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 Bolivia: Graduating Children’s Homes with Best Foot Forward
BCP’s partner on this project is the TIA Foundation, which works with all the children’s homes in the city of Cochabamba. The foundation’s goal is to support and motivate the young people living in these homes to develop their individual life projects. It aims to provide them with opportunities to acquire tools and knowledge that they can have productive adult lives, since, at the time they must leave the homes at 18 years old, most of them not ready to face this reality and end up on the street or involved in crime.
BCP Bolivia and TIA developed a four-prong approach to their partnership.
Members of the BCP team have volunteered to hold educational workshops for these vulnerable young people on finances, life and work skills, income generation and project sustainability. This part of the project got underway on a recent Saturday with a workshop attended by 60 children from different homes in Cochabamba. Two BCP volunteers addressed the topic "Planning your Life," presenting tools so the children could articulate a positive future life for themselves.
Secondly, BCP volunteers participating in this initiative will each be assigned a child to mentor as he or she goes through the process of leaving the home.
The project also includes BCP members teaching these teenagers how to create micro-enterprises. The results will be evaluated at a fair where the young people can sell their products, with the proceeds to go to the children’s homes.
Finally, BCP is sponsoring a scholarship for a teenager enrolled in the program who is at university preparing for a career. This person is expected in the future to help motivate and train younger teens in the program.
The coordinator of the TIA Foundation, Isela Velasquez, commented, "This program will help us a lot so that the children have practical tools so they can start their own enterprises as a way to be inserted efficiently in society. The volunteers of the Bata Children’s Program, with their experience, will share their knowledge so we can achieve that goal."
Store Managers Join BCP Ecuador as Volunteers
The group met over coffee at the Bata Ecuador offices in Quito.
Seasoned volunteers explained the mission of BCP, who the target beneficiaries are, how it has been implemented so far in Ecuador and in several other countries, and the current challenges and goals. For example, BCP Ecuador focuses on carrying out activities near the capital city and aims to benefit at least 30 children with each project.
Team members also recounted their involvement in past activities, and it was an emotional moment as they relived deeply moving experiences.
The new volunteers were encouraged by what the team shared, and at the end of the meeting they confirmed their desire to participate and support BCP. They received BCP T-shirts and pins to wear during activities.
The team’s numbers thus swelled to 19, with plans to keep increasing membership.
Elizabeth Calero, store manager of Bata Condado, commented, “I’ve followed BCP activities on Facebook, and now I’m very excited to contribute to its projects.”
Adriana Merchán, store manager of Bata El Bosque, was also very positive. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. I’ll participate in everything I can, and I hope soon I will be the one sharing my experiences with new volunteers!”
The team immediately scheduled the next meeting to discuss proposals from the new members.
Special Needs Children Celebrate with BCP Volunteers in Bolivia
In the first event, volunteers delivered 12 pairs of shoes to the Arnoldo Schwimmer school in the city of Quillacollo, where a special team teaches children with Down’s syndrome. The donation was made in order to help support their efforts, and to bring happiness to the children on National Children’s Day.
For the second activity, six BCP volunteers visited the “Niños con Valor” (Children with Value) foundation, a charity based in the city of Cochabamba, which houses and cares for underprivileged children, particularly those living with HIV.
In total, 37 children took part on the day, which saw a fun-filled program for everyone to enjoy. The volunteers had planned a variety of different games for the children, and the joy visible on their faces as they played together showed the level of commitment by the BCP Bolivia team in making such a memorable children’s day for all those present.
Micaela Escalier, one of the BCP Bolivia volunteers present on the day, commented: “Being able to perform an activity to be able to see the smile of these children is the best reward we can have.”
Paola Navarro, director of the “Niños con Valor" foundation, added: “We are very grateful to the volunteers of BCP Bolivia for dedicating time and so much affection to all the children, sharing with them in the games and activities they prepared.”
At the end of the day, the BCP volunteers distributed over 40 pairs of shoes to all the boys and girls, and seeing how happy the children were in receiving the gifts, running and playing in their new footwear, was a great reward for all those involved.
BCP Colombia Volunteers Support Fire Victims
On March 22, seven BCP volunteers accompanied the Civil Defense, a government-supported organization that helps populations in disadvantaged areas to respond to natural disasters, to the El Hueco sector of the La Frontera neighborhood. The typical household in this vulnerable area is made up of a single mother with several children. They depend for their livelihood on informal jobs.
When the BCP team arrived, the faces of the women and children still showed bewilderment but, notwithstanding the tragedy and the rainy afternoon, the children’s curiosity overcame their shyness and they welcomed the volunteers affectionately.
BCP – represented on this occasion by Patricia Arenas, Valeria Castaño, Andrea Gallego, Beatriz Giraldo, Angela Parra, Laura Silva and Paula Zuluaga – was proud to show solidarity with these children.
One by one, the volunteers gave the children of the affected families shoes, pants, shirts, dresses and toys. The children, ranged in age from 6 months to 14 years old, thanked the team and flashed huge smiles.
Zuluaga recounted that one young girl said she didn’t want clothes or games, but just a hug. "The experience was unforgettable, but there was a moment that definitely left a mark on me, and it was the strong hug of a girl who preferred that to any object that we could give. It was really emotional and gratifying."
BCP Colombia: Preschool Children Thank Christine Schmidt for Continued Support
The preschool, which is located in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Manizales, offers an education to children from low-income families. BCP Colombia volunteers have fostered a good relationship with the school.
On March 17, the children’s bright faces lit up the company auditorium. Besides Schmidt and some BCP volunteers, Claudio Alessi, country manager of Bata Colombia, and Justo Fuentes, president for Latam, made sure to be present.
The children presented Schmidt with photos of themselves to remember them by, and nine of them performed a dance. The school also gave Schmidt a plaque of appreciation for her continued support.
Schmidt thanked the children one by one and gave them uniforms and shoes for the school year. She repeated her pledge to support Colombian children.
The preschool children were incredibly grateful for the gift of clothes.
It was a fitting start to BCP’s calendar of activities in Colombia this year, as it highlighted the program’s commitment to support vulnerable children through donations and other contributions to better their quality of life.
Sandra Catalina Pino, BCP volunteer and systems engineer at Bata Colombia, said, "It is very important to support the education of children in different ways, especially if they come from less privileged parts of the city. The Bata Children’s Program is an important platform for assisting children by providing them with a variety of means to obtain a comprehensive education and strengthening in them important values and qualities such as gratitude, which was reflected in the presentation they prepared for Christine Schmidt’s visit."
Koinomadelfia Gears Up for the School Year with BCP Chile
On Feb. 24, the BCP team presented 166 pairs of shoes to Koinomadelfia. They included school and sports shoes branded Bubblegummers, Power and Teener.
But the volunteers’ work began a few days earlier, when they made time to sort through and classify the shoes so that each child would receive the right pair.
Mónica Hernández, the director of Koinomadelfia, expressed her appreciation for BCP’s consistent donation of school shoes over the past six years. The program has guaranteed high-quality footwear for these underprivileged children and made a tangible contribution to their educations. She recalled that before the relationship with BCP, the home was not always able to collect enough shoes for all the children.
Constanza Cares, Bubblegummers buyer at Bata Chile, was enthusiastic about her experience volunteering with BCP. “I love to participate in these activities, especially the donation of school shoes, because when you look at the children’s faces you see how a detail for you can make a happy day for them.”
As the children received their new shoes, their excitement about starting the school year was clear. Afterward they sang, danced, and enjoyed a full breakfast alongside the BCP team.
BCP Chile Volunteers Caring for Koinomadelfia Orphans
Volunteer Month is an initiative that is undertaken by all BCP Latam countries, and serves to recognize those who willingly devote their time to helping others through the program. In Chile, this activity took place last November, and also served as encouragement to others to become part of the BCP, after witnessing how much these activities mean to the children involved.
The children began their day with a tour of the Weinbrenner and branding offices, accompanied by the Bubblegummers character “Cat,” who was in charge of the day’s entertainment. They were greeted by staff who presented them with colorful necklaces and novelty glasses. After this, contests and dances were organized to further capture the children’s imagination.
Following these games, the children continued their tour with a trip to Bata Chile’s retail offices, where a special treasure hunt game had been organized for them. This consisted of looking for delicious treasures hidden in the offices using clues given to them by volunteers, and this event was then followed by a series of riddles, after which the children were given balloons and fruit.
To conclude the tour, more volunteers welcomed the children with beautiful gifts, and they were then taken to visit the finance department where they ate popcorn and sang carols.
The day ended with a wonderful artistic presentation by the children, which was followed by a snack offered by the volunteers of BCP Chile. Representatives from the Bubblegummers team also attended wearing funny, colorful makeup, much to the delight of the children.
Alejandro Bastias, logistics project engineer, and who took part in the day’s events, commented: "We were all children once, and for this reason living this moment with them in our work reminds us of when we enjoyed games and learning new things. I hope that the children remember this activity with joy for these holidays."
BCP Latam Organizes Volunteer Days to Recognize Their Role in Communities
BCP volunteers from Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia carried out a variety of activities over the two-month period, including the production of recognition videos, and the organization of dances, breakfasts, lunches and visits to foundations to show the work done by volunteers over the year and the amazing results they have achieved.
These activities were carried out to show how much the program values the contribution of all its volunteers, and the time they have selflessly given in order to help children and the environment around them.
The activities also aimed to help to increase the number of employees and families who want to become part of the BCP program by demonstrating the difference that the program’s projects make to children’s lives.
In addition, on the occasion of the Volunteer Days, small tokens of appreciation were given to all of the program’s active volunteers, to recognize their efforts and dedication in giving their time to help others. These gifts included buttons, caps and personalized mugs, all of which bear the logo of the BCP program.
Katherine Reyes, junior lawyer and BCP Colombia volunteer, explaining her reasons for being involved in the program, commented: "My experience as a volunteer is to learn to smile, even if I have no reason, and help others without receiving applause."
Roberto Tamayo, sub labor relations manager and BCP Bolivia volunteer, added his own thoughts on the matter, stating: "Being a volunteer means being able to give back all the blessings one has received from God, working to see the smile of a child, and knowing that with a little effort, time and love you’ve changed a life: I think it’s priceless."