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 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.”
BCP Ecuador Volunteers Contribute to Earthquake Relief Effort
BCP Ecuador volunteers worked with the administration of the Inaquito shopping center in the city of Quito, who opened a chapel near the Bata store, to organize the gathering of donations to be delivered to the areas affected by the earthquake.
The area chosen to receive the donations was Bahia de Caraquez, one of the towns most heavily affected by the earthquake, where most of buildings and houses had to be demolished, and many of the remaining houses are in very bad shape.
BCP Ecuador donated 168 pairs of sandals to the region’s children as part of their efforts to help in the aftermath of the earthquake. In addition to this initiative, volunteer Xavier Munoz also collected non-perishable canned food, clothing, water and personal toiletries from the Bata Ecuador offices and from friends and family, which were then sent to the affected areas.
After the donations had been received, the priest from the chapel in Quito then traveled to deliver the donations to Bahia de Caraquez. Two volunteers from BCP Ecuador, Monica Guaman, administrative assistant, and Alejandro Orozco, imports manager, accompanied this delivery.
Orozco commented: “It was a great experience to work with underprivileged children. I hope to continue to support those affected in the city every year, and do much more in this difficult time they are going through.”
Guaman added: “It is wonderful to send aid to children who need it most, and to relieve their sadness a little, since they practically stayed on the street by losing everything they had and cherished the most.”
BCP Bolivia Offers Help to Youngsters with HIV on Children’s Day
A total of 10 volunteers visited these children to play games and share a snack with them, bringing smiles to the faces of both children and those from BCP Bolivia. The two homes, one for boys and one for girls, are run by the Ninos con Valor (Children with Value) foundation, a non-profit organization based in the city of Cochabamba. These homes, the only two of their kind in Cochamba, look after orphans and disadvantaged children who have HIV.
At the end of the games, BCP Bolivia volunteers presented each child with a pair of shoes and some school supplies. The children were visibly happy to receive the gifts, and were grateful to the volunteers for the time they had spent together.
Eduardo Bonilla, customer services coordinator and BCP Bolivia volunteer, commented: “Personally this activity was very rewarding since our company is not only dedicated to profit, but also to help children like those we visited this time. The initiative, enthusiasm, and attitude that each partner put into this work showed that more activities can be done to support children with problems, and benefit disadvantaged children.
He added: “The volunteers showed a lot of initiative, which made the children smile and feel good. I would like to thank the staff of BCP Bolivia and human resources for including me in this activity, and letting me be part of such an important project.”
BCP Colombia Volunteers Donate Uniforms to Christine Schmidt Bata Kindergarten
The kindergarten caters to 80 children from low-income families and difficult situations, and eight volunteers from BCP Colombia also gave their time to visit the children on the day of the donation.
Before the start of the activity, the volunteers spent time playing games with the children, enjoying their smiles and laughter. Following this, kindergarten director Diana Soto gave a brief introduction, thanking the volunteers for their support and continuing assistance with the nursery’s young children.
The donation ceremony began with the presentation of a thank you card made by the children to show their gratitude. Angela Parra, human resources coordinator of Bata Colombia and one of the volunteers, received the gift on behalf of BCP Colombia, creating a strong bond between them and the children of the kindergarten.
The visit is held every year as a fundamental part of the Bata Children’s Program’s aim to support these children as they grow. The donation of uniforms and Bata Children’s Program aprons is a gesture that seeks to make sure that the children are always appropriately dressed for school.
Adriana Ossa Garcia, one of the BCP Colombia volunteers, commented after the event: "It was a very nice experience to share with the little ones, who have both economic and personal needs. It is most gratifying to see on their faces a little smile of satisfaction."
BCP Chile Volunteers Reach Out to Children with Special Needs
For the first of these events, BCP Chile volunteers made a trip to the community of Camarones, a rural town located about 2,000 kilometers to the north of Santiago. Since an earthquake struck the region in September 2015, many material goods have been scarce, and so BCP volunteers brought a donation of school and sports shoes, along with a complete set of donated school supplies. These items, as well as others that were donated, will help support the children’s education.
Richard Alcota, one of the BCP volunteers that helped with the donation, commented: "It was very nice to see that the help of the Bata Children’s Program put smiles on the faces of children. They knew very well that Bata was a brand of shoes, and were happy to see us arrive with footwear and tools for school. I will never forget their smiles, so I will always be ready to work as a volunteer in the BCP!"
The second donation took place at the Escuela Santa Marcela Crecer school for children with special needs. The school, in the area of Padre Hurtado near Santiago, caters to approximately 92 children with a variety of difficulties including mild learning disabilities, physical disabilities and/or mental disabilities.
For this reason, most of the materials donated consisted of art supplies, in order to assist with the proper sensory stimulation of the children, in turn facilitating the learning process. Donations were collected from Bata employees, in a campaign developed by BCP Chile that encouraged workers to collect school supplies for the children.
Once the materials had been collected, a ceremony was held to present them, which was attended by BCP volunteers, who also helped organize and decorate the school for the occasion. The director of the school thanked the volunteers for the donation, and for their commitment to sustaining the educational center.
BCP Chile Shows Commitment to Children at Start of School Year
It was a meaningful contribution to the Koinomadelfia Foundation and all of its 87 children. Even the youngest children received sports shoes, while the 59 of school age were each presented with two pairs of shoes: Power shoes for their physical education classes, and Bubblegummers or Teener school shoes.
The BCP volunteers helped to sort and classify the footwear bags for each child, and brought and served them breakfast as a gesture of their affection.
The check presented to Koinomaldelfia was the equivalent of US$12,000, which came from the sales of the stuffed version of the Bubblegummers “Cat” character in stores across the country.
During the presentation of the donation, Vizcaya reaffirmed the organization’s firm and longstanding dedication to education, and Monica Hernandez, the director of the foundation, welcomed this annual tradition, which allows their children to attend school with a new pair of shoes.
Paula Moreno is the coordinator of BCP Chile and human resources manager at Bata Chile. "These concrete actions are valuable, as they help the children in a tangible manner and strengthen the ties between the kids and volunteers,” she commented afterward.