Each of the 15 teams of cyclists were tasked with raising 10,000 USD to support local organisations such as YimKids of Thailand, Ecole Paul Dubrule, Mekong Plus and Smile Group to develop projects related to education in order to provide greater opportunities to disadvantaged youths. The total funds raised to date equate to 128,800 USD with fundraising open until the end of the year.
Launched in 2017, the amazing bike ride project is an initiative of the group’s RiiSE committee – an international network that sets out to promote diversity and inclusion. The double “ii” in RiiSE symbolises the men and women who are committed to the values of inclusion and combating stereotypes related to disabilities, gender, LGBT, generations and culture.
“This meaningful bike-ride demonstrates the positive impact that we can make together in developing the communities in which we live and work. I am very proud of these incredible efforts made by our team members across different cultural and social backgrounds that will help to strengthen education and provide careers to youths in need,” said Christophe Lejeune, Vice President of Talent and Culture for upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives at Accor.
This year, the participants cycled from Mỹ Tho to Cần Thơ on the first day (101km) along a labyrinth of small roads and canals involving small bridges and ferries, before embarking on a 99km ride to Bến Tre on the second day past rice paddies and local villages. The final day involved a 93km journey across tracks and rivers to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. The teams of cyclists comprised of 19 women and 39 men representing 17 nationalities and ranging from 24 to 62 years of age.
“Diversity and inclusion has always been a key cornerstone of Accor. As the largest international hotel operator in Southeast Asia, we have an important role to assist local communities in contributing to sustainable development. We support multiple organisations throughout Vietnam with our Accor Solidarity fund, and we are constantly looking at ways in which we can engage in projects to promote diversity and inclusion within our group,” said Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives at Accor.