With a presence in nearly every continent in the world, we are
proud to show how we have helped our local communities.
If you want to find out how Bata volunteers are making a
difference in your region check out the stories below.
A Success Story for BCP Zimbabwe Close to Home
Bachi’s son, Julian Kudzai Bachi, (pictured above with his parents) grew up in Gweru, Zimbabwe, and his parents moved him to the Sarah Bata Primary School in the fourth grade. His family moved him to the new school as they were well aware of its excellent reputation for offering a great all-round education having one of the best libraries in the country, thereby offering him the ability to read and to appreciate books.
After completing his secondary school studies, Julian Bachi attended the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, where he recently graduated with a degree in environmental science and sustainable buildings. His choice of degree was thanks to his former headmaster at the Sarah Bata Primary School, Nugget Manyima, who had passed on his passion for the subject to the boy, teaching the children about the importance of caring for the environment around them, another of the BCP’s main focal points.
Prosper Bachi, speaking about his son’s achievements, commented: “We as a family are very proud of the Bata family in terms of what they have given to us and also to the community. Bata will always be part of our life, and my son remains very proud of the education and the foundation he received from the Bata school. When he visits Gweru, he will definitely keep in touch with his former school, and encourage others to strive for a better life, which comes with a good education.”
BCP Pakistan Helps Underprivileged Children Learn to Protect Environment
The main theme of the session was to convey the role of environmental protection to safeguard planet Earth. Five BCP volunteers explained to the 110 children present the importance of global issues such as air pollution, soil contamination and global warming. They discussed the use of natural resources, the consequences of pollution and the importance of recycling.
During the interactive session, students were encouraged to draw their impressions of the planet’s current state, as well as make posters, paintings and classroom decorations. The children thoroughly enjoyed the fun activities, and expressed their desire to attend similar events in the future.
Khuram Iqbal, one of the BCP volunteers commented: “I have long been a part of BCP, but it is my first experience participating as a mentor. I am so thrilled after coaching the children, and I am determined to volunteer in upcoming events as well.”
Another Winning Edition of BCP Tennis Tournament in Aubonne
This year’s event, which took place across seven clay courts at the tennis club of Aubonne, in collaboration with the tennis club of Etoy, marked a new milestone in terms of participation. It featured 140 boys and girls aged between 10 and 16 year old, compared to just 40 participants in its first year, transforming the Bata Junior Open into the major junior tournament in the Canton of Vaud this year.
The competition’s winning formula was once again the combination of a very affordable entry fee, thanks to the support of the Bata Children’s Program (BCP) foundation, and the organization of the event, which allowed participants to play against equally ranked players and made for more enjoyable matches. Many of those who took part had already participated in previous editions, a fact that gave great satisfaction to the team involved in organizing the event.
The cherry on the cake for this year’s event was the fact that in the Under-12 category the Bata Junior Open welcomed for the first time several talented players ranked in the top five in Switzerland, which was a real pleasure to see.
In addition to the prizes for the semi-finalists and finalists, each participant received a pair of Bata customized Pata Pata flip flops for the summer. Both the tennis clubs of Aubonne and Etoy look forward organizing the next edition of the Bata Junior Open in 2018.
BCP Malaysia Nudges Indigenous Children Back to School
The BCP team is collaborating to offer Saturday morning tuition to young children, with the goal of preparing them for integration in state school. Only 30 percent of 100 school-age children in the Kampung Sungai Rasau village go to school.
Three BCP volunteers are part of a team of teachers offering English and math lessons to around 30 youngsters.
To encourage the children and engage their families, BCP Malaysia will reward with a pair of Bata shoes those who attend 12 classes and make presentations on what they learned to their teachers and parents. BCP has also donated textbooks, school supplies, a white board and healthy snacks.
BCP volunteers will join teachers in monthly visits to households with very poor attendance to better understand the factors – such as caretaking of elderly relatives – keeping the children from coming to Saturday classes. With the support of the village head, they will work toward a solution.
During a visit on May 13, some BCP volunteers assisted the teacher while others prepared lunch.
“Early childhood education is an investment in the future of the country, but also in the improvement of complex social issues,” commented BCP coordinator Wilsen Isuwaran.
BCP Kenya: 80 Students Gain Firsthand Experience in Work World
BCP partnered with the non-profit organization Junior Achievement for this program. Junior Achievement is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people for successful futures and inculcating in them a positive work ethic and spirit of entrepreneurship.
The participating students came from four local schools: Limuru Girls’ School, the Starehe Girls’ Centre, and Kanunga and Kiambu Boys’ Schools. BCP Kenya has longstanding relationships supporting the two girls’ schools.
Through BCP and the contribution of 25 employees who volunteered, Bata Kenya was able to host 40 students on each of the two days of job shadowing.
First, the students were given an overview of the company’s history, values, vision, mission, core activities and functions, as well as BCP.
Human resources manager Peter Giathi took the young people through various career paths available at the company and the general job market as it pertains to them. “It is important that you pursue careers that you have passion and love for,” he emphasized. “In this way, you will get joy, satisfaction and fulfillment in your professional lives.”
Product development manager Esther Kute called upon the students to utilize their time in school wisely, as education is the surest way to land a dream career. She encouraged them to gather as much knowledge as possible as they could put it to good future use.
The high school students were then given a guided tour of the factory, and they were very excited to see how shoes are made, especially the back-to-school articles like leather Toughees.
Afterward, the students were spread out among various departments. They were assigned to departmental managers who served as their mentor for the day and allowed the students to observe them as they went about their normal work day.
The students then had lunch with BCP volunteers before resuming job shadowing in the afternoon.
At the end of the day, the students gave their feedback. Most of them showed interest in working at the company when they complete their academic and professional studies.
Ruth Siriba, a participating student from Limuru Girls’ School, conveyed her group’s appreciation for the job shadowing program. “Personally, I have received great career guidance, and I am leaving with new mentors. We hope to come back one day as professionals and be part of the company’s productive workforce. Specifically, I hope to be a designer in the product development department. I really loved the experience.”
Participating employees, for their part, were also positive about the experience. “What a team of budding entrepreneurs!” leather factory manager Stephen Gichuki commented. “Their intelligence levels are also high. The future of our nation is surely bright.”
BCP volunteers will mentor the students at their schools as a follow up to the program.
BCP Zimbabwe: Another Milestone for the Sarah Bata Schools
With unwavering support from the Bata Children’s Program (BCP) and Sarah Bata, Bata Zimbabwe again upheld its commitment to support the empowerment of the Midlands community’s youth through quality education.
The new block of classrooms was built to accommodate up to 60 Form 3 students, and the textbooks were donated to both the Sarah Bata Senior and Junior Schools to share in part with the Ministry of Education.
In attendance were many distinguished guests. Besides the Batas, they included Zimbabwe’s Education Minister Lazarous Dokora; from Bata Brands, Nicole Voillat, Hala Zakhour and Lucia Lot; Bata Zimbabwe country manager Ehsan Zaman and his wife; the Bata Zimbabwe management team; BCP volunteers; the parents of students; and members of the local government such as the mayor of Gweru, a representative of the Ministry of Provincial Affairs, and Midlands Education Director Agnes Gumbo.
The day started with a tour of the Sarah Bata Schools, during which the guests were treated to spectacular performances by the students. The young people recited poetry, sang and, undoubtedly the highlight, did traditional dances.
Another memorable moment during the tour was the impressive presentation by the senior school’s woodworking students, and young Tapiwanashe Maradzi was full of excitement when the minister took him up on his offer to make him a wooden briefcase.
Dokora, Zaman and Mrs. Bata each addressed those gathered.
Dokora thanked BCP and the Sarah Bata Schools for taking a leading role in the implementation of the new curriculum introduced by the government of Zimbabwe early this year. He expressed his optimism in the curriculum’s ability to usher in a new educational paradigm to encourage the emergence of all-rounder students with skills relevant to the current and future economy.
Zaman remarked, “I am so moved by the support and donations of Mr. and Mrs. Bata, the untiring work of BCP, and the support of the government of Zimbabwe and local authorities for the development and upgrading of the Sarah Bata Schools. We at Bata Zimbabwe will continue to uphold our commitment to sustainability and continue to support the schools as they take on the new curriculum.”
And the schools’ patron, Mrs. Bata, enthused the community with her commitment. “I am very much committed and willing to see the schools successfully prepare the learners for their future lives. My husband and I therefore pledge to fund the construction of a multifunction pavilion as part of our effort for adequate facilities for the senior school. I welcome the new curriculum as it focuses on ensuring there is no child left behind through nurturing the talents and interests of each child.”
After their remarks, the minister, Mr. and Mrs. Bata, and Zaman, together with other guests, did a ceremonious ribbon cutting for the Form 3 block of classrooms and officially presented some 10,000 donated textbooks to the minister of education.
The success of the inauguration ceremony was made possible by the committed BCP volunteers who served as ushers and worked tirelessly to organize the event.
BCP Pakistan Organizes Health Screening for the Community
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 520 million people worldwide with chronic hepatitis B or C infection, and Pakistan is among the nations most afflicted.
Various factors can lead to hepatitis, or liver inflammation, and hepatitis B and C are among the main causes of severe liver disease.
Given the importance of this health issue, the BCP Pakistan team planned a day of free screening for hepatitis B and C for the students of a local girls’ high school. The screening was extended to the girls’ parents and the surrounding community as well.
A team including a medical officer, four paramedics and 10 BCP volunteers offered their services to make the activity a success.
A total of 226 people were screened, and three tested positive for hepatitis B and seven for hepatitis C. The people who tested positive were counseled on the next steps to take in order to treat the disease.
The medical officer and volunteers also held awareness sessions with the students and other visitors, giving them information about hepatitis, including its symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Ayesha Kanwal was one of the participating students. “I am grateful to BCP for this initiative of providing health awareness to the students,” she said. “Firstly, we are satisfied after the screening that we are healthy and, secondly, we can pass this knowledge on to others on how they can protect themselves against hepatitis B and C. I am confident that BCP will continue such activities in future as well.”
BCP Bolivia: Graduating Children’s Homes with Best Foot Forward
BCP’s partner on this project is the TIA Foundation, which works with all the children’s homes in the city of Cochabamba. The foundation’s goal is to support and motivate the young people living in these homes to develop their individual life projects. It aims to provide them with opportunities to acquire tools and knowledge that they can have productive adult lives, since, at the time they must leave the homes at 18 years old, most of them not ready to face this reality and end up on the street or involved in crime.
BCP Bolivia and TIA developed a four-prong approach to their partnership.
Members of the BCP team have volunteered to hold educational workshops for these vulnerable young people on finances, life and work skills, income generation and project sustainability. This part of the project got underway on a recent Saturday with a workshop attended by 60 children from different homes in Cochabamba. Two BCP volunteers addressed the topic "Planning your Life," presenting tools so the children could articulate a positive future life for themselves.
Secondly, BCP volunteers participating in this initiative will each be assigned a child to mentor as he or she goes through the process of leaving the home.
The project also includes BCP members teaching these teenagers how to create micro-enterprises. The results will be evaluated at a fair where the young people can sell their products, with the proceeds to go to the children’s homes.
Finally, BCP is sponsoring a scholarship for a teenager enrolled in the program who is at university preparing for a career. This person is expected in the future to help motivate and train younger teens in the program.
The coordinator of the TIA Foundation, Isela Velasquez, commented, "This program will help us a lot so that the children have practical tools so they can start their own enterprises as a way to be inserted efficiently in society. The volunteers of the Bata Children’s Program, with their experience, will share their knowledge so we can achieve that goal."