A Fairtrade, award-winning chocolate bar that benefits communities in traditionally exploited areas, ME to WE is stocked across the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. By purchasing these chocolates, our guests promote workers’ rights and provide long-term employment to effect long-lasting change. Here we shine a spotlight on ME to WE and profile its many life-changing initiatives.
About ME to WE
ME to WE is a social enterprise that effects change in two ways. Firstly, it provides employment and economic empowerment for thousands of skilled labourers around the world. While many traditional charities are reactive, responding according to the level and gravity of the crisis, ME to WE prioritises long-term development in recovering areas over ad hoc relief.
In order to do this, ME to WE has established several WE Villages, community development projects that mobilise a local community’s talents to create lasting economic impact. WE Villages provide access to education, clean water, modern healthcare, food security and the opportunity to work. Local communities make products that ME to WE sells either online or through more than 12,000 retail partnerships; the money earned from these products helps to end the cycle of poverty.
Secondly, ME to WE develops change by donating a substantial proportion of its proceeds to its partner WE Charity—over $20 million since its inception. ME to WE’s founding charter stipulates the social enterprise donate at least 50 per cent of its profits to We Charity, yet over the past five years, it has averaged a 90 per cent donation rate. This influx of cash allows WE Charity to maintain a consistent global presence, and lowers associated costs of charity management considerably. The result: more profit directly devoted to charitable causes. Unencumbered by government subsidies or reliance on consistent donations, WE Charity is able to pursue its initiatives to completion, necessary for long-lasting change.
More than 10 million social impacts, from the provision of clean water to the funding of health clinics, have been delivered through product purchases. All ME to WE products—including the chocolates we sell across our hotels—have a tracker, which consumers can use to see exactly what initiative they have furthered through their purchase.
As Red Carnation Hotels celebrates International Women’s Day, we are proud to partner with an organisation that directly empowers women. ME to WE works with over 1,800 female entrepreneurs in Kenya and South America, who now supply the social enterprise’s ME to WE Artisans products. Partnering with ME to WE ensures these women are not exploited by, or subject to seasonal traffic from tourist markets. This allows them to earn a living twice that of what is considered a fair wage in their countries. Additionally, because they no longer have to journey miles per day to these markets, they have more time to invest in their local communities and childcare. Almost five million of their hand-made, artisanal rafikis, or bracelets, have been sold. The money earned through product purchases also finances community developments in the areas in which these women live and work.
ME to WE further empowers women through its financial support of WE Charity. Several of WE Charity’s initiatives have improved maternal healthcare in South America, Africa and Asia, and have provided nearby water access in areas where mothers would have to walk miles daily to provide hydration (often contaminated) for their families. In addition, more than 30,000 women have been provided with the tools to gain economic self-sufficiency, allowing them to provide for their families and thereby address one of child labour’s most pressing root causes.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels and purchase ME to WE chocolates to be part of WE Charity’s mission and support the global empowerment of women.