AlumniGlobal Wellness Day Founder wants to make wellness accessible to all

César Ritz Colleges graduate, Belgin Aksoy Berkin has set out to inspire the world to make a small difference for a better future.

Belgin Aksoy Berkin is the inspiration and Founder of Global Wellness Day. A not-for-profit day dedicated to living well with the ambition of bringing more awareness and recognition to the value of our lives.

In 2016, she was recognized with Leading Woman in Wellness, the most prestigious award in the wellness-spa industry by the Global Wellness Summit. And in the same year was awarded Most Influential Spa Leader by American Spa.

Did you always want to change the world?
I’m not sure about that, but I think I knew that I wanted to help others since I was very young. I remember distinctly feeling that I was useless at the age of 17. Although, I was planning on starting college like everyone else, I had no idea what was my purpose. That summer, a friend and I walked through the doors of a Leukemia Foundation and offered our support in any way possible. We turned a space in the hospital into a classroom, and spent our summer teaching kids with Cancer.

That summer I came to realize what really matters in life and what doesn’t. I discovered that although we might not be able to change the world, we can change the world of one person – and that is amazing!

What was your vision behind creating Global Wellness Day?
Living well is almost the entire world’s shared dream and my vision was to make wellness accessible to everyone. I believe wellness is the inherit right of every individual and not just for the elite. The most valuable thing you have is yourself – and your body needs your attention and your love.

How do you recommend bringing wellness into our daily lives?
Wellness is a never-ending learning process. The earlier you bring it into your life, the better habits you will have. We have created a 7 step manifesto – 7 simple steps to help make wellness a lifestyle. We encourage people to try and incorporate as many steps as they can into their daily life on a regular basis. After 364 days, that will be the day that you celebrate your own personal day of wellness.

How will you be celebrating Global Wellness Day?
I will be celebrating in Kucukciftlik Park in Istanbul. Last year we had over 7000 people join us. Istanbul’s celebration has become the epicentre of the entire event.

Founder Global Wellness Day

Why did you choose to study Hotel Management?
The way I discovered Hotel Management was by watching an old American television programme called Generations growing up in Turkey.

Just like the PR Manager, I wanted to meet with people from around the world and help make their days more special.

At the same time I chose to study Hotel Management, my father began a hotel business in Turkey. Today I manage these hotels and Global Wellness Day is my passion project I run in parallel.

How has your education with César Ritz Colleges contributed to who you are today?
At César Ritz, I learned the importance of putting your heart in everything you do and to not be afraid to add your own personal touch. The extra detail is what makes things special. To this day, I can still remember the graduation speech from Mr. Kisseleff. He said, “From today on, you are professionals going out into the field. Show the world how professional you are and carry the spirit of excellence with you.”

23 years later, I look back on everything now and think that If I was able to make a small difference for a better future this makes me a happy woman. And the first seeds were sown at César Ritz Colleges. I am grateful.

Global Wellness Day presentation

What’s the next step for you?
My current goal is for Global Wellness Day to be recognized by the official calendar of the United Nations. This recognition would allow us to work together with governments around the world in a wider way and help make the project more sustainable.

Global Wellness Day is an international celebration. This year on June 9 more than 4,000 locations in 100 different countries will offer a range of free health and wellness activities to the pubic. To learn how you can participate visit: www.globalwellnessday.org.

Learn more about our Master of Arts in Hospitality, Health and Wellbeing.

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