1. 2008 – clean water for all
In 2008, when our cooperation with UNICEF started, we all focused on contributing to various water projects in poor parts of the world. And for two years, together with UNICEF, we managed to do quite a bit. Amongst other things, this included:
- Providing 8 schools in Malawi with new water wells and new toilets, as well as education about clean water and hygiene.
- Providing 75 schools in Nepal with their own toilets for girls and boys. 7000 families were given access to toilet facilities.
- Building several clean water facilities in Madagascar, where both teachers and students were taught about hand hygiene, and organic latrines were built for almost 2000 school students.
2. Sweet Dreams – 1.2 million children are victims of trafficking every year
In 2010, the foundation was laid in our cooperation with UNICEF. That year, we chose to make a vote where our employees were allowed to choose which area they were most passionate about. The result showed that there was a desire to help children who have been victims of human trafficking.
1 200 000 million children fall victim to trafficking every year. This is a scary figure. At this point, the aim of our work with UNICEF changed direction from the water project, so that more children would be able to sleep safely at night. The project was named Sweet Dreams, and today we work daily at Nordic Choice Hotels to raise money for children who have fallen victim to human trafficking.
3. Puls for UNICEF
2010 was also the first year we began Puls for UNICEF. 4 weeks a year, our employees have been invited to work out for a good cause. For every training session that lasts for at least 30 minutes, Nordic Choice Hotels donates 15 Norwegian crowns to the Sweet Dreams project. The project has been in-house until this year, when we have also invited our hotel guests to take part, to celebrate our 10th anniversary with UNICEF. So, be sure to work out if you stay at any of our hotels during the period 15 October to 11 November.
4. Your bracelet helps keep families together
It should be easy and fun to contribute, and the money collected should go DIRECTLY to the people who need it. This was what we had in mind in 2016, when we started selling our Sweet Dreams-bracelet. These bracelets are created by women in Cambodia who live at one of the centres we support. The bracelets are made of recycled paper and cost 89 NOK each; the entire surplus, which is 73 NOK, goes directly to the women who have created them. Now you might wonder how these bracelets help children who are victims of human trafficking? Well, unfortunately, it is often the child’s family who start these children on the road of prostitution or begging, all just to be able to bring home enough food to survive. Thanks to the bracelets, women get paid work and can let their children go to school.
5. Sweet Dreams Stay – every guest helps
In the autumn of 2017 we made our biggest effort ever- Sweet Dreams Stay. The concept is that our guests, through a simple act, should be able to help children who have fallen victim to trafficking. When you stay at one of our Quality Hotel or Clarion Hotel for more than 1 night, you can choose to skip the room cleaning, and for every time you choose not to have the room cleaned, we donate 10 NOK to UNICEF. During September 2018, our guests helped donate a total of 1 million Norwegian crowns through something as simple as not having their room cleaned every day.
How you go about donating money is easy:
- If you wish to have money donated rather thank having your room cleaned the next day, all you have to do is hang the Sweet Dreams Stay sign on your door, no later that 23:00 the night before.
To kick-start the concept, we gave children in the Nordic region the chance to help vulnerable children around the world. We invited children to our hotels to paint or submit drawings, and for every drawing we received we donated 10 NOK to UNICEF. It was also possible to upload a picture of a drawing on our Facebook page, which became a huge success, with thousands of children participating. Large school and preschool classes came in and participated at our hotels. Together we received 13 247 drawings, which corresponded to 132 470 NOK! But it did not stop there. We decided to double that amount – 264 940 NOK. In total, more than a quarter of a million Norwegian crowns were donated to UNICEF thanks to all the children who participated.