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Merit Partners with WaterAid Canada for Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

Partnership aims at bringing clean water and sanitation facilities to schools across Ethiopia.

TORONTO – September 27, 2016 – In the fortunate position of operating a brand that sends Canadians all over the world, it is evident, every day, that travel can connect us with distant lands, as well as with people and issues. By establishing a formal corporate social responsibility program, the company is calling on its employees and clients to be mindful of the broader world around them.

Merit is committed to providing exceptional experiences, not only today but for future generations as well. This means working to minimize the environmental impact of the travel and tourism industry, supporting local communities around the world, and working with responsible tour operators.  “Our actions, no matter how small, profoundly impact the people in every country we travel to. We believe in taking responsibility for these actions.” Said Louise de Grandpré, Chief Operating Officer, Merit Travel Group.

The partnership with WaterAid Canada is a perfect fit because Merit Travel believes everyone, everywhere should have access to the basic life essentials of safe water and sanitation. Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene transforms the most vital aspects of people’s everyday lives and the wider economy. No one can live a healthy, productive life without safe water, a clean toilet or good hygiene. Yet right now, billions of people across the world lack one or more of these crucial necessities,” remarked Louise. WaterAid Canada was selected as Merit’s corporate social responsibility partner because it is a committed organization with proven results in the area of providing clean water and sanitation solutions to the poorest, most marginalized people around the world. They work in partnership with local organizations to help set up practical and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene projects that meet the real needs of the community. “Through our travels, we have witnessed the common values that connect us all. Unfortunately what we don’t all share is the same access to basic life-sustaining tools. This relationship with WaterAid Canada is important to us, because it means we will have a defined and measurable impact on bringing the most basic of necessities to people, water and sanitation facilities,” said Louise.   

With a focused campaign period of October through December 2016, Merit’s support and fundraising efforts will directly support WaterAid Canada’s Clean Water for Schools Project in Ethiopia. Over a five year period (2012-2017), 12,000 students across 15 primary schools in Kalu, Wolisso and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will benefit from a safe supply of clean water and private, hygienic toilets on school grounds. “The successful completion of this project is an important goal for us. With the dedication and eagerness to help that Merit brings to the table, we are excited about the strides we will make in this region in the near future.” Nefertiti Saleh, Corporate Partnerships Manager, WaterAid Canada.

About WaterAid Canada
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 24 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraidcanada.com, follow @WaterAidCanada on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WaterAidCanada.

About Merit Travel Group
Merit Travel Group is a privately held, owner-managed company established in 1991 by its current shareholders, Michael Merrithew and Louise de Grandpré. Since 1991, Merit has grown to become one of the largest independent travel companies in Canada. More than 340 Merit travel professionals located in offices across the country provide advice and services to more than 350,000 Canadian travelers every year. Merit Travel Group operates many specialty travel brands including Merit Travel, Travelcuts, MeritBiz, and Exclusive Tours.

For more information, please visit www.merit.ca or contact: media@merit.ca.