Children play football

Sports for self-esteem.

BMW China and BMW Brilliance are aiming to help over 80,000 children and young people who have been separated from their parents develop greater self-esteem by participating in sports. In order to achieve this, the companies are in partnership with professional sports NGOs – and are appealing to employees, dealers and customers.

The week-long “BMW JOY Home Football Tournament Summer Camp” was very special for 100 children and youngsters from BMW JOY Home schools all over China who were eligible to attend. On the one hand simply because they really enjoy sports. But they also found the courage there to rise above themselves, and not only when they were actually playing football. Above all they learned to perfect their game on the field and to find their own role in the team, whether playing in the offensive or defense, as a striker or defender, as a free-playing sweeper or as a centre forward constantly awaiting a chance to strike. All the children who participated in the second summer camp in July 2019 returned home stronger and with more self-esteem than they had arrived with. And those 100 kids are just some of a total of more than 80,000 children who receive support from the BMW Group and the Chinese Joint Venture BMW Brilliance through the BMW JOY Home Programme. They all have one thing in common: They are “left-behind children” from disadvantaged rural regions. Their parents work in the country’s large cities and cannot come home to stay even overnight because of the long distances. The children are left behind at home with their grandparents, longing for the care and presence of their parents. 

These young people who have been left behind and neglected are increasingly less successful at school, a problem that has grown rapidly in China over recent years. Leaders at BMW China and BMW Brilliance are concerned about this development: “As a successful company, we also strive to be a responsible company,” emphasises Dr. Johann Wieland, President and CEO of BMW Brilliance. It is not simply about sales and profit, but also about being committed to addressing societal and social issues.  

Corporate social responsibility in China has long been part of corporate life at BMW China and BMW Brilliance. Ten years ago, BMW China and BMW Brilliance jointly established the China Charity Federation-BMW Warm Heart Fund, in partnership with the China Charity Federation, from which a large number of corporate social responsibility projects in the social sector have since received support. This also includes educational projects. For example, with the programme “BMW Children’s Traffic Safety Education Ambassador”, the two companies regularly collaborate with the Bureau for Traffic Management at the Ministry for Public Safety to conduct training courses on road safety. Participants are mainly employees, dealers and customers, and public volunteers.

Meanwhile, within just two years, 35 BMW JOY Home schools have each established a Joyful football team. And the teams not only receive support from the company itself: Numerous dealers and even customers have also responded to a recruitment campaign. They make themselves available as volunteers to encourage the teams to get better. Each summer vacation, ten teams will be selected to attend the BMW JOY Home Football Tournament Summer Camp, the “highlight of the year” held annually by BMW China and BMW Brilliance.

Football is by no means the only sport taught at the schools supported by the BMW JOY Home programme. Other interesting sports and games are also part of the programme. Moreover, together with the guidebook for rural teachers and public volunteers on how to organise sports and games for left-behind children, the company will also release a series of teaching demo videos. This not only motivates left-behind children and young people, but also thousands of BMW employees, dealers, customers and other public volunteers all over the country: They become deeply and actively involved in the programme, committing themselves to having greater social impact.