Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BIC's buy a pen donate a pen continues in 2018

#Power their Potential

BIC® donates to NGO and helps kids “Powers their Potential through the Back to School ‘Buy a pen, Donate a pen’ campaign

Millions of excited young South Africans will start their new school year this week with big hopes and dreams of a bright future. And, for the disadvantaged among them pens and Stationery items will be provided through the BIC® Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme, which is currently in full swing as part of BIC’s® Back to School campaign.

Parents play a key role in preparing their children for the start of the school year, and that includes ensuring they have the relevant and essential tools to be able to do their work. For many parents however, buying the necessary equipment is beyond their means, and that is where BIC® has stepped in for the last 7 years, and they will do so again in 2018.

Since 2011 the Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme has distributed 7.3 million pens.

Most of the Stationery is handed out to primary schools, for use in the foundation stage of learning, a critical time in terms of growth, cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.

The first nine years of children’s lives are the most formative and critical in their growth, so it is a tragedy that many children from impoverished backgrounds are missing it because they do not have access to the materials that are necessary for the correct learning to take place. BIC® has recognised this need and its Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme, was started in 2011, to assist in addressing this.

In 2017 one of the schools that benefitted from the programme was Eclah Educational Centre based in Newtown, Johannesburg. The 100 children at the centre’s pre-school come from disadvantaged families in Soweto, Newtown and Fordsburg. The majority of the parents don’t work and they rely on child grants to survive. 

Eclah received Stationery items from BIC®, including pens, pencils and colouring products. School principal, Edith Monareng, says the Stationery makes a huge difference to the school as they are able to run activities with the kids that they were not able to do in the past. “We can teach them drawing, colouring, painting and creative design,” she said. “These are activities that are key to unlocking their potential, and BIC® is powering their potential by enabling the educators to teach the kids with the correct tools.”

Brainwave, a non-profit organisation specialising in advising educators, has received more than
700 000 pens over the past few years from the programme. Brainwave helps educators to become child developers and not just caregivers, educating kids in English and Maths and motivating them to reach their full potential and find their rightful place in the workplace. The organisation has been operating for the past 8 years and works exclusively in the rural areas, at schools that typically have no electricity, no proper toilets, in all nine provinces of South Africa. Lanette Hatting, an educational psychologist working with qualified teachers at Brainwave, said they can never have enough pens and other Stationery, so BIC’s® Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme, is crucial to them. “Not having pens it is like having your hands cut off,” she said. “Nothing can be done without them. They are the key to success.” 

Ronette Kishun, BIC® Marketing Manager (Stationery), says they are proud to play a role in the improvement of education in South Africa. “Through the BIC® Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme, all South Africans, by purchasing a product marked with a sticker, can play a part in helping millions of kids in the rural and urban areas powering their potential,” she says.

“The campaign is continuing in 2018 and we are pleased to be able to support kids at the critical formative stage by giving Stationery to tap into and stimulate the potential that exists in each one of them and adequately prepares them for a bright future. Every year we give away over 1 million Stationery products and we are looking forward to handing over Stationery to schools like Echla and Brainwave, who works in over 200 schools each year.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Registration opens for the 2018 Danone Nations Cup

As the new school year begins educators have the awesome responsibility of providing opportunities and experiences that will help young people to develop their whole personality and character, and school sport is an acceptable medium to do this through. 

Sponsorships such as the Danone Nations cup, a soccer tournament for kids between the ages of 10 and 12, play a vital educational role in developing kids because they provide a way for schools to teach valuable life lessons in a fun way, by keeping kids active.

“Every year, through our competition, we touch the lives of over 2.3 million kids around the world and since its inception in 2000 over 35 million kids have played in our competition making it the biggest tournament of its kind in the world,” said Chantel Ehlers, Communication Manager, Danone Southern Africa.  “We are proud of these statistics and locally we are pleased with the fact that South Africa has managed to win the world finals 3 times (2003, 2007 and 2009).”

Schools use sports such as soccer to teach children how to think laterally; to solve problems; the importance of teamwork and trust; how to handle defeat and to bounce back and keep going with confidence. 

In 2017 over 2 700 schools, ranging from rural and farm schools, to elite private institutions, registered for the South African leg of the Danone Nations Cup.  With entries expected to come in at a fast pace this week, the organisers are hoping to grow this to over 3 000 this year.

Youth development coaching is specialised as it is at this age that kids want to learn. It’s vital that young players perfect their skills without picking up bad habits and these kids dream big.

In South Africa the majority of coaches at this level are generally teachers, who don’t always have the necessary experience and qualifications. Many of these coaches rely on the internet for advice and information and, to help them, Groupe Danone has put every game played on the final day of the Danone Nations Cup world finals last year, which took place in New York, onto Youtube so that coaches can access them. They can upskill through watching what happened last year. 

Danone takes the educational role it plays very seriously. “There are many facets to the Danone Nations Cup,” explains Ehlers, “Groupe Danone has built the tournament on four fundamental pillars: fair play, openness, accessibility and passion for the game and uses football as an important platform to bring health through sport to as many kids as possible. We promote healthy eating habits and encourage the youth to believe in their dreams.”

Many of the teams that participate in the competition’s World Finals each year are drawn from football programmes that operate in distressed areas and from social development initiatives that use football as a vehicle to uplift young people.

“Many of the schools that have gone on to compete in world finals have done so against all odds,” Ehlers says. “It’s a life-changing experience. Players come back better footballers due to watching how other countries play and learn from them. They meet and make friends from all around the world.” 

Schools can register for the competition by contacting the national coordinator at the SA Schools Football Association (SASFA), Themba Tshabalala, on 011 403 2844, 084 290 0602 or 072 588 4957. Alternatively, they can visit the Danone Nations Cup South Africa Facebook page or go to to download the necessary documents. (Documents are also on )

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Friday, December 22, 2017

BIC® Powers the Potential of 7.3 million children through their ‘Buy a pen, Donate a pen’ programme

Power their Potential

BIC® Powers the Potential of 7.3 million children through their ‘Buy a pen, Donate a pen’ programme

Monday, 11 December 2017.  This week marks the end of the 2017 school year with millions of children looking forward to five weeks of fun and relaxation until the 2018 Back to School season comes around in January.  Amongst the happy youngsters will be the recipients of BIC®’s Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme, which adequately equips millions of young children with the relevant Stationery tools to fulfil their basic educational needs. 

It is a reality for many parents that Back to School is a difficult time as they struggle to afford Stationery.  BIC® has heeded the call and, since 2011, has supplied 7.3 million South African underprivileged children with the relevant Stationery thereby #Powering their Potential and taking the anxiety away from parents and allowing kids to focus on their education and the year ahead.

BIC® has announced that the campaign will be back during the 2018 Back to School period. BIC® Marketing Manager (Stationery) - South East and Central Africa (SECA), Ronette Kishun says the campaign will be a primary focus in 2018, in line with their commitment to advocate for education opportunities and allowing children to apply their energy to their dreams for the future.

“Education should be the number one priority for those who want to help build a better South Africa, and our Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme will inspire kids who would otherwise have started their 2018 school year without Stationery,” she says. “BIC® will allow them to #Power their Potential by giving them the right tools to be able to achieve their dreams.”

Kishun explained that by buying any one of the twenty specially marked BIC® packs carrying the Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen sticker, South Africans will be giving underprivileged children the tools needed for learning.

The pens are distributed to disadvantaged schools across the country through the READ Foundation every year, and Lizelle Langford, PR and Fundraising Manager at the READ Foundation, says the project has made a difference in the lives of many primary and high school learners.

“A pen or pencil is something a lot of people don’t even have to think about,” said Langford.  “But for some youngster’s Stationery is an obstacle to their education because they simply can’t afford it. Putting the right instruments in a child’s hand can make a significant difference to their future.”

Langford explains: “Through this initiative children no longer have to share a pencil stub or pens, which is time consuming for teachers who have to wait for each child to get a turn with the pen or pencil.  We are extremely grateful to BIC® for this opportunity.”

Each year over 500 schools in the townships and rural areas are provided with BIC® pens with the majority going to primary schools.

Kishun urges South Africans to join BIC®’s Buy a Pen, Donate a Pen programme and create magic for children by choosing to change a child’s future over the upcoming Back to School year.  Specially marked packs are available at all major retailers nationally.