BiC Chooses to Change the Future with One Million Pens

24 January 2012 – One million pens by March 2012 – that’s what BiC intends donating to needy children across South Africa as part of its Choose BiC and Change a Future campaign.

Every year, parents spend millions on stationery to equip their children for the new school year. Sadly, many learners start the school year without so much as a ball point pen.

As the market leader in writing instruments with 52 percent market share (Source: Nielsen’s) BiC believes it is well positioned to lead the way and inspire both companies and consumers to join them in making a difference. Over 20 different BiC products currently carry a Choose BiC and Change a Future sticker. Each time one of these packs is sold, BiC will donate a pen to a disadvantaged child. The pens will be distributed by the READ Educational Trust.

“It’s our way of using our brand’s power to champion education and to equip and empower the children who need it most. We’re taking the BiC brand to a whole new level. As a company, we not only care about the futures of both the children who use our products and those who cannot afford to, but we are actively doing something about it. This means partnering with our customers to actually put pens in the hands of disadvantaged learners,” said BiC marketing manager of stationery, Millicent Quoilin.  She said BiC wanted to encourage both its loyal customers and new consumers to help the company reach its target of one million pens.

Quoilin pointed out that, based on Unicef’s belief that “education breaks the generational cycles of poverty and disease”, BiC’s Choose BiC and Change a Future campaign could begin to rewrite the history of education in South Africa – one pen at a time.

“Today, 200 000 learners between the ages of seven and 15 receive no form of schooling. 13 percent of 16 year-olds have not completed primary school and only 44 percent of working age individuals have completed secondary school. About 4.7 million people in our country are illiterate and South Africa’s unemployment rate of 24 percent is among the highest in the world.  About 42 percent of young people under the age of 30 are unemployed and only one in eight working age adults under 25 years has a job. With the power of the pen, it doesn’t have to stay that way.”

“One million pens sponsored by BiC will give the READ Educational Trust a terrific start to 2012. In READ’s on-going commitment to overcome South Africa’s appalling literacy status, being equipped with writing implements is as important as having books to read. Being able to put one’s thoughts down is the start of a good education. Since today’s learners are those who will be writing South Africa’s future, the significance of a donation such as this cannot be underestimated,” explained Bertus Matthee, national director of the READ Educational Trust.

Quoilin added that the key to unlocking the power of the pen to tackle educational challenges was to make helping others a very positive, fun experience. That’s why BiC will be giving away cash prizes towards education and iPad 2’s during the campaign.

For further information about the Choose BiC and Change a Future campaign, visit www.BiC.co.za or Bic South Africa on Facebook