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.
Strong Turnout for BCP Sri Lanka’s Timely Blood Drive
The volunteers were glad to expand their horizons and stand in solidarity with children at risk as dengue fever sweeps the country. “Health” is one of the four pillars of the Bata Children’s Program worldwide.
The blood drive took place early one morning at the offices of Bata Sri Lanka in Colombo. The Blood Bank of Sri Lanka was there to help volunteers donate blood to the young patients of Lady Ridgeway Hospital.
Chamila De Silva, human resources manager of Bata Sri Lanka, expressed her gratitude to everyone who donated and the BCP team who organized the event. “Contributing to the blood reserves is a meritorious deed, as it is an immediate life-saving resource, especially during the present epidemic of viral dengue fever which is being widely spread across the country,” she said.
With such a high participation rate, the drive was a great success for BCP Sri Lanka and the children whose lives it can help save. The BCP team will continue to look out for the needs of the most vulnerable children and foster a brighter future for them.
BCP India Rebuilds School Damaged by Flooding in Kashmir Region
BCP India was able to renovate the Government Upper Primary School in the Pulwama Kashmir district thanks to a donation of 20,000 US dollars from the Bata Children’s Program Foundation. The rebuilding work, which took place in partnership with India’s Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society, involved creating two new classrooms and a reverse osmosis water filtration system to provide clean water for cooking and drinking, as students and teachers previously had to bring water from their homes.
Around 100 children benefited from the construction of the classrooms and drinking water facility. Structural engineers made the designs and held design workshops with the students and school authorities to receive their input. The Kashmir Valley has a rich tradition of highly skilled art work as well as styles, and the rebuilding took place using exposed brickwork and an artful combination of timber to represent local design. Construction was carried out with the help of local contractors, and in spite of many challenges the work was accomplished efficiently.
The Programme was christened “Naved-e-Seher,” meaning “a new dawn for a hope-filled future,” with the larger objective of contributing to strengthening the resilience of the local population to future shocks and stresses.
Mahima Chandra, BCP India coordinator, commented: "At Bata, we believe in giving back to society and assisting our nation. By contributing to help the people of Jammu and Kashmir, we aimed to fulfil this objective. The scale of the tragedy in the valley was unprecedented, and the children are especially affected in such a scenario. It feels great to connect them back to their education through rebuilding their school. School provides them a space to learn, and helps them reduce the mental trauma they went through during the disaster."
BCP Bangladesh celebrates Eid al-Fitr with children of Mojar School
Around 20 volunteers from BCP Bangladesh visited the school to distribute new clothes and Iftar packets, the evening meals eaten after fasting during Ramadan, to the 40 children of the school. Also in attendance were Chitpan Kanhasiri, company manager of Bata Bangladesh, and finance director Sohail Aslam.
The Mojar School, which means “school of fun,” was established in January 2013, by a group of young people whose intention was to teach street children about the values of life. Its goals are to create a friendly relationship with the children, to build their self-confidence, to keep them away from addiction, to help them get along with their families and to provide shelter to the orphans. After adopting the school as one of its beneficiaries, BCP Bangladesh will now provide them with infrastructural as well as educational support.
Speaking on the occasion Kanhasiri expressed his utmost pleasure in being able to provide sustainable and continuous support to the children. He commented: “I am very glad to be part of this celebration which brings smiles to the faces of the less fortunate ones in society. We’ve adopted the school, and pledge to make it a sustainable initiative which will build the next generation in years to come. I’m sure that more and more children will join this school in the future.”
BCP India Helps Children Look After Teeth with Dental Camp
The objective was to identify any cavities or other dental problems, and to treat them to prevent more serious problems developing. Two volunteers from BCP India assisted Prodhan with the visits, and a total of 253 students from nursery to fourth grade underwent the check-up.
The dentist made the children aware of how to maintain good dental hygiene, as many people do not know how their daily habits, such as lack of proper tooth brushing and sugary food, can damage their teeth. Children were also offered a free follow-up consultation at any point up to 15 days from the date of the camp. At the end of the event, gifts of toothpaste and a toothbrush, along with some snacks, were distributed among the students.
Sukanya Chakraborty, school principal, commented: “These kinds of check-up camps should be organized on an ongoing basis, so that we are able to timely detect any disease amongst the children and get it treated.”
BCP Pakistan Opens Football Academy for Children of Local Community
Muhammad Qayyum, company manager of Bata Pakistan and volunteer with BCP Pakistan, provided his full support to enable the idea to become reality, and he recently visited the ground along with BCP Pakistan volunteers and other officials of the company, to encourage the children to take part in sports.
BCP Pakistan volunteers had noticed that many of the children of Bata Pakistan employees, as well as those from nearby communities, were not getting enough exercise, and did not have opportunities to do so, as facilities in the area were limited. For this reason, volunteers made the decision to create the football academy.
The BCP Pakistan Football Training Academy opened in February 2016, and now includes more than 50 children coming regularly to play the game. They are divided into three age groups, that are under-10, under-12 and under-17 years of age. Ejaz Ali, a BCP Pakistan volunteer and certified international coach, trains the youngest group of children, while Zahid Niaz, also a BCP volunteer and certified international coach, provides physical training as well as playing techniques, such as stop and pass and zigzag, to the other two groups.
The availability of good football players, who participate at national level, is one of the greatest strengths of BCP Pakistan’s academy. These players are either children or siblings of Bata employees who are currently living or have been living in Batapur, and are amongst the program’s active volunteers, and all BCP volunteers involved in this initiative are very happy to be promoting physical activity to the children.
During his visit, Qayyum commented: “Children are our future, and engaging them in sports and physical activities not only play a significant role in promoting health and wellness among them but it is also an integral strategy to safeguard our future. I feel honored for providing such activities not only to the children of our employees but also to those living in the surrounding areas.”
BCP India Teaches Personal Hygiene to Girls in Gurgaon
Around 125 girls from classes one to five attended the workshop, and learned about the various methods of taking care of their bodies. Three volunteers from BCP India were on hand to assist with the event, which took place in collaboration with the School Health Annual Report Programme.
To begin the activity, the children were asked to identify some items like body soap, toothbrushes and shampoo, which are used to maintain good body hygiene. There then followed a power point presentation, several short movies and a variety of posters that explained the ways in which germs enter the body, and how the germs can be kept at bay by washing hands correctly, as well as the correct way to brush teeth in order to maintain dental hygiene.
According to UNICEF data, over 1.5 million children under five die each year as a result of diarrhea, making it the second most common cause of child deaths worldwide. Hand washing with soap at critical times, including before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet, can reduce diarrhea rates by more than 40 percent.
For this reason, the children were taught the six steps of healthy hand washing, and then practiced them for themselves. Thereafter, a quiz was held, consisting of questions regarding the topics that had been covered during the day, and the children who scored the highest marks in the quiz were awarded prizes.
At the end of the workshop, the 30 children with the best hygiene were given gifts, in order to encourage all the children to continue to put into practice what they had learned.
Sudesh Kumari, principal of the school, commented: “We appreciate the initiative taken by the BCP India team. Students need to know how to maintain their personal hygiene. If these kind of fun-filled and educative workshops are conducted for the children, it may also result in the reduction of absenteeism among children due to diseases.”
BCP Pakistan Offers Free Eye Checkups for Underprivileged Children
The eye is an important organ, and it needs to be checked periodically in order to keep it in good condition. In case of any problems, early detection can help prevent further damage to the eyes. With this in mind, BCP Pakistan decided to conduct the clinic in a village school, in order to reach those people who live in remote areas and do not have access to eye care services.
The clinic was arranged for the benefit of the children, as well as their parents and the local community. A team of three experienced doctors, seven paramedics and 20 BCP volunteers offered their services, providing a large number of patients with a free assessment on their doorstep.
Over the course of the day, 56 children were examined out of a total of 201 patients. Most of these children were suffering from eye allergies, but two had a more severe condition, Amblyopia (lazy eye), which can result in vision loss if left untreated. Thankfully, the clinic provided the opportunity for these children to be diagnosed and treated, and all the children were provided with the eye drops, medicines or glasses they needed, as prescribed by the doctors.
The volunteers worked hard to publicize the fact that the free eye exams were going to be taking place, by distributing pamphlets and banners in the community on a large scale. They also contributed to the organization of the screening process, and helped with the coordination of the clinic, in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the event.
The people from the local community greatly appreciated the efforts of the BCP volunteers for providing eye care facilities to the children and people living in remote areas, who do not have the resources to visit qualified doctors for the latest forms of treatment.
Abdul Ghaffar, one of the volunteers from BCP Pakistan, commented on the day: “I have been involved in numerous BCP initiatives but today was very special to me. We screened two children who had a severe problem with their eyes, but they will recover soon after the treatment provided here today. I am proud to be a part of the BCP team, helping children to become healthy for the rest of their lives.”
Cricket Fever for Bata Pakistan at Inter-Departmental Tournament
The event, which drew to a close on April 2, saw eight teams compete for the title. The teams, consisting of employees from a variety of levels and functions within the organization, were divided into two groups, with 14 matches being played in total.
The final took place between the teams from the branch factory and the human resources/purchasing department, and was won by the branch factory team.
A large number of employees were present at the ground during the course of the competition, to support and encourage their favourite teams, and the tournament saw a great deal of excitement and tension during the matches, with all teams keen to show their abilities on the pitch.
At the end of the contest, Muhammad Qayyum, company manager of Bata Pakistan, and other officials presented trophies and prizes to the winners and runners-up.
Bata Pakistan chose to arrange the tournament as sporting events are a powerful tool for promoting teamwork and creating a sense of identity within a company, as well as creating strong bonds between individuals and the organization.
Qayyum commented: “This is more than winning or losing. It really helps to bridge communication and interaction between employees from various functions, which strengthens team spirit and ultimately leads toward the growth of the organization.”