NOV 2014

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22 DAYSPA | NOVEMBER 2014 SPA HOPPING Crossing Boundaries in East Africa A journalist's trip to Nairobi uncovers a fi ve-star hotel and spa with a heart of gold. By Liz Granger If the term "social enterprise" calls to mind a shoe- string budget and stressed-out staff, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn about what's happening in Nairobi, Kenya. In a posh section of town near the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, I found a social enterprise unlike any other in the world. Five-star hotel The Boma and its Zoezi Health Club & Spa ( are members of a unique part- nership with Kenya Red Cross. So, while spa guests receive clay wraps and participate in Afro-dance classes, the net profi ts from The Boma and its two sister properties—Boma Inn Nairobi and Boma Inn El- doret—benefi t Kenya's branch of the global Red Cross organization. This teamwork lends a social mission to self-care. The Boma hotel's sales manager, Bernard Itebete, explains that Kenya Red Cross dreamed up the union while hunting for a long-term fi nancial strategy. "The Red Cross is looking for a sustainable funding vehi- cle for its activities," Itebete says. "Donor funding is dwindling and not so reliable. So this is one way in which [the organization] is aiming to ensure it has some sustainability." The collaboration was formed in 2008 when the Kenya Red Cross Society created a limited liability cor- poration and opened the Red Court Hotel in Nairobi. The profi ts from the hotel and its conference facilities funded the Red Cross' humanitarian work. Buoyed by the success of the model, the charitable group opened The Boma hotel and its Zoezi Spa in 2012. In 2013, © MINT IMAGES/FRANS LANTING/GETTY

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