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 Justo Fuentes
How can community outreach improve corporate image and brand reputation?
By developing social actions that are in line with the company’s strategy, communities will feel the effect on people and the environment and link Bata to a sense of benefit in the short and long term.
How does BCP balance community and business interest?
Beneficiary communities make a positive association with the Bata brand, and this turns into a preference for our brand.
We should also consider that the new millennial consumers place much importance on companies acting ethically and contributing to the community.
How do companies in your region benefit from having a volunteer-led program?
In our region we have a high rate of participation by employees in social programs such as BCP and others related to the environment. This helps employees feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company and pride in Bata.
What are some advantages of corporate community involvement that are sometimes overlooked?
It is important to mention two essential areas that benefit our organization.
First, our consumers love brands that develop social activities to help the community. Second, political and environmental authorities privilege companies that help communities, which makes it easier to operate in politically complex markets.
Can you give an example of your participation in BCP?
I have many examples because I love participating in BCP.
There are the sponsorships of children’s homes like Koinomadelfia in Chile and Rayito de Sol in Peru, and we have a strong involvement in the Thomas Bata School in Bolivia and a kindergarten in Colombia. We support all of these institutions with financing, but even more important is our personal involvement in activities. From my point of view, I feel very proud of BCP.
BCP Bolivia Focuses on Children’s Health During Water Shortages
BCP Bolivia partnered with START, a nonprofit youth organization that helps vulnerable communities access potable water. The organization provided dedicated community showers so children who otherwise have no access to them can shower every weekend.
The role of the four BCP volunteers was to train the children on how to take care of their feet. Parents were also involved to raise awareness about the importance of foot hygiene and how to achieve it even with limited resources.
At the end of the activity the volunteers distributed flip-flops.
Brian Moya, coordinator of BCP Boliva, commented, “It is very important not only to contribute donations, but also to give added value to all these initiatives by involving and teaching something to our population.
"In this case, these children do not have access to showers and don’t understand hygiene, so we wanted to teach them that with what little they have they can take care of this aspect of their health."
BCP Colombia: Sports Day Delights Preschoolers
BCP volunteers – Angela Buitrago, Johan Camilo Loaiza, Brandon Estid Castaño, Beatriz Giraldo, Angela Parra, Patricia Arenas and Andrea Gallego – were in charge of the day’s activities.
The children arrived in the morning at the Ecoparque Los Yarumos, the city’s tropical rainforest “green lung,” for a full day of fun. After a few songs and warm-up games, the children were put in teams of five.
They did a circuit of six competitive games, each led by a volunteer. Challenges included jump ropes, balloons and ping pong.
Everyone had a snack break to recharge before exploring the park. The sandbox proved a favorite of the young children.
The sunny, laughter-filled day was a great success. "Playing with children is an incredible experience. It fills me with happiness to set aside my usual activities and share a little of my time. To see those beautiful smiles on their innocent faces, this is something I will do for the rest of my life," commented Giraldo.
BCP Chile Donates Year’s Supply of Milk to Children’s Home
At the start of July, BCP Chile set itself a target of donating 500 kilograms of powdered milk to assist the foundation in their work. To meet this great challenge, a total of 15 BCP volunteers began a food collection campaign, and Bata Chile promised to double whatever was donated by the workers.
The enthusiasm was immediate, and contributions began to arrive from various areas within the company, reaching a total of 437 kilos of milk, which was then doubled by Bata Chile. The donation will allow the Koinomadelfia foundation to cover its milk requirements until April 2018.
On the day of the donation, the children of the home surprised the visiting volunteers with a beautiful dance that enchanted all those present. The children then enjoyed a rich breakfast prepared especially for them, and Mónica Hernández, director of the foundation, thanked BCP Chile for its efforts and the important help it has been providing to aid the running of the facility for almost 10 years.
Katterine Oliva, one of the volunteers involved, commented: "It was an incredible experience to see the motivation to collect the largest amount of milk with only one goal: the smile of a grateful child. What started as a great challenge ended in a great victory, bringing together not only the BCP volunteers but the whole company to help the children of the Koinomadelfia foundation. I am happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a participant in this beautiful so-called volunteering."
BCP Bolivia Supports Organization Helping Children of Incarcerated Parents
Since September 1994, the CAICC has been providing a comprehensive education to children living in the prisons of San Sebastian and San Pablo in the city of Cochabamba, where they face significant psychological, academic and nutritional problems. The CAICC welcomes all these children, and aims to provide them with education during the day, before returning them to their parents in the evening.
For this reason, BCP Bolivia continues to collaborate with self-sustaining projects that help with the generation of resources for the center in order to allow it to continue its vital work. More than 16 volunteers from BCP Bolivia took part in the latest visit, bringing laughter and joy to over 135 children, and also sharing chocolate treats with them.
Veronica Bustillos, director of the CAICC, commented: “The foundation works with children whose parents are deprived of freedom, where we provide educational, nutritional and psychological support. We are indebted to the volunteers of BCP for the donation, and above all for sharing with us.”
Luis Ernesto Rojas, country manager of Bata Bolivia, added: “It is very important the work that this foundation carries out in giving a second home to these children at risk. This work is worthy of support, and we as the Bata Children’s Program will continue to support it."
BCP Colombia and Preschoolers Fill the Air with Music
BCP focused on music as a way to draw in and bond with the preschoolers, as well as stimulate their intellectual, auditory, sensory, speech and motor development.
The volunteers – Juan David Hernandez, Jefferson Montaño, Angela Buitrago, Camilo Loaiza and Andrea Gallego – began by leading the class of 20 in a well-known children’s song. The sound of the children’s voices, along with guitars, maracas, drums and tambourines, soon filled the room.
Montaño gave a simple explanation of each instrument, and more children’s and popular songs followed. After dancing to the last song, the children were in very high spirits and gave the volunteers hugs.
Buitrago reflected, "Seeing them laugh, sing and play confirms that happiness is in small things. Volunteers have important work to do because we can contribute to their education, health and even better physical and psychological development. Thanks to Bata for allowing these spaces and inviting everyone who wants to participate. It is an act of love where we can serve the people who need us the most."
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.