Bata Steps it up with the Bata Childrens Programme

Bata South Africa, the local subsidiary of the international footwear company, is firmly committed to contributing to the well-being of the communities and countries in which it operates. The Bata Children’s Programme (BCP), launched in 2010, aims to bring all Bata community initiatives focused on helping disadvantaged children under one umbrella, allowing for greater cohesion and impact in achieving its objectives.

Employees at Bata SA wanted to spread a bit of Easter goodwill and cheer to children in their local community surrounding their Pinetown Head Office and the Jabulani Self-Help Centre, together with Saint Marys children hospital, the only private, government-aided Catholic Mission hospital in South Africa, in Marianhill was a natural fit. The centre is a community-based (CBO), non-profit organisation (NPO) who serve disadvantaged women and their children who live in the townships surrounding Marianhill. The women receive a small allowance in order to buy food or clothing for their family and the centre sponsor the education of the children by paying for school fees and other school related expenses.

The beneficiaries of the centre were treated to Easter Eggs handed out by the Easter bunny himself, hot cross buns, toys and clothing for both the staff and children. The children also enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games interacting with the employees from Bata.

“At Bata South Africa we look at meaningful ways to express acts of kindness in our communities,” says Swastika Juggernath, Bata South Africa Marketing Manager. “Bata fosters a unique corporate culture of service, where employees are encouraged to play an active role in working with our communities,” added Juggernath. “For these children, it is the simple things in life which we are so quick to take for granted that are most appreciated. A kind smile, a warm hug and or just a random act of kindness.”

“Funding for NPOs is reducing due to the current economic” client says Gloria Shange, Manager at Jabulani Self-Help Centre. “These women and children are faced with many challenges but with these challenges there are plenty of enjoyable moments, this visit from employees at Bata South Africa is one of those moments. The children will remember this day for years to come – thank you Bata South Africa!”

The second initiative will focus on education through Human Rights Day which South Africa celebrates on the 21st March to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre where 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd who were protesting against the pass laws.
As a means of educating South Africa’s children on our history, Bata South Africa have launched a Human Rights Day campaign via their Toughees Facebook page where children can comment on what Human Rights Day means to them. Three children with winning comments will receive double tickets to a museum trip in Durban, Johannesburg or Cape Town and fun day out at either Ushaka, Gold Reef City or the Two Oceans Aquarium, dependent on which city they are based in. The winner’s school also gets a free child friendly Human Rights Day poster for every class in their school.

For more information on the Bata Children’s Program please visit www.bata.co.za or to take part in the Human Right’s Day Campaign please visit the Toughees Facebook page.

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