Hilton has become the first hospitality company to partner with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), in a bid to provide leadership training and fund projects that improve society and alleviate poverty in the world’s most populous country.
The partnership, which was officially launched at an event in Shanghai, focuses on the “Charity Future”, an incubator project to support student-led charity societies. Over the next two years, the partnership aims to provide youth leaders from 200 student-led charity societies across 100 universities with access to training opportunities. Students can also apply for funding to implement their own local projects.
“Our youth will be the next generation of change-makers in business and society, it is critical that we recognise the challenges they face and provide them with better opportunities,” said Qian Jin, Hilton’s president for Greater China & Mongolia. “We are pleased to partner with the CFPA, to share our expertise and leverage our growing portfolio in China, to support young people and local communities across the country.”
Already this year, Hilton and CFPA have awarded 60 charity societies with grants worth CNY5,000 or CNY10,000 (US$750-1,500). Student leaders from these societies gathered at the East China University of Science & Technology (ECUST) where they presented progress on their self-organised charitable projects, received feedback and underwent leadership training.
The awarded projects focus on a range of societal issues, including poverty alleviation, environmental protection, services to disadvantaged community members and advocacy for community causes. Charity Future is a major part of the hotel group’s broader “Travel with Purpose” initiative, which is aimed at impacting one million young people by 2019.
“Charity Future [by] Hilton represents an important model for our organisation to collaborate with industry leading businesses. Through this partnership we can make practical, lasting changes to the lives of a whole generation of students as well as the communities where they live,” commented Yadong Ding, secretary general of the CFPA.
More than 24,000 people are employed across Hilton’s portfolio of hotels and corporate offices in China, but tens of thousands more will be needed to fill its pipeline of 275 hotels. To meet this demand, Hilton has formed partnerships with various universities and academic institutions across China.