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.
Visit to the Thomas Bata School in Bolivia
On June 20, Bata Children's Program (BCP) director Lucia Lot and Valeria Cordero, BCP coordinator in Bolivia, visited the Thomas Bata School in the municipality of Quillacollo in Cochabamba.
The aim of the visit was to see the development of the school and its new orchard project. Humberto Jaimes, president of a local grassroots organization that recently donated some land to the school, also joined the group later in the day.
At the beginning of the visit, the students prepared a presentation about the orchard and explained its two objectives: firstly for children at the school to learn about vegetables and get used to eating in a healthy manner, and secondly to teach them the process of cultivating food in any size of space available.
As part of the presentation, Lot and Cordero were told how the children originally grew vegetables in cut tubes, which were placed on the walls in order to maximize space. Then, after the donation of the extra land, they learnt how to plant the vegetables in the ground.
When the presentation ended, the visitors shared a snack with the children and then went to see the orchard. Following this, they paid a visit to the newly donated land, where the children explained how they had prepared the soil, plowed and planted their crops, and how they had learned about what they need to do to look after the vegetables in the future. At present, only a third of the land is cultivated, but the school plans to finish the whole parcel by the end of the year.
Marcela Orellana, the science teacher and coordinator of this project said: "Lucia's visit really motivated our students. They are children of nine, ten, eleven years old, and they felt so happy about it."
It was a very special occasion for the children and the teachers at the school since they had the opportunity to show the activities they had been doing and the orchards they cultivated. The visitors also learned a lot about the process and the school's future projects. Yuva Torres, the school's principal, stated: "It was a great visit, and because of Lucia´s interest in our project we felt very motivated. Our students were able to talk about the project and give her some handcrafts they made."
Cordero added: "Having Lucia visiting the school was a great opportunity to show everything we have been working on. Also, it was crucial to motivate the children and the teachers to continue their projects. As we were preparing for the visit I was able to witness the excitement and pride that all the kids felt about their presentations. The school is working very hard to improve and to promote healthy habits among the children and their families, and the orchards are a way to show how they can achieve this without the need to invest lots of money, so it has become an important project that is not only making a positive impact in the school, but also in the community."
Speaking about the value of the team's visit, Jaimes also commented: "These types of visits are very important for the school and the neighborhood because they motivate our teachers and our children. The message that stayed with us is that we should care about having a healthy diet and think with seriousness about our planet."
A special thank you to all the children that contributed with their presentations:
Yasmin Chalco Argote
Mariana Caballero Ramirez
Andre Arrueta Alanes
BCP Kenya Arranges Job Shadow Program for High School Students
The Bata Children’s Program (BCP) Kenya recently partnered with Kenyan non-profit organization Junior Achievement to conduct a job shadow program, giving students the opportunity to work alongside Bata staff in order to gain exposure and practical experience in a real work environment.
The aim of the project was to inspire and prepare the young people to succeed in their future lives, as well as teach them about a positive work ethic and entrepreneurship. To this end, 16 BCP volunteers hosted a total of 100 Junior Achievement students from four high schools – Lenana Boys, Limuru Girls', Kanunga Boys and Starehe Girls' Centre – across two days on May 15 and 16.
The program began with a briefing at the Bata Training Academy in Limuru, where the students were first taken through the company history, its values, core activities, various functions and the role of the BCP. They were then addressed by human resources manager Peter Giathi, who encouraged them to be open-minded about their future careers, telling them: “Take advantage of this golden opportunity to learn as much as you can and find out what happens in a typical workplace, as this prepares you for the future.”
The students were then taken on a guided factory tour to see the manufacturing processes and how shoes are made, with particular focus on the “Back to School” articles including Toughees in the leather factory, before pausing to have lunch with the BCP Kenya volunteers.
After lunch, the children met with Alberto Errico, Bata's President for Africa, who shared his experiences and answered their questions. In his speech of encouragement to the groups, Errico explained: “Success does not come through luck, it comes through hard work, commitment and focus. As such, it is advisable that you choose one target and pursue it. Don’t waste any single moment of your life, and always remember that the sky is the limit. It doesn’t matter the background you come from, as we all have opportunities if you know what you want in life.”
Finally, during the closing session at the end of the day, the students gave their feedback on their experience, pointing out how welcoming the whole team had been in sparing their valuable time to mentor and guide them, with many showing interest in joining the company when they complete their studies.
The BCP Volunteers will continue to follow up with the students as mentors in their respective schools to ensure that the program reaches a successful conclusion for all those involved.
BCP India Volunteers Assist at School Summer Camp
On June 7, a team of volunteers from the Bata Children's Program (BCP) India visited the Harsaru High School in Gurgaon, one of the school’s adopted under the Bata Children's Program, to interact with the children and teach them a number of skills during their annual summer camp.
This was an opportunity for the children to go beyond their school books and learn other valuable techniques and life skills. A total of 12 volunteers took part in the various activities, each using their own specialist knowledge to teach the children a diverse range of skills including thread painting, paper plate and pot decoration, drawing and craft and meditation, among others.
One of the BCP India volunteers, Rajeev Magan, who is also business manager for gift cards and vouchers for Bata India, also brought yoga mats with him to teach the children about this particular exercise and relaxation technique. Over the course of the day, the children and school teachers were taught various simple yoga postures, known as "asanas" to help improve their eye sight and build their stamina, as well as improve their breathing.
All the children were excited to see the volunteers on the day of their visit, and actively participated in all the activities. The program ended with volunteers and children enjoying some refreshing cold drinks together, and talking about what they had learned.
Ritu Kapil, one of the BCP India volunteers and part of Bata India's merchandising team, commented: “I really enjoy coming to the schools to spend time with the children. I feel so satisfied and happy at the end of the day. These children are very creative and are willing to learn new things.”
BCP Kenya Provides Support to Vysa Youth Football Team
Recently, the Bata Children's Program (BCP) Kenya donated sports uniforms and footballs to the Vysa Youth football team, as part of its mission to make a positive difference in the communities in which Bata is present.
The Vysa Youth football team is made up of boys from the Limuru community, where Bata Kenya's head office is located, and the support provided by BCP Kenya in nurturing their talents helps ensure they are kept away from social vices, enabling them to become responsible members of society.
Present on the occasion of the donation were Alberto Errico, Bata's President for Africa, and Peter Giathi, human resources manager. During the presentation, Ericco praised the club’s efforts to develop sporting talent in the region, and urged them to continue training for even better performance. He stated: “I want to see you top of all games you play, as I know that you are capable of being the very best to move up to the National and even Premier League level”. As he concluded his words of encouragement, the boys were nodding in agreement, promising to put in maximum effort in future.
Charles Ouma, the volunteer team coach, who also works for Bata Kenya as a systems administrator, conveyed his appreciation to the company for the donation, commenting: “We are more than grateful for the continued support. My team will do their best to climb up the ladder from county level. The support offered by the company contributes much to our performance and success and, as such, we look forward to continued support as always, for instance by allowing the team to use the Bata Stadium for training.”
BCP Zambia Volunteers Visit Disadvantaged Children in Lusaka
On May 9, volunteers from the Bata Children's Program (BCP) Zambia, paid a visit to the children of the Koinonia Muthunzi children's home, near the country's capital, Lusaka.
The Koinonia Muthunzi home is located about 15 kilometers from the Lusaka Central Business Distrrict in the heart of the Koinonia community, and provides assistance to over 150 orphaned and vulnerable children aged three to 19, as well as full residential care for up to 70 children from low-income families and difficult economic situations. The center’s staff provide a holistic response to the needs of these children, helping them to become responsible citizens by providing access to education and medical services, before integrating them into a nearby government school.
In order to help the center in its valuable work, BCP Zambia donated 100 pairs of shoes to children at the home during the visit. The presentation event was attended by four BCP Zambia volunteers, along with the local ward councillor, who received the donation on behalf of the community, community priest Father Kizito and a number of other guests.
In addition to the donations, the day included a variety of entertainment activities, during which the children took the opportunity to thank the BCP Zambia volunteers for their visit. Giacomo D’Amelio, manager of the Koinonia Muthunzi home, also showed his appreciation for the support of BCP Zambia and the shoe donation.
Speaking to the representatives of the Koinonia Muthunzi home during the visit, BCP Zambia coordinator Mutinta Chiselenga commented: “We are very excited and happy with the work you are doing here and your emphasis on the importance of education for children. We hope that our gesture gives these children a step ahead in pursuit of a better life through education."
BCP Colombia Helps Encourage Education at Adopted School
As part of its aim to facilitate the education of children in its community, volunteers from the Bata Children's Program (BCP) Colombia recently visited the Christine Schmidt Bata Kindergarten in order to present the children with uniforms for 2018.
The kindergarten, located in the El Carmen neighborhood of the city of Manizales, cares for a total of 40 children, who have already experienced significant hardship in their lives despite their young age. Most come from families with few economic resources and complex situations in terms of their home life, and the yearly donation of uniforms aims to keep the children in the right attire to attend their classes.
The presentation event at the school was attended by Nayarith Alarcón Correa, human resources manager of Bata Colombia, and five BCP Colombia volunteers: Angela Bernal, Paula Andrea Zuluaga, Beatriz Giraldo, Jennifer Vargas and Andrea Gallego. The donation event is an annual appointment for the program’s volunteers, as it also provides them with the opportunity to spend time with the children from the Christine Schmidt Bata Kindergarten.
Before the official presentation, volunteers played a variety of exciting games with the children, and the smiles on their faces highlighted how important the BCP visits are to them. Following this, the youngsters were given their new uniforms, matching the colors of the Bata Children's Program, as well as gifts and toys, for which they were extremely grateful. When the donation was complete, the volunteers remained at the school to share ice cream with the children, before saying goodbye until next year.
Speaking about the donation, Vargas commented: "Some of these children experience very serious social problems, and that is why it is important for us volunteers to help them feel accepted, loved and important for society. We contribute to their healthy development, and, for all those who want to be volunteers, my invitation is for them to let themselves experience this beautiful opportunity. What we receive from these children is even greater than what they receive from us."
BCP Pakistan Holds Mentoring Session for Underprivileged Girls
On April 14, the Bata Children's Program (BCP) Pakistan arranged a mentoring session for around 50 girl students of CDG Girls High School in Nawab Pura, Lahore. The main purpose of the session was to guide the girls on the issues of confidence building, career counselling and leadership development.
Seven BCP volunteers participated in the activity, sharing their views with the children through a series of discussions and worksheets. During the interactive session, students were divided into three groups with different mentors who helped the children to discover their characteristic strengths and ways to identify and focus their future objectives and strategies to achieve their goals.
The children were then taken to the Bata Pakistan factory at Batapur, where they visited different departments and studied the complete shoe-manufacturing process. They were also briefed about the history and achievements of the Bata organization through a documentary presentation.
The children greatly enjoyed all aspects of the session, saying they hoped to take part in similar events in the future.
Fizza, one of the students who took part in the activity, commented: “Today revealed that Bata people not only take care of our feet, but they also contribute in the character building and personality development of children. After this session, I feel clarity and confidence in myself to determine my own future targets.”
BCP South Africa Reaches Out to Children in Local Community
The Bata Children's Program (BCP) South Africa is firmly committed to contributing to the well-being of the people in its communities, and recently paid a visit to a local drop-in center to celebrate the Easter holidays with the underprivileged children in its care.
The activity saw BCP volunteers spread a little Easter goodwill and cheer to children at the Jabulani Self-Help Centre and Saint Mary's Children's Hospital near Bata's Pinetown head office. The Jabulani Self-Help Centre is a community-based, non-profit organization that helps underprivileged women and their children who live in the townships surrounding Marianhill, also providing food and educational support to more than 250 children per day.
On the day of their visit, BCP volunteers brought Easter eggs for the children, handed out by the Easter bunny himself, along with hot cross buns, toys and clothing for children and the center's staff. The children also enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games, interacting with the BCP volunteers and sharing their stories with them.
Speaking about the visit, Gloria Shange, manager of the Jabulani Self-Help Centre, commented: “Funding for NPOs is reducing due to the current economic climate. These women and children are faced with many challenges, but despite these challenges there are plenty of enjoyable moments. The visit from volunteers from BCP South Africa is one of those moments. The children will remember this day for years to come. Thank you BCP South Africa!”