Bathu for Batho and #doDifferent
About 7 million children in Africa go to school without shoes - increasing their chance of being injured or getting infections. Every winter, many learners in South Africa drop out of school due to their lack of shoes.
One South African company is choosing to #doDifferent and actively trying to solve this problem.
Bathu is a local shoe brand that is rapidly rising to the top of sneakerhead's purchasing list. The name Bathu is township slang for shoes. It was founded in Alexandra in 2015 by award-winning entrepreneur Theo Baloyi. The shoe brand was first launched with just 100 pairs but, to date, has sold thousands of sneakers, employing close to 100 people. Just six years since its launch, Bathu was named in the top 10 most admired African brands for 2021 by the Brand Africa 100:Africa’s Best Brands. On the 15th of June 2021, Bathu launched their Walk Your Journey mentorship series and, as part of that series, announced their CSI project “Bathu for Batho Care Project”. Batho is a Sotho word meaning people.
The goal of this initiative is to rekindle hope by assisting 100,000 underprivileged children to walk their educational journey in comfort while wearing their brand new Bathu school shoes by February 2022. In the announcement, Baloyi committed to donating 1 million pairs of school shoes in the next 10 years. The school shoes will not be for sale but will be given as a gift to the recipients as symbols of confidence, dignity, and hope.
Since its launch, they have donated a total of 1,480 pairs, 500 pairs to Dr. Knak Primary School, 500 pairs to Mabothe High School, 250 pairs to Mapala Combined school and 230 pairs to Bathu employees to donate to their families, friends, and communities. Kellogg’s was inspired by this act of kindness and decided to also donate 13,000 units of food packages meaning that the kids will not only have brand new school shoes but breakfast to start their day.
Bathu has always had people at the heart of their business. From making comfortable yet stylish shoes for the whole family at a reasonable price to creating sustainable employment to help combat the disastrous local unemployment figures, and now providing free school shoes for underprivileged children.
Through this project, Bathu shows us that they #doDifferent by being for Batho.