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.
BCP Zimbabwe Celebrates Sarah Bata Junior School’s Excellence
The headmistress announced the graduating class’s exam pass rate of 94 percent, proof of the hard work put in by all.
The day’s theme was the new curriculum and the empowerment of learners.
Talented students performed plays, recited poems and gave speeches. The guest of honor from the Ministry of Education was mesmerized alongside parents by the Christmas pageant put on by children of the affiliated preschool.
Donated Bata shoes were presented as prizes to 48 high-performing students.
Recent involvement from BCP has included a donation of 22,000 books and equipment for a computer lab so students each have a computer during IT class.
Ehsan Zaman, country manager of Bata Zimbabwe, expressed pride at being part of the success of the Sarah Bata Schools and their graduates. He reaffirmed continued support from the company and BCP to ensure standards remain top-notch.
BCP Awarded for Children’s Projects in South Africa
The awards were founded by a female South African entrepreneur to acknowledge actors making impactful contributions to bolster a healthy, progressive society.
The ceremony was held on Nov. 2 at the Durban International Convention Centre.
BCP focuses on making a difference for disadvantaged children in four key areas: education, health and safety, mentoring, and a sustainable world.
BCP South Africa has, for example, partnered to build a new school for disabled children, adopted a preschool that BCP volunteers often visit, and offered work experiences to technical school students. For Mandela Day, it called on social media users to nominate worthy schools to receive Toughees school shoe donations.
Country manager John Harman expressed his appreciation for the honor. “At Bata South Africa we believe all children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our BCP objectives are geared to making a positive impact on children’s lives, as well as on the lives of those around them.”
Serving the Community: An Interview with Joyce Nakadama
How did you get involved with the Bata Children’s Program?
As a mother of three boys, I have compassion for children, and I am actively involved in children’s welfare and social activities in my neighborhood. Upon hearing of the BCP in 2010, it was my natural instinct to sign up as a volunteer.
What do you enjoy about being a BCP coordinator?
The privilege of stepping out to identify projects has exposed me to the reality of challenging situations in our community and created in me a greater passion for children than before.
It is very fulfilling for me to see that I can drive a team that, through service, puts smiles on the faces of children in need.
How has BCP Uganda developed?
BCP Uganda started about seven years ago with just a few volunteers, probably because the concept was new to many. Today, we have 30 volunteers and have supported children’s homes, communities with flea infestations, and sick children in hospitals.
One of our first and ongoing projects has been supporting the Sanyu Babies’ Home, and just recently, on Dec. 1, we partnered with the South Africa High Commission to volunteer at the Kiteezi Primary School.
Which BCP initiatives are most important to you personally?
I consider the most important BCP initiatives to be those that take care of vulnerable and abandoned children. An example is “Their Rights Action for Children,” a small children’s home run by a social worker. BCP Uganda volunteers have on many occasions made personal contributions of food and clothing as well as spent time with the children there.
What is your process for choosing projects?
We identify areas that need to be addressed and where we are welcome to participate in environmental and social activities that benefit the youngest generation.
When volunteers identify potential projects, we make visits to consider factors like viability and legality, and we take care not to overlap with services provided for by the government or other donors.
What is a long-term goal you have for BCP Uganda?
To develop and complete one big project such as a Bata Children’s School in Uganda.
What are the best ways to encourage Bata Uganda employees’ interest in BCP?
Creating awareness is a perfect tool for motivation. We can encourage their interest by holding regular informative, consultative meetings and letting all staff introduce potential beneficiaries. Scheduling BCP activities so as not to conflict with work and family commitments is also important.
Serving the Community: An Interview with Alberto Errico
How do companies in your region benefit from BCP?
Today’s customer and the general public are well informed, and their demands are for much more than just the product. They are looking for organizations that engage in responsible business and sustainability, including giving back to society, being involved with the less fortunate in the community, and taking care of the environment.
Through BCP and other forms of community outreach, we are able to improve our corporate image and enhance our brand reputation through increased awareness of the company and its products.
BCP is a worthwhile and unique program, and the fact that it is volunteer-led helps employees have a sense of ownership in the various initiatives, and it means the program is self-driven. This also creates a volunteer culture that can be emulated by new employees and generally creates high spirits and motivation.
What is the effect of BCP on employees?
BCP has a major positive effect on employees and their families, especially in the region we operate in.
Employees get to bond during BCP activities, and their sense of belonging also enhances teamwork and team spirit. The special tie to the organization then contributes to employee retention.
BCP also acts as a pull factor, playing a major role in shaping the company’s image in the eyes of various stakeholders, including current and potential employees. Bata is seen as a good employer that cares not only about its employees but also the community it operates in.
What are some benefits of corporate community involvement that are sometimes overlooked?
It does not necessary lead directly to increased sales, but corporate community involvement goes a long way in giving the general public a positive image of an organization, leading to various multiplier effects in general business.
Giving back to the community has both short- and long-term positive effects. Many young people get interested in working with us, and obviously many governments would like to be associated with and support responsible corporations like us. The communities we live and operate in also feel proud because of our support for various community initiatives through BCP.
Tell us about your participation in BCP.
I have always given moral and in-person support to BCP initiatives, and I derive a lot of pleasure from this, especially when I see the smiles radiating from the children and youth when I interact with them.
I have helped to create a volunteer culture with extensive participation in BCP. Some examples would include nurturing environmental awareness with tree planting, mentoring students through a daylong job shadowing program, supporting youth sports in Limuru, recognizing BCP volunteers, donating blood for children and mothers, and supporting a drive for sanitary pads for girls living in poverty.
My personal involvement in BCP gives me a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction, since I know I am impacting lives positively and creating a brighter future for children.
BCP South Africa Commemorates Nelson Mandela Day
Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18, celebrates the 67 years of service the South African luminary gave his country and the world.
For this special initiative, the public has been asked to help identify schools with children in need of school shoes, using the hashtag #Bata67Steps on the Toughees Facebook page or in person at any Bata South Africa store.
The nominations will be evaluated using photos, geographic poverty levels and verification with NGOs.
“The campaign that we are embarking on is more than just putting shoes on feet,” commented Khutjo Madisha, Toughees brand manager. “It’s about giving children their pride back and giving them confidence to achieve their dreams.
“For nearly 60 years, Toughees has been the choice of shoe for those who walked a few meters or many kilometers just to get to school and have an education.”
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 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.