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.
Bata Zambia Contributes to National Environmental Program
The event took place at a colorful event held at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School in Lusaka. Bata Zambia was among the major sponsors of the event, which was graced by the President, Prosper Bachi, country manager of Bata Zambia, and many other important guests.
The National Tree Planting Program was launched in January 2013 by the government of Zambia with the aim to plant trees to help promote economic development and alleviate poverty. The program intends to plant a total of 2,000 hectares of exotic tree plantation, as well as community woodlots, in each of the 10 provinces.
Bata Zambia’s sponsorship will make it possible for over 300 trees to be planted.
The program hopes to create 200,000 jobs and increase the productivity of the forestry sector, which will also lead to the alleviation of poverty. Additional benefits include improving protection of ecosystem services, such as watershed management, and increasing the forest area of the country.
Bachi, who led a team of Bata Zambia employees in planting a tree on the day, commented: "This is a very good initiative that the government has embarked on to restore forest cover, and will help us to stabilize our climate and weather pattern, for this reason we decided to support this program of planting three for every tree cut."
Serving the Community Through Entrepreneurial Businesses
“When we opened Malon in October 2011, we were stitching 500 canvas shoes per day,” explained Roderick Rutsvara, owner of the Malon ABU. “Then in 2012, Bata increased production to 3,200 pairs a day, and in 2013 to 5,300. In 2015 we were able to expand even further, adding a new conveyor for leather shoes. So now we have three conveyors in total, two for canvas and one for leather shoes.”
What this means for the community is that Malon is providing an increasing number of job opportunities. So more and more local people are benefiting from the salaries Malon’s employees are earning.
“We feel we are serving the community both through employment and through the training we provide. We can teach someone the basic skills they need to stitch here in six days, and this skill is then an asset to them and their families for the rest of their lives,” Rutsvara commented, adding that 89 percent of employees learned new skills at Malon.
A Malon employee could be supporting five or more members of their family. One of the most experienced stitchers, for example, is a widow who is able to support her entire household: her parents, her younger sister and her sister’s four-year old daughter. At the same time, she is paying fees and costs for her own daughter, who is doing a degree in computer science at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo.
As an ABU, Malon is fully supported by Bata, especially when it comes to machinery, which is all Bata-owned. “As a business, the Associate Business Unit model works well," Rutsvara said. "Economically, things are challenging in Zimbabwe, so if you own a business that is supported, it makes you feel more secure.”
There are two full-time Bata supervisors who are based at Malon, making sure the ABU is operating to the Bata standard and maintaining the Bata values and ethics. This covers all aspects of the stitching process, but also how the employees are treated and what provisions are taken to care for their welfare and the environment.
Health and safety is a key part of this. For example, Rutsvara said, “We recently did a fire drill with the support of a team from Bata. Everyone here was involved and it was really motivational to have this close and supportive connection between the two companies.”
Bata shares best practices and expertise across all areas of the business, empowering ABU owners with the knowledge to be the best business leaders they can be.
Bata Kenya Partners with Wildlife Organization to Help Save Lions
The agreement will see Bata Kenya help care for lions through its Safari brand, and the partnership, dubbed ‘Collar a Lion,’ will be activated through social media using the hashtag #Footprintsforthewild. The partnership between KWS and Bata Kenya will strive to control the conflict between humans and these large carnivores, which has a significant impact on society, particularly this year, where a number of lions have broken out of national parks and entered cities.
The launch of the partnership was attended by Alberto Errico, Bata President for Africa, and KWS director general Kitili Mbathi. Speaking about the new project, Errico stated: “Next year, Safari will donate three million Kenya shillings to Kenya Wildlife Service, which will go toward this partnership. So every pair of Safari boots purchased will contribute toward this amount. Through this donation, we shall not only be enhancing conservation but also helping in boosting tourism, a major revenue earner for the country.”
The funds donated will be used to purchase GPS collars for the lions, which will improve monitoring of the lions’ movements and population by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
For the Safari brand, the partnership will go a long way to enhancing brand visibility through branding of various tourist attraction sites and parks, periodic joint participation in tourism exhibitions, both locally and internationally and World Lion Day celebrations in Kenya. The partnership will also incorporate joint marketing communications in selected stores and parks.
Evelyn Njeri, Safari brand manager, commented: “With the realization of the existence of human-wildlife conflict in the country, the Safari brand decided to step in and work in partnership with the KWS by donating funds to enhance the conservation of lions. Safari resonates with wildlife: the logo encompasses the acacia tree and a lion, which clearly depicts the African savannah.”
News of the partnership was also announced on the website of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
Italian Ambassador Praises BCP Zambia’s Work in Local Community
The Koinonia Muthunzi home is located around 15 kilometers from Lusaka at the heart of the Koinonia community, and provides assistance to over 150 orphaned and vulnerable children, from ages 3 to 19. These children come from low-income families and difficult economic situations, and many of them had previously been abandoned and were living on the street. The center’s staff provide the children with rehabilitation before integrating them into a nearby government school.
The aim of the center is to provide a holistic response to the needs of these children, helping them to become responsible citizens through providing access to education, medical services and human and spiritual development, giving them a chance for a better life. It is able to provide full residential care to up to 70 children at a time, and in many cases aims eventually to reintegrate the children into their families after their stay.
In order to help the center in its valuable work, BCP Zambia donated 100 pairs of shoes and school bags, which were presented to the top students in each class at the community school. The presentation event was attended by 12 volunteers from BCP Zambia, also was graced by the Italian Ambassador to Zambia Filippo Scammacca and Father Kizito, the community priest, along with a number of other guests.
In addition to the donations, the day included a variety of entertainment to show the children’s excitement at the kind gesture from BCP Zambia and the Italian Ambassador.
His Excellency Filippo Scammacca, Italian Ambassador in Zambia, 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 this partnership to better these children’s lives will continue."
The manager of the school Giacomo D’Amelio also showed his appreciation, thanking the volunteers for their support and for coming to visit their children.
BCP Kenya’s Annual Blood Drive Goes from Strength to Strength
The event was conducted in conjunction with the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, and gave employees of the company the opportunity to help save the lives of children, mothers, cancer patients and accident casualties throughout the country by helping to meet the high demand for blood in the run up to the Christmas period.
A total of six BCP volunteers were on hand throughout the day to assist with the proceedings, and the day’s activities went smoothly thanks to the careful preparation and organizational work of the BCP team. Bata employees also arrived punctually as they were eager to be of service to those in need of blood.
First, donors had to fill out confidential questionnaires that were provided and see a doctor to ensure that they were eligible for donation. This measure was taken to ensure that donors do not develop complications during and after a donation. After clearance from the doctor, donors then gave blood with the help of a nurse.
A total of 50 people turned up for the exercise, including Alberto Errico, Bata’s President of Africa, who is a regular blood donor. He commented: “It is such a great joy and so fulfilling to be able to help someone whose life depends on an extra pint of blood.”
At the end of the day, 50 pints of blood had been collected, marking a great success for the event. After the donation, donors bonded over refreshments as they rested in order to regain their strength, and all were happy to have been part of such a noble cause.
George Muiruri, a phlebotomist from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, commended BCP Kenya for their actions, adding: “It has been our pleasure working with BCP Kenya. We thank the Bata family for their cooperation, which will help save lives, and this has now become an annual event.”
Outstanding Sarah Bata Schools Honor Students’ Achievements
About the Sarah Bata Junior School’s extraordinary pass rate, headmaster Nugget Manyima remarked, “This status has been earned due to unwavering support from the Zimbabwe Bata Shoe Company, the Bata Children’s Program, parents, the patron Mrs. Bata and other stakeholders.”
The ceremony, whose theme was “Developing survival skills through learner participation,” started with students’ presentations of poems, gymnastics and music, and a marimba band provided entertainment throughout the day.
Four students from each class – the top three academic achievers and one showing the most improvement – were presented with prizes of school shoes and socks. There was also a moment to recognize the youngsters of the Early Childhood Development Center, who will begin elementary school in January.
Students who made remarkable contributions through extracurricular activities were also acknowledged. The school was proud to have four athletes who managed to compete at the provincial level. The four winners of the Ballerina Insole Drawing Contest, which was held by the Bata Children’s Program and Bata the Brand, were each presented with four pairs of shoes and a cash prize to be used toward their education.
Ehsan Zaman, country manager of Bata Zimbabwe, and Perkins Gwenzi, schools inspector from the Ministry of Education, were the day’s guests of honor. Also in attendance were managers from Bata Zimbabwe, principals and teachers from area schools, parents, friends and alumni of the Sarah Bata Schools.
Manyima presented the new school curriculum taking effect in January and noted that teachers were well supported through training and development workshops over the course of the year. The unwavering support of various members of the community was recognized, and several new commitments were made as well.
Zaman delighted the audience by starting his speech with a greeting in the local Shona dialect. He recapped the major achievements of the year, including the opening of a new class at the Early Childhood Development Center, the purchase of a brand new school bus, the inauguration of the Form 2 classroom blocks, the ongoing construction of the Form 3 block thanks to BCP and the building of a gazebo due to Mrs. Bata. He then announced a new CEO bursary grant to be awarded in 2017.
Gwenzi commented, “I am very proud to be the guest of honor at one of the best schools in the region. So to honor the consistency of this school’s performance, I will sponsor the best performing Grade 6 students with full tuition for the 2017 academic year.”
The event concluded with a luncheon for the invited guests and a special treat for all the children.
Bata Zimbabwe Praised at Kaguvi Vocational Center Graduation Ceremony
In June this year, the Kaguvi Vocational Training Center received a donation of five industrial stitching machines from Mrs. Sarah Bata, and it has now begun to enjoy the fruits of its partnership with Bata Zimbabwe. Kaguvi has joined two other vocational centers, namely Danhiko and Mupfure, as an Associate Business Unit (ABU), and following the training of students and instructors, Kaguvi has started to deliver 500 pairs of sandals every two weeks to Bata Zimbabwe.
While giving an interview at the ceremony, Minister Zhuwao stated: “I am impressed by the tremendous efforts made following the partnership between Kaguvi and the Bata Shoe Company. The provision of industrial sewing machines by the aforementioned has greatly improved production at the center.”
Speaking to reporters, the principal of Kaguvi stated that the partnership with Bata was a welcome development, which has resulted in the college earning extra income. He also appreciated that the partnership did not only generate additional income, but that it gave the students practical training and also helped the staff through the donation of the necessary equipment.
After the ceremony, Musungapasi stated: “It was very encouraging to see the number of students graduating from Kaguvi Vocational center. What was even more encouraging was to hear the principal anticipate an increase in the leather department enrollment due to this partnership. I look forward to continuously improving the quality of products being produced at Kaguvi, and eventually making other developments.”
BCP Kenya Proudly Welcomes Ballerina Insole Competition Winner and Classmates
The students, aged between seven and eight years old, visited from Limuru Town primary school, a mixed public school located 600 meters from the Bata factory. A total of 10 BCP volunteers assisted with the children’s visit, helping to show them around and answer their questions.
The pupils toured the Limuru plant in two groups, with the first group visiting in the morning and the second group in the afternoon, accompanied by five of their teachers. They were guided around the various factories to see how shoes are made and to get a feel for what the manufacturing industry entails.
During the visit, the children expressed great pleasure and excitement at seeing the manufacturing processes, and were amazed at how involving the processes of making shoes was. The visit was an eye opener to many of them, demonstrating a variety of possible future careers. One of the children remarked: “When I grow up, I will come and be an engineer in this company. This way, I will help in the maintenance of all these machines I have seen.”
The tour ended with a vote of thanks from the pupils, who were in high spirits as they headed back to their school. Third prize-winner Stacey Muthoni Kamau commented: “I am happy that all my classmates are happy today, and have learned a lot because of my good work.”
The group was highly motivated to keep on doing their best at school, in order to have a chance to win any future competitions that might arise, and to be able to find rewarding careers.
Lavender Owako, one of the BCP volunteers, advised the pupils: “Being exposed to manufacturing processes at a young age plays a critical role in opening up your minds early enough for the career world. Therefore, as you go back to school, I encourage all of you to start thinking of what you want to do when you grow up and hence start working towards the same; as with hard-work and determination, all your dreams are valid. We wish you all the best.”