School shoes for success, South Africa

As a result of past socio-economic inequalities, the South African landscape is still known for children from disadvantaged communities having to walk extreme distances to school – and more often than not, without a pair of shoes. The Bata Children’s Program (BCP) has a mission to create a brighter future for children in need within their communities. On Nelson Mandela day, BCP South Africa did just that by donating 10,000 school shoes to worthy organizations throughout the country dedicated to helping impoverished children.

Toughees is Bata’s iconic school shoe brand, worn by generations of school children in South Africa. While they are sold in other countries, Toughees were originally designed for school children in South Africa to have access to high-quality, durable, and affordable shoes with long walking distances in mind. The donation of Toughees also sends an empowering message to children – many successful people started their schooling with the same shoes, and they too, can achieve greatness.

While Bata offices were closed for business on Mandela Day, in the spirit of ubuntu (“giving”) that is true to both Bata values and the spirit of Mandela’s leadership, employees in Durban divided across 43 schools to give out the shoes themselves and engage with their young recipients.

The Toughees motto is “Made strong to last long.” Bata is making communities stronger as well, with shoes that can be worn proudly by children for the first time in their lives and passed down to others so that ubuntu can continue.


Pairs of shoes distributed


Schools visited


Volunteering hours