Charity Is Within Our Reach
Shanghai Young Bakers was founded more than ten years ago as a charity program at training young bakers. To our delight, SYB has developed better thanks to our friends and supporters, who had the same vision with us. From May 12th to Jun 12th, SYB is holding a prize-winning article activity and you could get more details by clicking the last article here. In this nominated article, let’s know more about SYB with a volunteer’s perspective.
If you ask me when I got to know about SYB and how I started taking part in its activity, I have to mention a person named Cecile (“Gao Fengxi” 高凤熙) . In 2017, I encountered this rather Chinese name in a documentary. The lady who has short hair and smiles all the time, gave up her high-paying job and set about managing SYB. Having heard her story, I not only admired her courage but also got interested in SYB the organization.
When it came to 2018, SYB needed some volunteers to support the 10th graduation ceremony. I am always interested in this program but have never participate in any activity before. So I eagerly applied for joining the administrative committee to help preparation for the event. On one day, I rushed into subway station after work, ride the subway across the city from Baoshan District to finally an office building in Putuo district. Once I entered the SYB office, I was immediately attracted by the youth and vitality that is captured in the activity photos hung everywhere in the cozy room.
If you were young, I believed you should have the same feeling as me. In fact, there was no lack of the elder generations about me. I wondered even more: how could SYB be so popular among every generation? I was fascinated by SYB.
After that organizing meeting, I kept in touch with the staff all the time and cooperated with them to do a lot of work. But it was not until the mid-summer night in 2018 of the graduation ceremony that I witnessed the true influence of SYB. The French Consul General in Shanghai , who was quite elegant and friendly, was also invited by SYB and attended the event. This made me realize that SYB as a charity program focusing on French bakery bears the noble French excellence and charm since it set up as a charity organization.
Cecile, who I have mentioned at the beginning, stood on the stage as the executive director. In a black dress, she was reminding me of the strength and faith a body can bring along. In enthusiastic communications with all volunteers, students and audience, I finally understood the purposes behind SYB’s vision: “Give an orphan some bread, you feed him for one day; teach him how to bake, you feed him for a lifetime!” , which have been achieved by helping youths in poverty.
After that graduation ceremony, I continue to follow SYB and visited their professional baking center on Suide Road in Putuo District . SYB devotes themselves to the training of professional bakers and pastry chefs, so their baking teachers must be very experienced. As expected, one teacher, Wang Jingyi, who graduated from SYB and was highly trained in France, brought me a baking experience full of practical, effective methods and techniques. After the course finished on the day, all of us left the bakery center with pastries made by ourselves, rather satisfied. Although those pastries had been eaten, the apron I wore on that day is still my good companion in kitchen in these days.
Looking back my relationship with SYB, what I was taught is exactly the title: charity is within our reach. Disadvantaged children can reach by themselves many skills to support their future life while white collar volunteers in Shanghai can also reach charity programs, for nothing is more admirable than to ‘reach’ value by hands. Charity should not be thought of a matter for the government or organization, nor should it be misunderstood as donation without result. SYB has brought me a motivating and encouraging strength that I have felt myself.
The reason I wrote down these words is to share not just pictures of delicious food pictures from SYB, but more moving stories behind the photos and all determined people in SYB. If interested, you may subscribe to SYB WeChat official account or Weibo to support them as well.