Andaz and Women for Women International announced today a new initiative to provide community members in war-torn countries with the tools and resources they need to reach their fullest potential and rebuild their societies. The new collaboration is rooted in Hyatt’s corporate responsibility platform, Hyatt Thrive, which focuses on helping associates, their families, and neighbors in local communities thrive through economic development and investment, education and personal advancement, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.
This joint effort will provide skills training and income for Iraqi women who will produce special laundry bags for all guestrooms at Andaz hotels around the world. The first shipment of bags has arrived in New York and will be available to guests for items they want sent out to be dry cleaned, laundered or pressed. These bags are a welcome addition to the other handcrafted products from emerging artisans featured at Andaz hotels.
“We feel extremely honored and privileged to join together with Women for Women International and we believe very strongly in the work they do to help individuals in need become contributing members of their communities,” said Tristan Dowell, brand director for Andaz. “Andaz is all about creating unique, cultural experiences for our guests, and this collaboration will do just that. It not only produces a product that we can proudly showcase in our hotels, but we hope it will instill a sense of hope and excitement in the Iraqi women involved in the project, in our associates who have direct and indirect connections to this community, as well as in our guests. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with Women for Women International with other impactful initiatives in the future.”
In addition to providing skills training and income generation opportunities, each Andaz hotel will sponsor women through the Women for Women International Life Skills Training Program, which will provide additional support to other war-torn countries, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan, among others. These skills and direct aid provided through the sponsorship can help provide school fees for children, regular access to food and water, and start-up funds for women to open their own small businesses.
“When trying to identify the right partner for this project, Andaz was the perfect fit – it really is an inspirational brand that is passionate about inspiring others, said Karen Sherman, executive director of global programs for Women for Women International. “Thought this joint effort, each Andaz hotel will be bringing something very authentic into its walls, which will in turn help this community of women in Iraq. Many of them are widows trying to support their families, and the stability and support that Andaz is helping to provide is priceless.”