On June 3 every year, the usually slow-paced village of Namugongo, on the edge of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, becomes a hub of activity as pilgrims from around the world converge there to celebrate Uganda Martyrs Day. Bata Uganda, demonstrating the company’s desire to share the culture and values of the region in which it is present, assisted on the day by handing out bottles of mineral water and paper sun caps to the visitors, to help them deal with the hot weather during the celebrations.
This year, a total of 13 Bata employees gave up their time to hand out the supplies provided by Bata Uganda, and also provided their support to the pilgrims as they arrived at their destination, the martyr’s shrines, one Catholic and one Anglican, in Namugongo village. The important international event regularly draws large numbers of pilgrims to the region, and the site has also previously been visited by three different popes from the Vatican.
Some official estimates put the number of visitors at over three million, although other sources suggested that the real number was somewhat lower. Either way, huge crowds gathered for the event, including visitors from countries all over the world, including Kenya, Nigeria and other neighboring African countries, as well as more distant regions such as Great Britain, Italy, India and even Australia.
Bosco Gumisiriza, district sales manager, commented about the event: "Bata respects and identifies with communities everywhere it is present, and for that reason we chose to show our support at this important annual event."