Founders &Friends Trips
Table of contents We l come l etter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Who we are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 What we do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Exper i ence Kenya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Di scover I nd i a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Expl ore Ecuador. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Bu i ld a l egacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Our s i gnature ser v i ce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 J i tan j l i ’s stor y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... . . 43 Jo i n us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Dear friend, You are warmly invited to join us on our Founders and Friends Trips this year, being held in Kenya, India and Ecuador. We are running these special trips, personally hosted by our founders and/or executive team, in July and August 2019. Visit WE Villages partner communities in rural Kenya, India or Ecuador and work alongside community members on a sustainable development project driven by need, such as laying the foundation for a school. Along the way, immerse yourself in the beauty of the vibrant and unique local culture. Recharge and reflect on your day’s adventures at our bespoke boutique lodgings in each of our destinations, exclusive to ME to WE guests. WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. With two divisions, WE Charity and ME to WE social enterprise, we empower people at home and around the world. We invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to see our sustainable development work on the ground through the eyes of our founders or executive team! In the following pages, read more about each of our three immersive volunteer travel destinations—Kenya, India and Ecuador—see the story of a past traveler, and learn the true value of experiencing a Founders and Friends Trip.
We sincerely hope you are able to join us this summer—this is your time to change the world.
Craig, Marc and Roxanne.
Craig Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Marc Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Roxanne Joyal CEO, ME to WE
Roxanne Joyal pictured with daughter Lily-Rose
Marc and Craig Kielburger
Who we are
Humanitarian, activist and social entrepreneur, Craig inspires young people to take action and drive social change. Craig is co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Craig is the youngest-ever graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program. He has also received 15 honorary doctorates and degrees for his work in the fields of education and human rights. Craig is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published 12 books, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist. Craig has received The Order of Canada, the Nelson Mandela FreedomMedal and the World Children’s Prize. Social entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and charismatic speaker, Marc inspires millions to improve their communities and the world through their actions and everyday consumer choices. Marc is co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Marc graduated from Harvard University with a degree in International Relations. He won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree from Oxford University. He has also received 10 honorary doctorates and degrees for his work in the fields of education and human rights. Marc is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published nine books, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Order of Canada, and was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s Young Global Leaders. Roxanne is CEO of social enterprise ME to WE, which creates socially conscious products and experiences that empower people to change the world through their everyday choices. Roxanne is also founder and CEO of ME to WE Artisans, which empowers women in Kenya and Ecuador to earn an income with their beautifully handcrafted pieces. Roxanne graduated from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations. She won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree from Oxford University, completing her legal training by clerking for the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005. Roxanne has been featured as “Faces of the Future: 100 Young Canadians to Watch,” and is an Action Canada Fellow. She was also selected for theWomen’s Executive Network’s “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100,” and the “Order of Canada,” which she received in 2017.
Craig Kielburger Co-founder, WE
Marc Kielburger Co-founder, WE
Roxanne Joyal CEO, ME to WE
I n d i a
Who we are Your hosts
Chef Ashant Chef Ashant has worked in some of the premier hotels in India, suchas the famous Taj Lake Palace Hotel. He specializes in both Indian and Western cuisine, and enjoys sharing his passion for food with others. Chef Ashant says “food and its artful preparation is my life, love and passion; and I hope that my commitment to a truly special dining experience shows itself in the food that comes to your table.”
Ragavendar (Ricky) Pratap Singh Ranawat Community Mobilizer and Cultural Facilitator Intrigued by the projects he saw in our partner communities in rural Rajasthan, Ricky joined the team in 2008 as a Community Mobilizer. Pairing his community connections with his incredible knowledge of Rajasthan and Mewar history he transitioned into the role of Cultural Facilitator, and now serves the dual role. Ricky’s insight into Indian culture provides a thought-provoking opportunity for guests to further engage and better understand the area within which we work.
Lloyd Hanoman Director South Asia
Lloyd Hanoman joined our team 17 years ago as our Director of Development, managing grants, partner relations and international programdevelopment. Lloyd is now serving as our South Asia Projects Director, overseeing initiatives to bolster food security, livelihood development, family health, and access to education. Prior to his work with us, Lloyd worked with the United Nations and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
K e n y a
E c u a d o r
Wilson Meikuaya Maasai Warrior
Jackson Ntirkana Maasai Warrior
Michelle Hambly Kenya Country Director
Wilson has always had a passion for education, shown by his commitment to complete his studies at schools in our partner communities. Wilson has worked with us since 2007, and has since earned a university degree in botany and wildlife.
Like Wilson, Jackson attended schools in our partner communities and has worked with us since 2007. Jackson is a passionate naturalist with a degree in botany and guiding. Fun fact—he has killed five lions (killing a lion is a Maasai warrior rite-of-passage).
Michelle, a trained nurse, has extensive experience working in the nursing field in communities around the world, and has brought that passion to her work with our projects in Kenya. Michelle moved to Kenya in 2005 to implement a mobile health clinic through WE Villages, which provides preventive health care and health education to communities across Narok County. Previously, Michelle had volunteered in Kenya to implement alternative income projects for women in rural areas, and has given her time to a variety of community health projects in Canada.
Elisabeth Valdivieso Ecuador Trips Manager
Ryan Kern Trips Specialist, Ecuador
Scott Baker Ecuador Country Director
Eli has been in the tourism industry for 15 years. She is passionate about her country, and sharing its rich culture and the wonderful diversity that it has to offer the rest of the world. She particularly loves working with youth, because of their energy, values and passion for positive change. In her current role she oversees operations for youth groups traveling to Quito and Chimborazo. What Eli likes most about her job is knowing that the trips contribute to better opportunities for locals while also providing a positive and enriching experience for visitors.
After joining the organization in 2011, Ryan has been overseeing all Corporate and Family trips in Ecuador since 2015. Having hosted hundreds of ME to WE guests in Kenya and Ecuador he uses his experience every day to create impactful experiences not only for guests, but also for the communities that WE partners with. His favorite part of this job is helping people to realize their passions and learn how to take action on them.
Scott spearheaded the development of our partnerships with communities in Ecuador’s Chimborazo province. Working to empower Indigenous people in rural communities, Scott helped implement the WE Villages model, which included the building of schools, water infrastructure, toilets and handwashing stations. After spending eight years in Canada as Executive Director of WE Charity, he has been back in Ecuador with his family since 2018.
What we do ME t o WE
ME to WE provides authentic products and experiences that make an impact. For some organizations this is a marketing strategy, but for us it’s in our DNA. Over 20 years social mission has given us great insight and ideas on how to create an innovative social enterprise. Half of all ME to WE profits are donated to WE Charity, with the remainder being reinvested to ensure sustainability.
What we do WE Ch a r i t y
We empower change with resources that create sustainable impact. We do this through domestic programs like WE Schools and internationally through WE Villages. The unique partnership with ME to WE ensures that WE Charity achieves a remarkable rate of financial efficiency, with 90 percent of donations going directly to youth-serving programs.
Built more than
Helped empower more than financial independence. 30,000 women with
to clean water, & sanitation programs. one million people with access
1,000 schools and
For over two decades, WE Villages has been engineering an international development model to end poverty. It works. It’s proven. It’s scalable. It’s not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves. Our core mission is empowerment. In North America, we empower people to create positive change around them. WE Villages applies the same philosophy in developing countries, where our local staff work with rural villages and regional governments to support, teach and empower people within our five Pillars of Impact.
What we do WE V i l l a g e s
Your Founders and Friends Trip will allow you to meet communities and experience the WE Villages model firsthand in Kenya, Ecuador and India.
W a t e r
H e a l t h
F o o d
E d u c a t i o n
O p p o r t u n i t y
Founders & Friends Trips 2019
Jambo! Join us in the heart of the Maasai Mara to build a school and learn firsthand about the joys and challenges of life in rural Kenya. Connect with local communities, explore the stunning landscape around you and experience the vibrant Maasai and Kipsigis cultures.
►► Volunteer on a sustainable development project alongside community members ►► Be invited into a Maasai boma and Kipsigis homestead ►► Walk with a mama as you help her collect water for her family
►► Embark on morning hikes with Maasai warriors ►► Enjoy special surprise performances and guests!
Customize your trip
From Kenya, you are fully connected to a vast array of safari options in East Africa, or our Kenyan coastal retreat, Toriana Beach House, to soak up the sun and surf. Whatever adventure you choose, ME to WE is happy to create a customized itinerary perfect for you.
Bogani Cottages & Tented Camp
A property designed with authentic African décor set in the heart of the Maasai Mara, Bogani Cottages and Tented Camp offers relaxing spaces to recharge and refresh after a day of volunteering.
►► Traditional safari tents feature stone flooring, and fully screened and paneled windows and doors. ►► Cottages offer a variety of Mara-inspired spaces, including fireplaces, bedrooms and gathering spaces.
►► All accommodations offer modern conveniences including hot water, power and en suite washrooms. ►► Enjoy family style meals prepared fresh daily by expert chefs on our al fresco dining platform. ►► We have a 17-year (and counting) record of travel safety.
Safari Customize your trip The Swahili word for ‘safari’ means ‘journey’. Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the breathtaking savannah of the Maasai Mara—a region famous for its diverse wildlife and stunning landscape. Stay comfortably in world-class, eco- friendly safari camps, and always be where the game is with knowledgeable and friendly guides. Experience one of the world’s richest wildlife reserves, home to an astounding array of animals including lions, giraffes, rhinos and zebras. During this time you will also have the chance to see an annual phenomenon firsthand: The Great Wildebeest Migration, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. Our team will help customize the perfect safari extension, tailored to you and your family’s preferences and needs.
Retreat to Toriana Customize your trip
Experience coastal Kenya’s rich history and diverse peoples, languages and customs. We welcome you to enjoy Toriana before or after your Founders and Friends Trip.
Balance and harmony
Join us at Toriana Beach House, ME to WE’s Kenyan coastal retreat. Enjoy the jewel-toned Indian Ocean, fresh meals served on vast terraces inspired by Swahili and Moroccan architecture, and the white sand of secret tropical Bofa Beach—footsteps away. In the style of coastal hospitality, our home is your home, and we want to welcome you to experience an authentic piece of coastal Kenya.
►► Explore Gedi Ruins ►► Dive the reef
►► Snorkel in Watamu Marine Reserve ►► Golf at Vipingo Ridge
Founders & Friends Trips 2019
Namaste! Experience the majestic and graceful beauty of Rajasthan while staying at our bespoke Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp. Connect with the local people and communities while exploring the colorful world around you.
►► Volunteer on a sustainable development project alongside community members ►► Engage in discussion with members of a women’s or men’s circle ►► Walk with a local woman as you help her collect water for her family ►► Immerse yourself in authentic India culture with a Bollywood dance class ►► Explore Udaipur, known as the “Venice of the East”
Customize your trip
Your Founders and Friends Trip in India is perfectly situated as a gateway to India’s vibrant culture. From Udaipur, you will have full access to discover the regal splendor of Jaipur and Northern India. Explore the hidden wonders of Agra, made famous by the Taj Mahal.
Araveli Cottages & Tented Camp
A property designed with authentic Indian décor and royal Rajasthani flair, Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp offers delightful spaces to recharge and refresh after a day of volunteering.
►► Take in spectacular views of the pink-hued Aravalli Mountains from the comfort of your private veranda. ►► All cottages and tents offer modern conveniences including hot water, air conditioning, electricity and en suite washrooms. ►► Well-appointed private cottages, generous indoor-outdoor shared spaces and contoured
landscapes will enhance the overall experience of your unique adventure. ►► Enjoy local dishes and western favourites prepared fresh daily in our central courtyard pavilion. ►► We have a 17-year (and counting) record of travel safety.
Ga t ewa y t o I nd i a Customize your trip Taj Mahal Explore the hidden wonders of Agra, made famous by the Taj Mahal. With the city’s surviving art, culture, architecture and royal cuisine, contemporary Agra can only be described as a grand experience. Jaipur and Agra Discover the regal splendour of Jaipur and Northern India with magnificent forts, palaces and landscaped estates. From the aristocratic grandeur of Deogarh Mahal to the mighty ramparts of Amber Fort, royal Rajasthan will pamper you with hospitality and luxurious splendor. Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal to end your adventure. Our team will help customize the perfect India extension, tailored to you and your family’s preferences and needs.
Founders & Friends Trips 2019
Travel deep into the Amazon rainforest to experience the true power of a ‘minga’, a way of Ecuadorian life. Come together at our bespoke Minga Lodge, the perfect place to relax and recharge.
►► Volunteer on a sustainable development project alongside community members ►► Be invited into the home of a family to join them in their daily tasks ►► Vist a choza (a jungle hut) and sit down with a group of skilled artisans to hear how they’re generating an income by making jewellery using locally-sourced materials ►► Hike through the world’s largest tropical rainforest ►► Explore the city of Old Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Customize your trip
Your Founders and Friends Trip in Ecuador is perfectly situated as a gateway to South America’s vibrant people, history and culture. From Quito, you have easy access to some of the greatest wonders of the world, including the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu.
A tropical hideaway designed with its environment in mind, the picturesque Minga Lodge is located on the edge of the Rio Napo. After a day of volunteering in indigenous Kichwa communities, Minga Lodge offers serene and comfortable spaces to refresh and recharge.
►► Self-contained cabin-style accommodations with organic flair, suitable for individuals and families alike. ►► Inspired common spaces that include an al fresco dining platform overlooking the Rio Napo, offering spectacular sunset views. ►► Eco-friendly conveniences including hot water,
power and en suite washrooms. ►► Enjoy family style meals prepared fresh daily by expert chefs, including western favourites and Ecuadorian specialties. ►► We have a 17-year (and counting) record of travel safety.
Ga t ewa y t o So u t h Ame r i c a Customize your trip
Galapagos Islands Get lost in the flora and fauna of this famous archipelago on an unforgettable journey with family and friends. Located 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galapagos Islands offer a truly once- in-a-lifetime adventure. Machu Picchu & beyond Begin in the capital city of Lima, Peru, and make your way inland to Cusco, an Andean city located 11,000 feet above sea level. From there, journey through the Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu, a site nestled in the Andean Mountain range almost 8,000 feet above sea level that has mystified explorers since its 1911 discovery. Our team can help customize the perfect South American extension, tailored to you and your family’s preferences and needs.
We invite you to take this opportunity to connect as a family and bond in a meaningful way, doing something that is fun and different for everyone. Travel with like-minded people from all over the world as you build a legacy alongside your loved ones. Get to know our founders and/or executive team, and learn about the philosophy that drives our family of organizations. Join us, and experience truly authentic and meaningful adventures. Be immersed in a new culture as you foster genuine connections with your loved ones and see the world through a new lens. Witness firsthand how communities are coming together to break the cycle of poverty, as you join fellow travelers and local communities to contribute to a sustainable development project.
Build your legacy
Know someone who would be interested in joining you on this once-in-a-lifetime trip? Let us know!
Your Founders and Friends Trip is built on a defining level of service and commitment that stems from our core values— we call it our Signature Service. Expert ME to WE staff guide and assist with every step of your journey from the moment you reach out to us until after you return home from your adventure. We take care of all the details so you can focus on what’s really important—being present and connected. On your Founders and Friends Trip, no detail is left untouched, with safety always in mind. Trip facilitators, expert local guides, world-class cooks and service staff are dedicated to making your trip unforgettable while always focusing on your comfort and safety. Finally, ME to WE provides full- service planning and will customize your time in country to make any adventure a reality, before or after your Founders and Friends Trip.
Our signature Service
Our Founders & Friends Trip to Kenya was one of the best
things we have done as a family. It’s one of those trips—
full of amazing memories that always make you smile.
Our daughters, ages eight and 10, had a wonderful time!
They loved hanging out with Maasai warriors, meeting
local children their own age, and participating in building
a school. They felt and experienced compassion, humility,
and purpose. For my husband and I, it was amazing to see
firsthand how a grassroots movement has made such a real
and positive impact on communities in Kenya. This trip was
a great opportunity to connect with wonderful people and
get to know Craig, Marc, Roxanne and the staff. It really
made us think about what’s important in life.
Jitanjli Datt Founders and Friends Trip 2014
Jitanjli and family with Craig Kielburger Founders And Friends Trip 2014
R o x a n n e J o y a l C E O , M E t o W E
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s p e c i a l e x p e r i e n c e @ w e . o r g
TICO # 50017614
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