Walking for a Good Cause

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”- Kofi Annan

2015-05-16 10.19

Education is progress. One of the pillars of Bata Children’s Program is Education, and whenever we have the chance, we visit schools, chipping in with footwear, heath care, food, mentorship and fees among others for the children.

Last Saturday, 16th May 2015, BCP volunteers, all Bata staff and family, descended on Limuru Girls’ High School for a Charity Walk. The Theme? “Light a Candle of Hope” and the aim was to raise school fees for the School Bursary Fund for the less fortunate.

Was it a worthy cause? Was it fun? Look at the mood:

Join us next time?!

Meet the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award Top 5 Finalists!

We are proud to announce the top 5 finalists, chosen from over 100 young entrepreneurs pursuing responsible businesses in East Africa.  Selected for their ability to address a community’s social need through a viable, sustainable business combined with commemorating the Thomas J. Bata family values, the finalists are competing to win an award of $15,000 US.  Two runners up will each receive $5,000.

During the next phase of the competition finalists will be paired with mentors from East Africa with expertise in entrepreneurship who will help them prepare their final proposal to the Bata Shoe Foundation.  The mentors will stay with the entrepreneurs for the following year to support the development of their businesses.

The finalist proposals will be judged on the potential impact of the Award on their business and community by an international panel of business and entrepreneurship experts.

The five finalists are:

1. GreenChar: Alternative energy in cooking practices, Kenya

Team: Tom Osborn Chief Executive Officer, Yina Sun Head of Operations, Ian Oluoch Finance Director, Brian Kirotich Marketing & Tech


The developers of the Green Char provide agricultural waste cooking briquettes designed to be healthier, safer and cheaper for consumers. Green Char briquettes, made from recycled bagasse (sugar cane husks) are nearly smokeless, more energy dense and longer lasting than wood and coal. Green Char’s smokeless briquettes combat the health risks associated with coal ovens, while also reducing deforestation. Green Char hopes to expand into creating products, which repel mosquitoes and a next generation of safer, cleaner ovens.

2. KARIBU Solar Power: “Business in a box,” Tanzania

Team: Adam Camenzuli & Sameer Gulamani


The creators of Karibu have designed a solar powered business in a box. Their business strives to provide a safer, cheaper, and more socially responsible solar alternative to kerosene lighting. Engineered for grassroots success and local empowerment, the Karibu system consists of a 2W solar panel and two rechargeable “hockey puck” batteries designed to provide a night’s worth of lighting. Local Karibu distributors will rent hockey pucks to consumers, charging one hockey puck while the consumer uses the second. This distribution system strengthens local business, while providing safer and healthier lighting.

3. STAWI: Food and fruit processing company, Kenya

Team: Eric Muthomi Founder & CEO, Kent Libiso Chairman, Sangu Delle Director

Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited, founded by Eric Muthomi, provides high quality processed foods through sustainable and equitable farmer relations. Seeking to combat agricultural waste from foods such as bananas, which can spoil before making it to market, Stawi processes perishable fruits, grains, and cereals into gluten free flour. This flour, with a higher market demand and shelf life, increases food security, increases farmer income, and reduces waste. Small holder farmers, whose crops are most at risk for perishing, and rural consumers, most at risk for malnutrition, receive the sharpest benefits from Stawi foods.

4. The Designers Studio Limited: Fashion magazine and retailer, Kenya 

Individual: Wanjiku Nyoike-Mugo


The Designer Studio (TDS) produces a series of online magazines, fashion shows and media buys which present local fashion as a better alternative to international brands. This marketing drives consumers to TDS’s online store and future retail spaces stocked only with Kenyan designed and produced goods, which benefits the local Kenyan economy. This higher demand for local goods, driven in large part by an increasingly wealthy, fashion forward population, further strengthens the Kenyan fashion and clothing industry.

5. BIO-INNOVATIONS: Alternative energy, Uganda

Team: Stephen Birikano, Alex Tumukunde

Bio-Innovation Company LTD challenges Uganda’s terrible deforestation issue – 80% of natural forest area has been destroyed since 1960 – by creating a bio-renewable cooking and heating briquette derived from bio-waste. These briquettes, organic municipal solid waste amalgamations, are a lower cost, safer and environmental safer alternative to wood and coal fires. Targeting women and youth as employees, Bio-Innovation Company empowers local rural communities while freeing up consumers’ discretionary income by undercutting current heating and cooking costs.

True Love, Bata Style!

BCP volunteers cleaning at the hospital

Every year, the 14th of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and other lovely gifts as a reflection of love. This year Valentines Day fell on a Saturday and Bata Children’s Program(BCP) Volunteers in Kenya had just the perfect idea on how to mark the day. The Volunteers , especially the very youthful and the young at heart , visited Tigoni District Hospital’s Pediatric Ward. Tigoni District Hospital is a public hospital not far from Bata Kenya Head Office in Limuru. The hospital caters for the local community.

The aim of the visit was to spend time with the children and to assist the hospital in a clean up exercise. The fifteen volunteers divided themselves into small working teams. Some fetched water using buckets for cleaning the pavements and floors, while others did the scrubbing of the pavements and washing of the walls.

The highlight of the day for the volunteers was spending time with the children and their mothers in the wards giving them words of encouragement, praying with them and giving assurance and hope. The team had carried with them presents and gifts which they also took time to distribute.

Mr. John Ndung’u, a clinician at the hospital, thanked BCP volunteers for the visit. He pointed out that the visit would play a big role in making the children feel loved and appreciated by the society. He urged the volunteers to keep up the inspiring work. His comments were echoed by Mama Njeri, a mother in the pediatric ward, who said she was happy that the volunteers had decided to spend their time with the children. They were surprised that people could spend a day like that at a hospital with total strangers.

The visit was not only beneficial to the Tigoni Hospital Community , but also very fulfilling to those who participated. “Spending my valentines day with the sick children was the best valueless gift of love that I could imagine giving to them. Being a new volunteer, this is very touching” , said Lavender Owako in reflection.

Check out the pictures:


$25,000 To The East African Youth with the Best Business/Idea!

IMG_0234The Bata Shoe Foundation has established the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award in honor of Thomas J. Bata, “Shoemaker to the World,” who died at the age of 93 in 2008.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas J. Bata, the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award will promote and support responsible entrepreneurship in emerging markets.  With a focus to promote and support responsible capitalism for emerging markets, this year the Award will identify young people from East Africa with a sustainable business idea that addresses a community need or challenge.

Does your business/idea commemorate these Thomas J. Bata values?

  • A commitment to the importance of responsible entrepreneurship and its role in job creation
  • An international outlook
  • A commitment to ethical business practices
  • A strong interest in young people in emerging markets and the role that business can play in creating opportunities that enable them to develop
  • A believe that business is a public trust with the obligation to improve and serve society
  • A commitment to lifelong learning and continuing education

What you need to know:

  • 1st Price: $15,000 (Approx. Sh.1,350,000) and mentoring to support the growth of your business.
  • Two Runners Up: $5,000 (Approx. Sh. 450000) each and mentoring support.

Who can enter:

  • Youth, 18 – 35 years’ old entrepreneurs from East Africa.
  • Individuals or teams of up to four people may enter the contest as long at least two members of the team are within 18 – 35 years of age.
  • The submission period will open November 17, 2014.

For more info: www.batalegacy.org.

To receive the most updated information about the award, click here to join the email list.

Twitter: #BataLegacy #SocEnt

So, do you have what it takes?

Introducing….Bata Limuru VYSA Football Club


Bata Limuru VYSA FC

Bata Limuru VYSA was formed with a purpose: To tap and nurture talent right from the grass root level and turn it into professional talent; and get the youth active for a good cause.

It has managed more than that. Made up of young people from the Limuru community, the Club has progressed up the ranks from a boys’ get-together meeting at Bata Sports Stadium to enjoy themselves to a professional football club, winning their promotion to the Nationwide League this year, 2014. Most of last season’s first team players have joined top teams this season, realizing their dream of playing pro-football. The next, very capable crop is flying the flag this season.  Its under 15 team is also participating in this year’s Copa Coca Cola.

Such is the Football Club, organized in age tiers to nurture talent right from Under 15s, Under 18s and the older players. Longevity is guaranteed.

In the commisioning ceremony on Friday 28th March 2014, the eve of the new season, Bata Kenya MD Alberto Errico had this to say: “We are very proud of the progress that you have been making over the years, and our fruitful partnership. Bata is fully behind you in your quest. Go on and use your talent to better yourselves, this community and the country. I challenge you to go ahead and win promotion to the Kenya Premier League. ”

Accepting the sponsorship, the Team Coach said “We are very grateful for the support Bata has accorded us all through. We could not have been anywhere near this level had it not for the support. We promise not to let you down; we will fly the Bata flag high. We will be a perfect reflection of the perfect brand that is Bata”

Now you have a team to cheer in the Nationwide League…all the way to KPL promotion.

The Joy Of Giving : A Visit To Suswa

Smiling faces of happy girls are what met us at Soila Maasai Girls Center.
It is hard to believe that these girls are orphans. We were inspired.

A half an hour drive from Limuru had taken us to Soila Maasai girls rescue center in Suswa. The center caters for 100 girls who are rescued from FGM and early marriages. The children are sheltered and educated here. This center is an affiliate of Dr. Barnados home.

The scorching sun signified our arrival to Maasai Land. We were met by the Home’s administrator, Mary, who explained to us that the girls are not going breaking for Holidays, as December is the peak season for FGM in Maasai Land and therefore going home at this time would put them at risk. For this reason, they are retained at the Center during August and December holidays
and only go home during April Holidays. Their relatives however, do visit them.

After introductions, we offered the girls some words of encouragement after which the shoe presentation was done.

…and then we danced to a Maasai tune

Mary was gracious enough to show us around the center.  We saw their poultry project  where they rear chicken for sale . She showed us around the girls dormitories and their sitting room where they relax and watch TV. A community dispensary in the compound is a work-in-progress. Once complete, the dispensary is going to extend its services to the larger community.

And what’s a visit to Maasai Land without visiting a Manyatta? We visited a Manyatta nearby, after which we bid the girls goodbye. Days later, on 3rd Dec 2010 we visited Dr. Barnados home in Nairobi. Read about that here .

The Joy Of Giving : Natembea

In collaboration with the Gisma Group on the  Natembea Campaign, Bata Kenya recently joined other stake holders on a visit to Kyaume (pronounced Chaume) Primary School is in Tala, Machakos County. Natembea, Swahili for ‘I can walk’ is a campaign whose main objective is reduce the number of people in Africa, who go about their lives, barefoot.

The Campaign Ambassador, Ms. Julie Gichuru was the Guest Of Honor during this event whose highlight was donating shoes to the pupils. 900 pairs of shoes were donated on this day.

Ms. Gichuru helps a girl try on her new shoes.