A financial training that smelled of French Bakery…

A financial training that smelled of French Bakery…


It is very difficult for kids who are from underprivileged families to make a decent income in a big city without any skills or degrees. Being a charity program, Shanghai Young Bakers aims to enable these marginalized young adults to find qualified jobs and lead independent lives by offering free professional French baking courses.
 Up to now, more than 200 students have received training from Shanghai Young Bakers. Most of our graduates are able to find jobs at five-star hotels, bakeries or relevant companies. We are proud to say that this changed the children’s life dramatically.


Although the vocational skills SYB provided helped a lot of the disadvantaged youth with their employment, the social educator who is responsible for students’daily life and study came across new problems during the training courses.
In order to help the students to settle with their life in Shanghai, SYB provided a living allowance for each student. But  some students spent all of them before the end of the month.
It indeed is very difficult for these kids who are from all over the country to resist the shopping culture of Shanghai. According to our follow-up survey of our graduates, the life of these young people are too become particularly difficult within three months after their graduation. With a salary that easily got spent away and almost no saving at all, some of the students even had to face the fact of not being able to afford the rent. This situation obviously is in conflict with SYB’s mission of ‘being able to lead an independent life’.
In order to find a solution for this problem, Shanghai Young Bakers found BeBetter Education, which is a non-profit organization that offers financial education courses to children and youth. SYB invited them to delivery a financial education course that is designed for SYB young adults, so to help them to  have sense of financial management , to grow into habits of saving and budgeting, to be able to pursue a better future.


And it is to our delight, that the students are being influenced…
Following the lead of Wang Huan from BeBetter, these young people started to work on a 2-year life plan: the cost of an ideal life, what can you do to make sufficient money to support your ideal life and what do you need to do from now to be able to archive your goal.
These interlinked questions make the students think about their goals and plans, and  about their current life and how to plan their future.
Wang Huan also introduced some tips to the students on how to do budgets, including sharing cases of house renting and the pros and cons of different methods of deposit. After being equipped with financial knowledge, students would be able to make better financial management plans for themselves.


During the very last class, Wang Huan put the students into groups for PK games (competition games): financial quiz, my deposit plans, Savings Ltd., spending plan and the story of spending money…All the games were fun to play whilst provided a chance for the students to put what they’ve learned from the courses into practical use.
“The lessons are short, but the information we have learned about saving and budgeting is very useful and practical.”“Now when I pass by shops I would think this very important question before buying – is it ‘want’ or ‘need’.”Some of the students said after the course.
Teacher from SYB also participated Wang Huan’s classes in order to further deliver the lessons to the next batch of SYB’s students, to facilitate more of them to be trained with not only professional skills but also life skills – self-managing is the best financial management method.
We sincerely hope that financial education would soon be part of the essential education in our children’s growth. To be able to become who you want to be, financial management is a key in the process.
And by the way, SYB really makes good French bread!



Reposted from Be Better