Shanghai Young Bakers (SYB) is a charity program providing free training in French bakery to marginalised Chinese youth aged 17 to 23, enabling them to find qualified jobs and lead independent lives after graduation. SYB empowers disadvantaged young adults who had to drop out of school because of their family situation (parents’ death, sickness, disability or imprisonment) and are excluded from stable employment.
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, SYB students follow a one-year training where they learn valuable skills such as French bakery and pastry, Chinese bakery, life skills and English, combined with practical internships at 5-star hotels. Due to the high demand of qualified bakers on the Chinese market, 30 students each year start a new life as bakers or pastry chefs and are able to support themselves and their families.
The charity program was founded in 2008. In 2011, we created a social enterprise that offers a wide range of services to support the program, such as public baking classes, delivery of bakery and pastry products, and consulting and training services for bakery professionals. All proceeds go to the SYB charity program.
Give an orphan some bread, you feed him for one day; teach him how to bake, you feed him for a lifetime!
At Shanghai Young Bakers, we are not only doing charity. By giving disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn a valuable skill, we empower them to lead independent lives and help others in return.
Empowered Chinese youth who overcome exclusion and poverty by having access to high-quality training leading to viable and fulfilling employment opportunities
Shanghai Young Bakers aims to teach bakery and social skills to marginalised Chinese youth aged 17 to 23, thus enabling them to find qualified jobs and lead independent lives after graduation.
To achieve that mission we are guided by the following values, that we pass on to the Young Bakers and hope to instill in the community:
We believe that by sharing skills and knowledge, we can empower others to gain courage and take independent decisions. We take responsibility for ourselves, by understanding the impact of our actions and our ability to change our attitude and the course of things. We believe that by recognizing and supporting each other’s efforts, we can build a spirit of solidarity which enables our team to be collectively stronger than what we could each be individually.
We hope that this way, whether it be the SYB students, teachers, management team, our partners, or society at large, we can each be empowered not only to lead independent lives but also to help each other, take responsibility for ourselves and show consideration for others’ efforts.
Our Chinese name, "海上青焙坊"
Have you wondered why the Chinese name of Shanghai Young Bakers has “haishang 海上” instead of “shanghai 上海”? This Chinese name was suggested by Mrs. Ying Yuli, who teaches literature and cinema history at Tongji university. “haishang”, meaning “above the sea”, comes from a Chinese poem of the Tang Dynasty 1,300 years ago, which says
Rising above the sea is a bright moon
Shared by all, near or afar, at this same moment
Our students and teachers are young men and women from different parts of China. Our staff and volunteers come from a variety of countries and backgrounds. After a while, some will leave Shanghai and settle down in a new place in the world. However, no matter where we are, near or afar, SYBers all share the same moment by cherishing the memories and continuing supporting the program in whichever way we can.