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.
Used Bata Safety Gumboots Giving Life to Children’s Playgrounds in New Zealand
As one of the few remaining footwear manufacturers in the country, Bata New Zealand believes that it is important to give back where possible, to take care of the environment and to take pride in everything that it does.
Since 2012, Bata New Zealand has been participating in a gumboot-recycling program together with NZ Safety. The program consists of sending old gumboots to Matta, a company that recycles the gumboots and that produces specialist non-slip, safety mats for use in a variety of situations such as playgrounds, swimming pools and workplaces.
Around three tons of old and used Bata gumboots are collected from factories all across New Zealand yearly. In this way, instead of finishing on a rubbish heap, the gumboots are given a second life as yoga mats, flooring for children’s activity playgrounds or for industrial, manufacturing and commercial purposes.
Nicole Voillat, Group sustainability director, commented: “Global solid waste generation will increase to more than 6 million tons per day by 2025, at a global cost of 375 billion US dollars, with the sharpest cost increases in developing countries. Recycling waste in creative ways is transforming a burdensome challenge and huge societal and environmental cost into a profitable opportunity.”
Bata New Zealand Helping Make Lives in Local Community Better
One long-standing activity where the company has been providing support, is helping the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA). The NZRDA is a charitable organization that gives anyone with a disability the opportunity to engage in therapeutic horse riding and horse-related activities in a safe and healthy way. The project is based in Upper Hutt in Wellington, and every year, Bata New Zealand provides gumboots for the use of volunteers and ground staff.
Another area in which Bata New Zealand has helped during 2016, is with the Owhiro Bay community garden, a local venture based in the same suburb as the Bata factory. The center offers work experience and youth programmes, and provides fruit and vegetables to the Wellington soup kitchen. Bata offers free gumboots to volunteers, helping them to work in greater comfort.
In a new activity for 2016, the company also donated 1,000 New Zealand dollars to the Police Managers Guild Trust, a community-based crime prevention scheme. The scheme provides education to citizens, helping them to avoid becoming victims of crime, and also offers financial assistance to those who have already been targeted.
Finally, the company also made its annual donation to the Wellington Special Children’s Christmas Party. Run by Sky TV and NZ Media and Entertainment, the party is held for disabled and intellectually handicapped children. Each year Bata New Zealand offers 500 New Zealand dollars in financial support to help cover the costs of the event, making it even more special for the young guests.
Francis Hammond, key account and special tasks manager for Bata New Zealand, commented: “With our factory and offices being located in the heart of a small community on the south coast of Wellington, we feel a deep connection to small communities around the country. As one of the few remaining footwear manufacturers in New Zealand, we also feel that it is extremely important to give back where we can, to take care of our environment and to take pride in everything that we do.”
Whole BCP Thailand Team Works to Repair School
The school, Baan Pak Klong Chuad Yai, is a 20-minute drive from Bata Thailand’s head office in Bangkok. One elderly janitor struggles to keep up the school, which is attended by 155 students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The school has very limited resources, and the children come from families without the means to provide for their basic needs.
The various repairs and upgrades the BCP team made to the school meant a concrete improvement for the students.
Volunteers were divided into four groups. One worked on gardening, one on painting the playground, and one on improvements to the library and first aid room. The final group rolled up their sleeves to cook lunch for all the children and volunteers. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students worked alongside the volunteers, speeding up the work and making it an enjoyable shared experience.
BCP Thailand also helped the school with a wide-ranging donation. Each youngster received a pair of school shoes and two pairs of socks, and the janitor and seven teachers each received a pair of Power athletic shoes. Other necessities, including 100 school bags, were included.
BCP has committed to follow up with the school with more future activities.
Volunteer Phanita Narongchai commented, “I have joined this activity every year. Seeing children with big smiles is my happiness, and this program also creates unity among us.”
60 BCP Volunteers Provide “Education in the Park”
The BCP committee was unanimous about continuing the program’s support of a school, Baan Klong Kra Shang Toey, which BCP renovated last year.
The activity, dubbed Education in the Park, was attended by 34 children in the lush greenery of Suk Jai Park, a peaceful oasis just outside the city of Bangkok. The park originated with the owner’s donation of the land to the local community.
The activity began with BCP volunteers teaching the children about various species of trees and plants. They then organized a drawing competition on the theme of “My Dream Garden.”
After the group shared lunch together, the four winners of the competition, one from each grade, were awarded coloring books and large sets of colored pencils. They were invited to explain their artistic creations in front of everyone. For their efforts, the rest of the children received small stationary sets.
“After spending time walking around nature together with the children, this peaceful place made me feel much happiness and mental calm,” BCP volunteer Nipathorn Poonkhen reflected afterward. “Moreover, the drawing talent of the children also surprised me with those amazing pictures they did in a short timespan. I hope we will continue good activities like this in the future.”
Bata Singapore Kick Starts Back to School with “My Schoolbag” Event
CapitaLand Mall Asia has been holding this event every year since 2009, when it provided aid for 200 underprivileged children whose families had been adversely affected by the economic downturn. And Bata Singapore has been its official key school shoes partner from the beginning.
This year the event was held on Nov. 3 at the Raffles City Convention Centre. A ballroom in the Swissotel was transformed into a pretend department store offering school products such as textbooks, stationery, school uniforms and, of course, Bata school shoes. Under the guidance of staff volunteers, schoolchildren "bought" school and daily necessities using vouchers.
The children were also entertained with activities and games in the atrium area.
Pierluigi Pontecorvo, country manager of Bata Singapore, commented, “We are very humbled to be the long-standing partner of choice of CapitaLand’s My School Bag event since 2009. This confirms our position as the ‘King of School Shoes’ in Singapore, and we are very excited to be able to do our part for underprivileged schoolchildren in Singapore.”
Bata Singapore also supported this cause with special deals for the beneficiaries, such as a special discount off second pairs and special prices for shoe care items and socks. The children who did not make it to the event to collect their goodie bags can still visit any Bata store through March to redeem their vouchers for school shoes.
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.