Children, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China Olaf Kastner (left) and President and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Johann Wieland pose for photos at the Joyful Football program launching ceremony in Shenyang, Liaoning province on Friday. (Photo provided to China Daily)
BMW rolled out its latest three-year plan to improve left-behind children's development through Joyful Football activities, steering the premium brand's corporate social responsibility initiatives toward empowering people through better living.
BMW announced Friday that Joyful Football will be applied to BMW Joy Homes with suitable areas for training.
Children at these Joy Homes will be able to participate in a weekly soccer course. The BMW Joy Homes, built in left-behind children schools funded by the China Charity Federation-BMW Warm Heart Fund, also provide stationery and sporting materials to the children.
"Our approach is progressive and constantly modernized, right in line with the Chinese idiom, 'Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'," said Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China.
"The essence of football lies not only in technical skills and competition, but, more importantly, in developing the kids' personalities," said Johann Wieland, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive. "Our curriculum will be the first of its kind for the physical education of left-behind children."
Soccer coaching and training for local teachers will also be given by BMW in association with Right to Play, a world-renowned NGO focusing on children's development through sports.
By the end of next year, there will be at least 20 junior football teams in Joy Home schools, for which football tournaments and summer camps will be organized.
BMW Joy Home program chose soccer and play because they are powerful tools to help the children to grow up physically, intellectually, socially, psychologically and emotionally, as well as ethically and morally, according to Right to Play International.
Joyful Football focuses on children's physical and mental health since they see their parents only rarely. As such, the program is different from youth soccer projects for professional players, according to BMW.
BMW Joy Homes
The children in BMW Joy Homes are those from remote areas who were or are not immediately able to follow their parents who sought better job prospects in larger cities.
BMW believes it has a responsibility to contribute to the local communities in which it has been growing and developing in China.
To help these left-behind children receive their deserved compulsory education, the BMW Joy Home Children Care Program was set up 6 years ago, as a part of the Warm Heart Fund initiative. The stakeholders, including dealers and customers, brought books, computers and stationery to schools.
Wieland said, "BMW dealers and customers share their personal wealth, time, skills and love to contribute to a better society for all.
"BMW Brilliance doesn't just strive for sharing, but also for the ability to leverage our resources and expertise to contribute to a future filled with responsibility at BMW Joy."
The brand calls for the public to join in and give more help, as it is the duty of society to provide proper education to the left-behind children regardless of where they grow up.