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 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."
Serving the Community: An Interview with Lara Pilar
How did you get involved with the Bata Children’s Program?
Thanks to the invitation to the regional meeting of BCP in Peru in June 2015.
What do you enjoy about being a BCP coordinator?
The most wonderful thing about being a coordinator of BCP is to count on the support and help of my fellow volunteers. Thanks to this, we can enjoy amazing times with the children, we get out of the work routine, and are also part of incredible experiences that are indescribable when we see the little happy faces of those little angels.
What was memorable about the first Latam BCP meeting in Peru in 2015?
At this meeting BCP Ecuador was launched. I had the opportunity to get to know from my BCP colleagues of Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia and Chile how they developed and are running their programs. It was also interesting to hear about the other BCP programs thriving around the world and their challenges and achievements.
How did you implement BCP in its first year in Ecuador?
The group of volunteers is formed by all the company employees at the administrative office, making it 11 people.
Our first project was to share a day with the kids of a foundation. These kids have a condition called brittle bone disease – they have very fragile bones. We supported them by buying their costly medicine to ensure a better quality of life.
The second was to be part of saving our environment by motivating our families, friends, kids and people around us to plant trees and take care of nature to enjoy healthier and cleaner air.
Our third project was to support our community, parents and alumni of a public school in a rural part of our city. We shared a day painting their school because it was in very bad shape. This was a great experience because we were aware that in this kind of school, kids and their parents are incentivized to use the “three Rs” – recycle, reuse, reduce – a program that is promoted by the state.
We hope to finish this year with a new donation of medicine for the kids with brittle bone disease, giving continuity to our first support of these kids.
This has been a year full of satisfaction, and we hope that in 2017 we will be able to include the employees at the stores around the country in our program and make our BCP bigger.
Can you tell us about a moving experience you had with BCP?
Because it is our first year, all the projects have been very important and unique, but the day that we shared with the kids with brittle bone disease I think was very special.
It was an unforgettable experience; just to see those little fragile kids so happy made me understand that outside of the office there is an unknown world that we are part of now because of BCP. We gave a day of our lives to receive great satisfaction. The clown we hired for six hours took a token amount, and we were given a 50 percent discount on food. I am so grateful and happy to know that there are some people and businesses that supported us in this project, and we are sure that we can count on them in the future.
What is a long-term goal you have for BCP Ecuador?
BCP Ecuador plans to provide continuous support to the most vulnerable children, in order to offer them a better future. We choose parts of our city that are more in need and can really use a lot of support. These places don’t even get much help from the government or foundations.
What are the most common comments you hear from the Bata employee volunteers after an activity?
“It is an incredible satisfaction and unique experience that I’ve never experienced before.”
“It fills me with happiness to see those little kids’ faces full of joy.”
“What we get is much more than what we give.”
“It lets me forget about the daily office work stress.”
“I hope to keep helping in all the upcoming projects.”
“Seeing this reality, I appreciate and cherish much more the lives that people like me have.”
BCP Chile Goes All Out for Children’s Day at Koinomadelfia
BCP Chile has a longstanding relationship with the Koinomadelfia Children’s Home, which is located in Penaflor, outside the capital. It provides for socially vulnerable children from birth to 18 years old who courts have found cannot stay at home.
In Chile, Children’s Day takes place on the first weekend of August, in commemoration of the U.N.’s 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Thus, on Aug. 5, 13 BCP volunteers filled the home with fun and laughter.
The team started the entertainment with a clown show that included music, dancing and contests for the children. The young audience participated with smiles and enthusiasm.
But that was just the beginning. The whole group then had a real party, with the children and volunteers singing and dancing to the same rhythm and steps.
Later, the volunteers gave gifts to each of the home’s children and shared snacks as a group, a fitting ending to a day of common celebration.
“It was an enriching experience that has no explanation,” commented BCP volunteer Rodrigo Retamales, head of internal auditing at Bata Chile. “Seeing their faces full of happiness is priceless. I hope this activity will continue for many years, because these children need things like this for their development.”
Bata Children’s Program Makes Food Donation in Bermuda
Volunteers read an article in the newspaper about local charity the Eliza Dolittle Society, which highlighted the plight of families in Bermuda who are in a difficult financial situation, or who are simply struggling to make ends meet each month. In a wealthy country like Bermuda, it is perhaps surprising to learn that people struggle to feed their families, but reports of children turning up at school without having had breakfast are becoming more commonplace.
After reading the article, volunteers from the Bermuda team were determined to act, and put an empty box on the floor of their office’s shared kitchen, along with a copy of the newspaper article, hoping the box would be filled with food donations. The response was extremely positive, and everyone contributed generously to the initiative, including workers from other companies that used the shared facilities. Soon, the kitchen area of the office was full of boxes of food for the scheme thanks to the actions of the volunteers involved.
The Eliza Dolittle society offers a daily prepared breakfast program, providing boxes of groceries to families and seniors in need throughout the community. Its mission is to eliminate hunger and reduce food wastage, and its vision is that no one need go hungry in Bermuda.
Louise Treacy, Compass general manager and BCP coordinator, commented: “The team is very proud of this accomplishment, and hopes that the food donated by all people of the second floor will feed many families and help alleviate their stress as they get their children ready to go back to school.”