On 20 April, the RIU chain inaugurated a Charitable Children’s Healthcare Clinic and signed an agreement for the conservation of the Ponta Sinó Nature Reserve, both on the island of Sal, Cape Verde. For the first project, the hotel company worked alongside África Avanza and had the support of the national Ministry of Health. The second was carried out alongside the national Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and Projeto Biodiversidade. The chain, which has three hotels on the island of Sal, has been working with both entities since 2014 and 2016, respectively, as part of its commitment to the local community and biodiversity in this destination.
Thanks to the Charitable Children’s Healthcare Clinic, around 10,000 children aged 0-13 will receive free, permanent health care on the island of Sal. The inauguration ceremony, which was held at the Châ de Matias Community Centre where the clinic is located, was attended by Filomena Gonçalves, Cape Verde’s Minister of Health. Joan Trian Riu, Executive Director of RIU Hotels & Resorts, and Iñaki Gascón, President of África Avanza, attended as representatives of the partnership between RIU and the association. Arminda Ramos Fortes Lopes, president of the Chã de Matias Association, was also at the ceremony.
The clinic is led by Dr Manuela Santos Lima, who is from Cape Verde, with the permanent support of a committee of volunteer experts made up of four Spanish paediatricians. The clinic is the first in the destination to be equipped with electronic medical record software to register and monitor patients’ progress. The project also promotes activities related to professional paediatric care qualifications and awareness-raising. In addition, the clinic provides referrals for patients treated by the Volunteer Doctors for Cape Verde programme who require specialised surgery or treatment. RIU has been collaborating with this programme, which helps alleviate diseases and health problems and reduce medical care waiting lists, since 2014. This initiative is also expected to be set up on the island of Boa Vista by 2024.
The Ponta Sinó conservation agreement aims to protect this zone located in the touristic Santa Maria area, one of the four Natural Reserves on the island of Sal. This reserve has a white sandy beach and an area of dunes that temporarily house one of the island’s few wetlands. During the summer, the loggerhead sea turtle (or Caretta caretta) lays its eggs on the beach protected by the line of dunes. Behind these, there is a wetland that floods with the high tides where various species of native and migratory birds can be spotted. This agreement allows for the continued protection and restoration of these natural areas and biodiversity on the island of Sal.
The agreement was signed by Ethel Rodrigues, National Director of Environment, and Joan Trian, Executive Director of RIU Hotels & Resorts. The hotel chain will work with Projeto Biodiversidade on the protection actions included in the agreement. Since 2016, RIU has been working with this wildlife protection NGO to ensure the conservation of the loggerhead sea turtle on the island of Sal. This species is classified as endangered due to the occupation and deterioration of the beaches where they make their nests, among other factors.
The opening of this Charitable Children’s Healthcare Clinic and the implementation of the Ponta Sinó conservation agreement reinforce RIU’s commitment to children, the local community and biodiversity on the island of Sal, thus working on the company’s three main CSR lines. RIU’s contribution to this project is part of its objective to increase social investment in all destinations where it operates, striking a balance between its business presence and involvement in local development.
About África Avanza: The ÁFRICA AVANZA Development Cooperation Association is an independent non-profit association that was founded by a group of charitable professionals and volunteers in Biscay in November 2012. Its main objective is to promote and carry out development cooperation projects that help reduce poverty and improve the safety and quality of life of people in the most disadvantaged social communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
About Projeto Biodiversidade: Projeto Biodiversidade is a non-profit organisation in Cape Verde that is committed to protecting wildlife through community-driven environmental conservation plans on the island of Sal, Cape Verde. Its main focus is the protection and conservation of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), an internationally listed endangered species, which nests on the island from June to October.
For more information or bookings: www.riu.com
About RIU Hotels & Resorts: The international RIU hotel chain was started in Mallorca, Spain, in 1953 as a small holiday business run by the Riu family, the founders and current owners, now in its third generation. The company specialises in holiday accommodation and over 75% of its establishments offer RIU’s renowned All-Inclusive service. With the opening of its first city hotel in 2010, RIU expanded its product line with its own range of urban hotels under the name Riu Plaza. RIU Hotels & Resorts has 96 hotels in 20 countries, with a total of 34,215 employees that welcomed 4.2 million customers in 2022. RIU is currently the 32nd largest chain in the world, and is second in Spain by turnover and fourth by number of rooms.