Our History

Our History

Where it all began

Local communities have always been at the heart of BE Health. In 2013, two groups of peer health educators were nominated in Bangkok and Djibouti, comprised of hotel employees and community health volunteers (inhabitants of local slums). They were trained to share information with their colleagues and communities about the risk factors for Tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria.

To help halt local transmission of TB, the peer health educators carried out active case-finding campaigns to promote early detection and accompanied patients throughout their long treatment phases, in an effort to avoid relapse. TB is a known killer of those living with HIV, so part of the role of the peer health educators was to empower the individuals through education and sharing of information, to alleviate the stigma surrounding both diseases.

In 2017, BE Health committed to supporting impoverished TB and Multi-drug Resistant TB (MDR TB) patients by delivering financial, nutritional and psychosocial support to improve the effectiveness of their treatment. On average, these TB patients received eight months of social protection, while support was extended to between 12 and 24 months for MDR TB patients.

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Sustained, impactful success

For seven years, BE Health's operating model successfully met its three clear objectives.

1) Develop a sustainable network of peer health educators and community health volunteers: 52 individuals were nominated to promote health in their local areas.

2) Empower people in the workplace and local community to prevent infectious diseases: 1,200 workplace and community-based prevention meetings took place, including awareness campaigns that reached more than 26,000 people. 

3) Collaborate with local healthcare partners to address and empower TB patients and those living with HIV: 5,400+ people were screened for TB, 143 TB patients received psychosocial support until full recovery and 48 TB patients received financial support throughout their treatment.

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Changing times

From early 2013 until December 2019, BE Health's activities were primarily financed through corporate donations. A significant portion of this was contributed by Kempinski guests, since 23 hotels gathered funds by requesting in-stay donations of EUR 1 per room, per night. Individual private donors accounted for 10% and family-owned business Hellweg contributed 18% of the overall total of USD 3,292,000.

In 2020 and 2021, the economic crisis provoked by COVID-19 hit the hospitality industry hard, ultimately putting an end to BE Health's ability to raise funds and thus bringing the activities in Bangkok and Djibouti to a close.

Conscious of the continued potential to make a measurable positive impact in the local communities of the hotels it operates, Kempinski was keen to pursue its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, and the work of BE Health.

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A new chapter for BE Health

Retaining the same core vision and objectives, in 2021 BE Health's business model was reimagined to support participating Kempinski hotels to launch their own CSR initiatives. These projects work upstream to promote healthier lifestyles, increase early disease detection and provide care that helps to optimise the effectiveness of treatment plans.

Today, as always, the enduring BE Health motto remains – health is contagious.

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