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 Italy: Children’s Visit Brings a Smile to Everyone’s Face
The “Casa Incontra” project was designed to give BCP volunteers the opportunity to provide assistance to single mothers and their children, as well as foster children and orphans.
Accompanied by several educators, six children visited Bata headquarters, where they were first given a presentation on Bata history by Matteo Crivellaro, BCP volunteer and human resources manager for Bata Italy. After the talk, they were given a tour of all Bata offices; from administration and human resources to the IT and graphic design offices.
Crivellaro commented: “Seeing the children at the company has been a wonderful thing. They have ‘invaded’ our offices with their smiles, and their spontaneity and energy have been contagious for all our colleagues that have had the opportunity to encounter them over the last few months.”
The most enjoyable moment of the tour for the little visitors was in the laboratory, where Bata specialists demonstrated the many phases involved in creating a shoe. The children’s enthusiastic response was rewarding for all volunteers involved.
Children and volunteers then had lunch together in the canteen, and at the end of the tour, the children were given souveniers to remember their day at the company.
Crivellaro added: “Thanks to the Bata Children’s Program, many colleagues from Bata Italy have had the opportunity to get involved in voluntary work. This experience has made us all better, more mature people. It has let us look at the world through the eyes of a child, which means remembering to be spontaneous, creative and energtic: all qualities we need in our organization.”
Second Bata Open Tennis Tournament a Resounding Success
For the first time, the Bata Open was organized in collaboration with the neighboring tennis club of Etoy, enabling the young participants to play more matches than the previous year.
The tournament saw 65 boys and girls, rising stars of their respective clubs, on the clay courts for two weekends. Players and parents alike were pleased with the new format, which permitted a greater number of matches to be played, including additional tournaments for those who were defeated.
The winner and finalists received wakeboard sessions or skateboards as prizes, and all players participating in the tournament received specially designed Bata Open flip-flops and caps.
Nicole Voillat, Director of the Bata Children’s Program Foundation, commented: “The spirit of the Bata Open junior tournament is to offer children the fun of competing with others, enjoying victory and accepting defeat as a way to work even harder.”
High Schoolers Try On the Shoe Business for Size
The 28 students attend Scalcerle, a prestigious local high school with a focus on foreign language study. Founded over 150 years ago, the school is also well-regarded for its attention to young people’s personal growth and development.
On Feb. 20, Bata also took on this goal for the students, specifically aiming to bridge the gap for them between school and career. The day started at 9 a.m. with a welcome from Matthew Cook, general manager of AW Lab, and Bill Parker, European HR director. They introduced the Bata and AW Lab brands.
To install curiosity and reflection on possible career paths, the young people were then given a behind-the-scenes look at all the stages of a Bata advertising campaign.
While some students were enthusiastic about that business area, others came alive when everyone went to the Shoe Lab. There, they had a chance to get an up-close look at the production cycle behind the creation of a shoe, finishing with a workshop where they assembled a slipper.
From there, the students dove into other parts of the company. They were introduced to how a store concept is developed and adaptated as well as visual techniques for displaying products in stores. They were also guided through an interactive roleplay centered around Bata’s “5 Steps” customer service model, and finished the department tour with an engaging management presentation from AW Lab on product and collection creation.
With a better understanding of the dynamics and processes of a company, the students wrapped up the day with Parker. He gave them inspiring messages to help them think about their futures: stand up for something, be courageous, be a problem solver, build meaningful relationships, dream big, make mistakes and learn from them, and have fun.
Afterward, Parker commented: “Events like these are a timely reminder about the important role we play in the wider community. Introducing young people to the world of work in order to help them to prepare better for the transition from school to work is something all companies should do. I think the exercise was a great success and something we will do again in the future.”
Cook was also very positive about the initiative. “It was very enjoyable to meet such a vibrant group of kids and show them a little bit of our world. I am sure that they found the experience very interesting. The people who came to visit us were a very good representation of our target customer, so every minute spent with them was very important and energizing for all of us in AW LAB. I hope we can organize more initiatives like this.”
The Italian newspaper “Il Gazzettino” published an article about the high schoolers’ visit. Marcello Pace, president of Bata Europe, was quoted, “We are a reality with a low average age, and speaking to the young generation is for us a way to look at the future with optimism and determination.”
A New Adventure in Italy: The Bata Children’s Program
Casa In-con-tra is a structure that welcomes single mothers and their children and helps foster children and orphans. The association is in place thanks to private donations and volunteers who assist, play and educate the kids living in the house, supporting their mothers as well. The home currently hosts three single-mother families and seven children, including a disabled girl.
To involve employees and let them know about the new project, BCP Italy recently concluded a donation drive for the children’s home that began in December. Those who are ready to volunteer their time inside the structure will meet with the managers of Casa In-con-tra to evaluate how they can best help.
The program’s start has been very promising, with participation exceeding expectations. More than 60 employees have already volunteered, and many more have donated clothing, shoes, toys, stationery, personal care items and imperishable foodstuff for the home.
Massimo Cardin of the IT department was the first employee to volunteer for BCP Italy. "I am very excited to participate in an active way in the development of BCP in Italy,” he said.
“I made contact with the In-con-tra managers to understand how we could be of help. Now I look forward to attending the first information course and starting to work with the children personally. The enthusiastic participation of my colleagues will definitely promote a supportive and collaborative team spirit!“
Marcello Pace, president of Bata Europe, took the opportunity to introduce and promote BCP Italy at two special events that were organized before Christmas, one for employees and the other for their children.
The first eagerly-anticipated event was a 1980s Christmas party for employees. Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Padova, with decorations and music perfectly in line with that decade, the party was appreciated by all who attended. It was an evening for employees to be together, share their common values and face the new year with conviction.
Two days later, the annual party for employees’ children took place at the headquarters of Bata Europe in Padova. The children attended with their parents, making it a festive family occasion. The cafeteria prepared food and a much-appreciated “chocolate party.” Volunteer children’s entertainers led the kids in dance, play and face painting. The party ended with a big surprise: the arrival of Santa Claus, loaded with presents for all the kids!
A Special Visitor for Children of Employees in the Netherlands
His visit came in the run-up to St. Nicholas Day this week. Every year, Sinterklaas comes by boat to the Netherlands to celebrate his birthday. Instead of receiving birthday presents, however, he gives gifts to all the children who have been good that year.
At 2 pm, 32 children gathered with their parents in the cafeteria of the head office in Best. A DJ played Sinterklaas songs so the kids could dance. They also had the opportunity to get their faces painted, and a large table was set up for arts and crafts. Refreshments were available for the children and their parents, with candy distributed on every table.
After an hour and a half, all the children gathered on benches in front of Sinterklaas’ chair to wait for his arrival. After they sang a welcome song, Sinterklaas finally made his appearance and shook hands with all. Some of the children stepped forward one by one, and Sinterklaas read something about each of them from his big red book.
After the children talked to Sinterklaas, they were allowed to start searching for presents, which were hidden in a “treasure room.” The child then opened their presents in the cafeteria, where they excitedly showed them off to their parents and Sinterklaas.
Everybody thanked Sinterklaas and sang to him again at his departure.
Executive assistant Astrid Hoppenbrouwers organized the event. “The Sinterklaas party for all the children of Bata employees has become a great and festive tradition. We were very happy to see all the smiling faces of the 32 children present,” she said.
Bata Children’s Program Starts in the Netherlands with Flying Colors
The superstore takes up the ground floor of the head office and factory. It sells a wide variety of shoes, including safety shoes but also shoes for all occasions and for the whole family.
So what was the first ever activity of BCP Netherlands? In late October, the store put together a fun gathering for the youngsters of the community, right in their children’s department.
More than 380 people turned out for the event. Children, who numbered over 100, spent all afternoon jumping on a bouncy castle and, when they were ready to rest, getting their faces painted in time for Halloween.
Nine new volunteers of BCP Netherlands helped to make the event a success.
Voillat was enthusiastic about the activity. “Hosting a neighborhood party for children is a great way to engage with the community, and this first experience of the Bata Children’s Program in Best was a success, as well as great fun.”
BCP Switzerland: First Bata Open for Junior Tennis Players
The event was a great success in terms of participation: 60 girls and boys of all levels took part, from beginners to intermediate to advanced. The full age range was also represented, with children as young as six to 15-year-old teenagers.
BCP Director Nicole Voillat said, "The Bata Open allowed the kids to compete in a way that makes them feel comfortable as they play against children of a similar level and helps them to experience success."
The event gathered quite an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers, with relatives, friends and tennis fans turning out to watch. Each player received a pair of Bata Open flip-flops and a T-shirt, and the winners in each category went home with magnificent trophy cups.
BCP Switzerland: 1,200 Children Learning in Nature
During the three-hour walks, the children learned about the different trees and biodiversity surrounding them in a fun and playful way. They were led in games involving all the five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing.
The primary school teachers were delighted to be able to offer the children a school trip free of cost that was not only fun but also helped raise the children’s environmental awareness in an open-air classroom.
“Many of these urban kids don’t get to see anything like this and learn about nature except when they come here,” said BCP Director Nicole Voillat. “This gives them a different experience and one they will remember.”
At the end of the walk every child received an environmentally-themed BCP T-shirt to bring home together with lasting memories of a fun and interesting day.