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September 18, 2008

Couture Meets Charity: Neiman Marcus Partners With Micato Safaris’ AmericaShare Foundation

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

FORT WORTH – Neiman Marcus card holders now have the opportunity to benefit children in need when they shop. The October Neiman Marcus InCircle rewards magazine contains a myriad of exciting award redemption options, from luxury goods to exotic vacations. Now, for the first time ever, cardholders may also choose to directly impact the life of a child living in Africa who has been impacted by HIV/AIDS.

By redeeming 75,000 points, card members may sponsor a Kenyan child’s education for one year through Micato Safaris’ AmericaShare Foundation. AmericaShare’s School Sponsorship Programme seeks to help orphaned and vulnerable children, all victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, having lost one or both parents to the disease, by rescuing them from the streets and placing them in reputable boarding schools in and around Nairobi, Kenya.

Each InCircle sponsorship will cover the cost of one student’s room, board, clothing, books, school supplies, medicines, and other essentials for an entire year. AmericaShare’s goal is for these children to eventually complete high school and allow them the opportunity to attend vocational school or university so they may support themselves and their families.

“We are extremely honored that Neiman Marcus has chosen AmericaShare as their partner in this unique opportunity,” said Lorna Macleod, Executive Director, AmericaShare. “Our success is dependent on the generosity of our travelers and other donors, so we are tremendously grateful for the support of Neiman Marcus’ card members. Every dollar truly does make a difference in the lives of these children.” 

“We have enjoyed offering our discerning InCircle customers the opportunity to travel with Micato Safaris for a number of years now and are excited to extend the partnership to include this fabulous worthwhile organization,” said Michael Crotty, Vice President of Marketing.

For more than 20 years AmericaShare has worked to help women, orphaned and vulnerable children and young adults affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in Kenya. In addition to the School Sponsorship Programme, AmericaShare’s other programs include:

The “Lend a Helping Hand on Safari” Programme encompasses an array of activities involving Micato travelers ranging from donations of food and necessary materials, visiting a local orphanage or school, volunteering at a community project for 1-90 days, teaching students and more.

AmericaShare’s MWECHI Women’s Programme operates out of the newly built Harambee Home and Women’s Centre, a multi-purpose facility opened in June, 2007. It encompasses:
A boy’s dormitory to house AmericaShare-supported students during school breaks.
A community centre where locals can gather for meetings, lectures and educational events.
Two grain mills that form the core of the AmericaShare Food Programme, a pilot project presently supporting over 100 families and feeding upwards of 450 people.
The Women’s Empowerment & Community Health Initiative incorporates trained local health workers who administer Home-Based Care and voluntary counseling to benefit HIV+ women and their families in the community.  This women’s group also makes crafts for export and local.  (Some of their products were recently featured at Fortune magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” summit.)
A Micro-financing programme in partnership with Kenya’s leading micro-finance institution, which has an office on-site in Harambee Home.  Micato guarantees a portion of the loans made.

A Hydration Programme involved drilling a deep water bore hole, built in the Mukuru slum, which is one of only four water sources in an area of 750,000 inhabitants.

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For more information about Micato Safaris’ AmericaShare program, visit “”

About AmericaShare
For the past twenty years, AmericaShare has been working to help children and adults affected by poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Nairobi, Kenya. Funded entirely by world-renowned luxury tour operator Micato Safaris, AmericaShare channels donations made by its safari travelers, corporate donors, industry friends, and staff to the poor and vulnerable of Mukuru, one of Nairobi’s most notorious slums.

AmericaShare’s mission is to provide hope and access to basic services such as education and health as well as resources to facilitate sustainable change within these vulnerable populations. In addition to Harambee Home, current projects include: a school sponsorship program that places orphaned and vulnerable children in first-rate boarding schools, and provides them with clothing and supplies as well as room and board; a women’s group consisting of local HIV-positive women who, with low-interest loans from AmericaShare, have set up self-sustaining businesses selling flour, coal, and crafts as well as delivering meals to homebound people with HIV in their community; AmericaShare also contributes funding to several other local organizations, including Nyumbani Children’s Home, which cares for children with AIDS and Edelvale, dedicated to the care of girls and young women.

About Neiman Marcus
The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. operations include the Specialty Retail Stores segment and the Direct Marketing segment. The Specialty Retail Stores segment consists primarily of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores. The Direct Marketing segment conducts both print catalog and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman brand names. Information about the Company can be accessed at “”

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