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.
Serving the Community: An Interview with Wilsen Isuwaran
How did you get involved with the Bata Children’s Program? Do you have previous experience with similar programs?
My colleague from the HR department, Mr. Romeyo Ongkosing, was already coordinating BCP, hence I was asked to advise since I have been involved with similar programs during my collaboration with other organizations, and I gladly accepted the role.
I have had the experience of working with local NGOs such as United Voice and Malaysian Care in helping children with disabilities during my tenure with previous employers. I have also had the experience of working with refugee children from Myanmar in collaboration with UNHCR Malaysia.
Why does BCP appeal to you?
I have two lovely kids, and to be given the opportunity to advise on a matter that can have a positive impact on disadvantaged children’s early days, which is very important in their emotional development, is something that is very close to my heart. Apart from merely advising on BCP, what is more rewarding to me is to have the opportunity to get involved in the BCP programs and to have the opportunity to be amongst the innocent children and see the progressively strengthening development of each individual child is extremely rewarding for me. I’m not exaggerating; I learn forgiveness from them. Children just have this innocent vibe about them. Their imagination and wonder at this world is amazing, and their simple state of mind is sometimes all you need to solve simple problems of the world.
Have you participated in a regional BCP meeting?
Yes, I attended a recent regional BCP meeting that was held in Malaysia on Sept. 1 and 2. Based on the sharing by my wonderful friends from Bata India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, I have learned that BCP should be a well-planned long-term initiative rather than a “touch-and-go” initiative. Some of the initiatives that were shared, such as adopting rural schools, or establishing a computer lab with reusable hardware from Bata, are some very noble initiatives, in my opinion. I have also learned that we should strive to work on long-term BCP initiatives, to facilitate the planned engagement with disadvantaged children involved in BCP. Such long-term planning will definitely promote positive participation of Bata employees to be involved in BCP activities.
Which BCP initiatives are most important to you personally?
BCP initiatives related to needy children under 10 years of age are very close to my heart, as I firmly believe that via planned long-term BCP activities we are able to play a more involved part in children’s development during their most formative years so that we can contribute a small part in helping them reach their potential.
What criteria or process do you use to choose projects?
We take special care to give priority to our employees first. If there is a genuine need coming from within our company, we will take up the initiative, as we firmly believe that choosing a cause that employees care about will yield better campaign participation.
We only work with registered charitable organizations, and preferably their mission statements resemble or complement the BCP and Bata values. We also plan to work on new partnerships focusing on small projects, at the same time paying special attention to our new partners’ accountability, transparency and trustworthiness. We will then be comfortable to precede with long-term commitments.
What are the best ways to encourage Bata Malaysia employees’ interest in BCP?
About 20 volunteers have been participating in BCP events. There is room for improvement in further developing positive long-term BCP initiatives to encourage more volunteer participation.The best way is to get employees involved with the process of choosing the BCP projects. Usually choosing a cause which resonates with the employees will encourage better employee participation.
Serving the Community: An Interview with Moch Isa
How did you get involved with the Bata Children’s Program?
Actually I was involved when BCP first started in Indonesia in 2011. At that time we held a BCP Global Forum located in Purwakarta, which was attended by all Bata HR managers from 27 countries. At this event we did many activities, and one of the most exciting was painting a volleyball court together with the local people, and also painting the classroom of an elementary school for special needs kids.
How long have you been a BCP volunteer?
I’ve been involved with BCP for about four years.
What do you most enjoy about being a BCP volunteer?
I enjoy being part of such a positive environment, and to be able to make a positive impact on those children in need. I also enjoy the employee engagement created during the process, as we gather in different departments, getting to know each other better by working together and building better communication across departments.
How do you choose which projects to work on?
I enjoy process assessment and planning in this program so that the targets can be achieved well, especially those that directly affect children. Another thing that makes me want to stay involved in the program is the positive influence we have on children, and the direct involvement both before and after the event. I also prefer giving my attention to the education of children in the long term, especially to support the operations inside orphanage foundations to help them keep going and growing.
Do you have a favorite BCP project or event that you have been involved in?
Yes, that was my first BCP activity in Bata Indonesia in 2011 that I mentioned previously.
What would you say to encourage others to get involved with BCP?
We need to involve ourselves in activities and social empowerment. In addition to having a positive effect on us personally, it also has a positive impact for children in the community, who will become our future leaders in this world.
How many volunteers does BCP Indonesia have?
We have a BCP committee of 15 people: nine from the head office in Jakarta and six from the Purwakarta factory. However, when it comes to BCP events or activities, the number of volunteers can be up to 40, depending on the activity.
How would you like to see BCP develop in the future?
It would be great if we could have our own children’s community, such as supporting an orphanage foundation in a continuous way and giving children scholarships for higher education or skill development. This would mean making a difference in more places and reaching more children, increasing the impact on their lives in all aspects, such as health, education and wellness.
Serving the Community: An Interview with Pham Tuyen
What do you do at Bata Vietnam in addition to coordinating BCP?
I’m an HR and administrative executive.
How did you get involved with the Bata Children’s Program?
It was quite a special day when I learned about BCP. It was the day I came to participate in the second-round interview with Ms. Catherine [Choo, country manager of Bata Vietnam]. After our exchange about work she shared with me about BCP. I saw the energy and enthusiasm in how she talked about BCP, and I was really thrilled about this. And I thought right then I wanted to get involved with the Bata Children’s Program.
What do you enjoy about being a BCP coordinator?
For me coordinating BCP is a wonderful experience; I enjoy everything. I get to meet and discuss with people full of enthusiasm. And I would like to thank Ms. Catherine, the Bata Group and BCP members who have given me this opportunity.
Have you participated in a regional BCP meeting?
Yes. I had the great honor of participating in the BCP regional meeting for Asia in 2016, and this trip was a great experience for me. I learned a lot of great things from the participants; sharing especially helped me better understand the meaning of charity. I understood that charity is not mere giving and taking. What is important is that we convey sharing and caring from us to receivers and not let them feel pitied.
In what ways have you seen BCP in Vietnam develop?
When the 2015 BCP journey was over, I saw that the dedication and enthusiasm of the participants had grown, as they were already waiting expectantly for the next project. Only at this point, I clearly saw the development of BCP in Vietnam.
According to a children’s workshop held by the Ministry of Education and Training, more than 1 million children in Vietnam have not been to school, including 262,648 children in the 6 to 10 age group and 688,849 in the 11 to 14 age group. Knowing these detailed figures, BCP Vietnam hopes to contribute to the reduction of these numbers through upcoming projects with a team of 20 active volunteers from Bata Vietnam and the TBAP franchise.
Is there a BCP initiative that is most dear to you?
For me the most important one is collecting books and clothes. A lot of children in disadvantaged areas do not have enough books for school or clothes for the new school year.
Can you tell us about your experience with it?
We have a small group of volunteers and donations — old clothes and books – were made through Facebook. It was done quite successfully and received a lot of support from the online community. Before each program we did a survey and assessed the situation, then took the information and made an image to be sent to the volunteers and community network.
What is a long-term goal you have for BCP Vietnam?
In Vietnam there are a lot of schools in need. Students here do not have enough books to study, and beyond what is learned in textbooks, they do not have exposure to anything like computers, reference books, newspapers, or social and cultural information. So BCP Vietnam looks forward to in the future being able to build small libraries and having computers for students at schools with difficulty giving them the opportunity to learn more.
What upcoming BCP initiative are you looking forward to?
We are planning to organize a program called “Christmas for street children." BCP Vietnam wants to bring a fun and meaningful Christmas to street children because perhaps picturing Santa with a gift really is a luxury for them.
What is the most common comment you hear from the Bata employee volunteers after an activity?
The most common comment I heard: “I am still luckier than many people” because while volunteering they saw the very difficult life for some kids and households, and a lot of people felt fortunate.
BCP Prepares Roadmap for Asia in Kuala Lumpur
The two-day workshop, which was facilitated by Group Sustainability and BCP Director Nicole Voillat, saw 12 BCP coordinators from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore gather in the Malaysian capital.
Participants exchanged case studies and best practices since the inception of the program, and discussed topics of interest in order to find inspiring solutions. A wealth of experience was exchanged that witnessed the involvement of volunteers in the various different countries, showing that BCP is embedded in the company’s culture and the communities in which it operates.
The main themes of discussion concerned increasing the number of volunteers in the program, the involvement of management in BCP, viewing budget restrictions as exciting opportunities, mentoring activities and the selection criteria for different projects. After careful discussion and consideration, participants designed the 2020 roadmap to focus on four bold steps:
• Foster motivation and engagement by involving more employees in becoming BCP volunteers
• Increase awareness about BCP within the company
• Inform customers about BCP
• Exchange information and get inspiration from yearly, regional BCP workshops
Those in attendance praised the workshop, highlighting the fact that it provided inspiration and motivation for all participants, as well as offering the opportunity to learn about the activities of volunteers in other countries in the region, providing ideas for future initiatives.
Voillat commented: “This meeting was designed to provide the participants with a platform to integrate the best hindsight and inspired foresight toward an aligned BCP roadmap. As Bata Children’s Program ambassadors and managers, they will be able to increase the program’s outreach, visibility and volunteer involvement.”
BCP Thailand Takes Children on Visit to Bangkok Planetarium
BCP Thailand already had a link to Tawanmai House as it helped to renovate their school last year. It was chosen for the recent project as the BCP team were keen to follow up with the children and provide additional support.
Tawanmai House is located in Samutprakarn Province and operated by the Department of Non-Formal Education of the Ministry of Education. It is a recover and therapy center for children who are addicted to drugs or have difficult family situations, or those who are at risk of becoming involved with drugs. The center provides its children with education, and also offers them vocational training to help them find work.
The trip to the Bangkok Planetarium, the oldest planetarium in Thailand, began with a visit to its Underwater World, and the group then visited Science World, the Planetarium Dome and finally the World of Creatures. All of the children enjoyed themselves thanks to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, and they also learned a great deal about the world from the exhibition.
Auangfah Saengsuriyothai, BCP Thailand volunteer, commented: “I wish for this project to continue as we can bring happiness to all disadvantaged kids. I also learned a lot from this place. Lastly, I’m so happy to see real smiles from all the kids today. I will continue to give my support to BCP in the future."
BCP Singapore Assists Students with Vocational Training Program
As part of the students’ school project, they were required to identify and evaluate service levels at the store for any negative and positive instances in their shopping experience. Four volunteers, along with several retail personnel and two teachers from the APSN Delta Senior School, helped the students in completing a mystery shopping evaluation sheet. Thanks to their assistance, each student was able to complete the task.
The children also noted other findings such as store cleanliness, ambience, staff appearance and attitude and checkout to complete the evaluation sheet, and there then followed two different roleplays, demonstrating both good and bad customer service.
Pierluigi Pontecorvo, company manager of Bata Singapore, thanked the students personally for visiting and sharing their recommendations. He and the volunteers from BCP Singapore ensured all their questions were answered, and then wished them all the best in their studies.
Pontecorvo commented: "We are thankful to be given the opportunity to be part of the students’ vocational training assignment. We hope this experience has given them a good feel for the retail environment, and will benefit their future involvement in the community. Our door is always open whenever they need: it’s always our pleasure."
The whole program was filled with the students’ smiles, excitement and a sense of accomplishment, which is believed to have a positive effect on attention span, on-task behavior and correct responding skills, assisting the children in their personal and professional development.
Jaz Hang, BCP Singapore coordinator, added: "I always like the amazing interaction with children, it is just so natural and precious. It brings lots of joy and surprises, and I hope this experience can give them a good sense of belonging and accomplishment.”
BCP Singapore Makes Learning Fun for Preschool Children
The event was attended by a group of 11 preschool students aged between 3 and 4 years old, along with two teachers and 10 parents. It began with an educational talk about shoes covering topics such as the different styles of shoes; different types of materials, including leather, polyurethane and fabric; the origin of these materials and the process of shoe construction. The children were then given the opportunity to see and feel the different materials, as well as lasts, leather boards, uppers and outsoles.
The talk was followed by a fun shoe-coloring contest. The children enjoyed the activity very much, and their enthusiasm throughout the activity was really impressive. Prizes were awarded to the top two winners, and each was given a Bata voucher worth 30 Singapore dollars.
After this, the children were given the opportunity to browse the store, trying on a variety of footwear. As a token of appreciation, goodie bags were then distributed to the children and teachers, who were most appreciative of the enjoyable and informative program. Teachers even commented that the children continued to be proud of their coloring work even after they returned to school, demonstrating the lasting impression made by the day.
Jaz Hang, BCP Singapore coordinator, commented: "We are as enthusiastic as the children for these events, as it motivate our volunteers to do better each time."
BCP Thailand Volunteers Celebrate Birthdays with Disadvantaged Children
A total of 29 volunteers from BCP Thailand, born between January and June, visited the home for a lunch with its children. The home, which cares for over 400 children, was established 34 years ago by the Department of Social Development and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, with the aim of providing education and vocational training to disabled children between 7 and 18 years of age.
On the day of the event, volunteers were welcomed by a musical group consisting of musicians with disabilities. All those present were moved by the talent of the musicians, and greatly appreciated the songs they performed. There then followed a plentiful lunch, which was enjoyed by all, and children and teachers were grateful to the BCP volunteers for their presence and the time they spent together.
Chatkorn Ngamsomklin, one of the BCP volunteers present at the celebratory lunch, explained: “My birthday is not special only for me anymore, it also brings happiness to make all the children have a special day.”
As well as sharing a delicious lunch with the children, BCP volunteers also brought donations of necessary equipment to the home, such as clothes, socks, shoes, bags and stationary, in order to help the children and staff in their endeavors.
During the visit, volunteers heard about some of the success stories from the home, including a girl who had passed the entrance examination to study at Thammasart University, one of the top five universities in the country. Eugenio Olabe, company manager of Bata Thailand, commented after hearing the news: “We should cooperate with this place to offer scholarships or any other support that we can.”