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As Spring Arrives, Abercrombie & Kent Kicks Off ‘Move It May’ Virtual Walkathon to Raise Heartrates and Awareness for Pandemic Relief

Global initiative challenges remote employees to come together to be active and support A&K Philanthropy projects

May 04, 2021

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) strives to improve lives and livelihoods in the places where Abercrombie & Kent guests travel. But what happens when travel comes to a halt? “With international travel restrictions in place, our partner communities need our support now more than ever,” explains Keith Sproule, executive director, A&K Philanthropy. “So we created ‘AKP Move It May,’ a virtual walkathon, to encourage A&K’s worldwide staff and raise awareness of our ongoing philanthropic efforts around the world.”

What began as an active way to engage employees from A&K’s more than 55 offices who have been working remotely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, evolved into a global initiative to increase awareness of AKP partner communities and raise funds for their needs. Each week Abercrombie & Kent staff are working together using a mobile app to virtually walk the distance between two AKP projects that have continued to provide services throughout the pandemic. A&K Philanthropy serves as a lifeline to these communities in parts of the world where the pandemic has halted tourism. The ‘AKP Move It May’ walkathon is an opportunity to raise funds through social media for these projects, most of which have seen a decrease in donations because there are so few visitors.

Week 1 (May 1-7): Kenya to Uganda
Distance: 1,260 km

Safe Water for Schools Initiative – Oltiyani Primary School, Amboseli, Kenya
AKP provides safe drinking water to schools surrounding Amboseli, as well as the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro Crater, using LifeStraw community filters that prevent waterborne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and cryptosporidiosis.

Bwindi Community Hospital & Nursing School – Bwindi, Uganda
Support from AKP helped transform a clinic under a tree into a thriving 112-bed hospital providing critical services to more than 40,000 patients each year.

Week 2 (May 8-14): Zambia to Tanzania
Distance: 2,420 km

Sishemo Bead Making Studio – Nakatindi Village, Zambia
Seven women (ages 21 to 65) underwent intensive training to learn how to make glass beads using traditional African techniques to create one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other bead products. The income has transformed their lives and those of their families.

Ilboru School for Children with Special Needs – Arusha, Tanzania
This community partnered with A&K Philanthropy to provide vocational programs and eReaders for children in primary and secondary school with special needs, while working to wipe out the negative stigma associated with learning and hearing disabilities.

Week 3 (May 15-21): Brazil to Peru
Distance: 4,060 km

Vidigal Entrepreneurs – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Music and martial arts programs for youth are transforming this neighborhood. An ecological park and environmental education center provide authentic cultural exchanges.

Children of the Rainbow – Sacred Valley, Peru
Kuychi Center provides education and meals to more than 220 disadvantaged children in the Sacred Valley, as well as an in-house doctor and dentist for them and their families. Guests are invited to visit the school’s kitchen, cafeteria, garden and classrooms for insight into rural life.

Week 4 (May 22-31): Cambodia to India
Distance: 4,670 km

Cambodia Clean Water Project – Siem Reap, Cambodia
In rural Cambodia, where 13% of all deaths are related to waterborne illnesses, AKP has been building wells to bring clean, bacteria-free water to families. More than 1,600 have been installed, providing fresh water to more than 24,000 people.

Hansraj Children’s Home – Udaipur, India
The school dropout rate in this part of Rajasthan is very high, especially amongst girls. AKP supports a residential school for 100 girls in need, providing education, books, meals, and clothing.

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the philanthropic arm of Abercrombie & Kent. The organization traces its beginnings back to 1982 and today carries on A&K’s social and environmental commitments on a global scale with 46 projects focused on education, health care, conservation and enterprise development. Travellers are invited to visit these projects and see firsthand the positive impact these efforts have on local communities. AKP employs a team of dedicated Philanthropy Coordinators, allowing for deeper, more meaningful cultural exchanges that often become cherished memories.

For more information on A&K Philanthropy, or to learn how to visit and support projects making a difference, go to http://akphilanthropy.org/.

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