A group of French people working in Shanghai wishes to leave a precious memory to this stage of their professional life, and so starts a relay of love…
Life tempered by the scent of bread
日期：2010-12-20 作者：樊丽萍 来源：文汇报
Date: 2010-12-20, Written by FAN Liping, Published in Wenhui Bao
23岁的河南女孩王莉，是个“苦孩子”：单亲家庭，务农的父亲年收入不过千把元，带着她和弟弟艰难维生；16岁时，王莉去了东莞一家玩具厂打工，“感觉就像一架机器，想熬出头但没什么指望。” Wang Li, a 23-year-old girl from Henan Province, an underprivileged child: from a single parent family with an annual income of merely several thousand yuan earned by her father from farm work, and still a younger brother to support. When she was 16, she went to work in a toy factory in Dongguan. ‘I was feeling just like a machine, and saw no hope for my future.’
2009年，转机来了：王莉到了上海，学了做传统法式面包的手艺，接着开始学法语……这个月，她拿到了去法国的签证，下月将到那里最负盛名的一家烘焙职业学校留学。 However, her life began to change in 2009. She came to Shanghai to learn traditional French bakery and then French… This month, she got her visa to France, and next month, she will go to study in a prestigious bakery school.
促成王莉人生转机的，是一群生活在上海的法国人。“在中国，不少孩子需要帮助。他们将来可能会为没有面包吃发愁，我们何不教会他们烤面包？”于是两年前，12个法国人发起创办了一个名叫“海上青焙坊”的公益机构。 She owes all these opportunities to a group of French people living in Shanghai. ‘In China, lots of children need help. They may be worried about not having bread in the future, so why not teach them how to bake bread?’ And so, two years ago, 12 French started a charity program named Shanghai Young Bakers (SYB).
至今，来自全国各地的近50个孩子的生活里有了烤面包的香味，苦涩被渐渐冲淡。 So far, about 50 children coming from all over China have benefited from this program and the bitterness in their life has been tempered by the pleasant smell of bread.
教孩子们谋生的手艺 Teach the children an earning skill
发起创办“海上青焙坊”的12个年轻法国人，有的是职业经理人，有的是艺术家，有的是家庭主妇，没有一个有烘焙行业的背景。当时他们就想做慈善，经过反复讨论，锁定了“烤面包”——帮那些需要帮助的中国孩子学会一门手艺，能够谋生、自立、发展。 Among the 12 young French that set up the project, some are professional managers, some artists, some housewives. None of them had ever been in the baking industry. At that time, all they wanted to do was charity, and after several discussions they fixed their focus on baking bread, that is, to help those Chinese children in need by teaching them a skill which makes them earn their own life and thus stand on their own feet.
“我们发现，面包等等西式糕点在上海越来越受欢迎，市场快速扩大，各种连锁店接连开张，但还找不到地道的法式面包。”Cecile是“海上青焙坊”的一名志愿者，在上海生活多年，能说流利的中文。她说，越来越多的法国人来上海工作，但上海毕竟只是一个职业生涯中转站，或早或晚总会离开——我们很想为这座城市留下些什么。该做什么？帮助最需要帮助的人。谁最需要帮助？他们最早想到了“孤儿”。 ‘We find that bakery and western pastry are becoming more and more popular in Shanghai. The market is growing fast with lots of chain stores opened, but it is hard to find authentic French bread.’ Cecile is a volunteer of SYB. She has been living in Shanghai for years and speaks Chinese fluently. She says that more and more French people are coming to Shanghai to seek a job. But for them this city is just one period in their career life and sooner or later they will move on: we really want to leave something to this city. By doing what? Helping those who need help the most. Who are they? Early on, the French volunteers thought of the orphans.
2009年2月，16名来自上海市第二福利院的孤儿和一些经慈善机构和公益机构牵线搭桥送到“海上青焙坊”的孩子，开始学习烤制传统法式面包。他们的年龄在17岁到23岁之间，王莉是第一期项目的学员。 On February 2009, 16 children — orphans from the Second Orphanage of Shanghai and children selected by the charity organizations in partnership with SYB project began to learn how to bake traditional French bread. They are all aged between 17 and 23 years old, and Wang Li is one of them, from the first promotion.
“我在老家做过馒头，猜想烤面包和烤馒头大概差不多。”第一次上课，法国人培训师让王莉用面团捏一个她最希望做出的面包的形状，王莉很快捏了一只小老鼠，放进烤箱。“烤完一看，小老鼠膨胀成了一大团，就那个尾巴还能认出来，样子怪极了。”在有趣的学习中，王莉知道了烤法式面包还要学发酵原理等等一大套理论。那时她还不太爱吃偏硬的传统法式面包，但喜欢上了烘焙。 ‘I have made mantou in my hometown, and I thought baking bread would not be very different from baking mantou.’ During the first class, the French teacher asked to turn the dough into the shape in which she hope to make the bread, so she made a small mouse and put it into the oven. ‘When it came out, the small mouse had grown into a large mass and only the tail remained recognizable. It looked really strange.’ During that interesting class, Wang Li came to know that to learn French bakery it is necessary to learn many theories like that of fermentation. At that time, she had not yet been adapted to the taste of traditional French bread which is rather hard, but she began to like baking.
“海上青焙坊”培训项目如今已经办到第三期。第一、第二期的学员在结束一年培训后，大部分在上海的四星、五星级酒店或西式面包房找到了工作。 So far, three promotions of students have been admitted to the training program. Most of the children from the first and second promotion have, after the one-year training, found a job in a bakery house or in four-star or five-star hotels in Shanghai.
看来“文凭”也不能少 The indispensable diploma
“和我们预想的一样，能做法式传统面包的面点师，在上海很少。”Cecile忆起第一批学员找工作时的情景：当“海上青焙坊”向上海一些星级酒店推荐学员时，店方不想看证书之类，要求当场“烤”试，面包好吃就留下。结果，很多孩子的手艺让主厨们惊讶。 ‘Just as what we expected, bakers able to make traditional French bread are hard to find in Shanghai.’ Cecile remembers the time when the graduates from the first promotion were looking for a job: when SYB was trying to recommend students to some high-end hotels in Shanghai, the recruiters did not want to see the diploma but required the students to make bread then and there. If it tasted good, the student would be employed. In the end, most of the students surprised the chefs by their skills.
上海不少职业技术学校都有培训西式面点师的专业，可酒店还是难找面包师，原来职校的培训都偏重技术难度更高的西式糕点。“海上青焙坊”补了个缺口。“培训开始后，学员们上午学理论知识，下午在烘焙教室练习做面包；经过短短两周，他们就去酒店实习了。”来自安徽的女孩肖金金先后在外滩茂悦酒店和复旦皇冠假日酒店实习，“原来烤面包很辛苦！捏面团要有手劲，还得自己扛几十公斤重的面粉袋。”酒店实训的好处显而易见：掌握法式面包基本的烘焙技术之后，学员们很快在主厨指导下学做不同酒店的各种特色法国面包，这样求职竞争力就能大大提高。 Many vocational schools in Shanghai have a professional training in western pastry, but it is still difficult for hotels to find bakers — this is because the training in professional schools lays more stress onto the western pastry which needs skills of a higher level. SYB fills the gap. ‘During the training, the students learn theories in the morning and pass onto practice in the afternoon in the baking classroom, and two weeks later, they start their internship in hotels.’ Xiao Jinjin is a girl from Anhui Province and has been an intern first in Hyatt on the Bund and then in Crowne Plaza Fudan. ‘Baking bread is also a hard work! You must have strong hands to make the dough, and you have to carry by yourself the flour bag which weighs several kilos.’ But the benefits of an internship in hotels are obvious: after having learned some basic skills of French bakery, the students, guided by their chefs, begin to learn quickly how to make different French bread served in hotels, which adds greatly to their competitiveness on the job market.
法国人发现，中国仍然是个“文凭社会”。“如果有文凭又有官方认可的职业技术证书，这些孩子以后即使没有公益机构的帮助和推荐，也能通过人才市场找到工作。”Cecile说。 The French volunteers have found that the Chinese society still attaches great importance to diplomas. ‘Equipped with an official professional diploma which certifies their skills, these children can find a job through employment forums even without the help or recommendation of charity organizations.’ says Cecile.
于是，“海上青焙坊”找到上海市曹杨职业技术学校做合作伙伴。这样，从全国各地来到上海的贫困孩子可以在学校食宿，还能学习职校开的西式面点师课程和文化课程；在曹杨职校帮助下，孩子们也能报名参加统一的西式面点师考试，拿到国家认可的执业证书和文凭。 So SYB set up a partnership with Caoyang Vocational School in Shanghai. Underprivileged children coming to the city from different parts of China can thus be accommodated in the school, and plus they are enrolled in the bakery training and academic courses organized by the school. With the help of Caoyang, the students of SYB can pass an official exam to obtain a professional certificate with a national recognition.
为“可持续”培训老师 Train the trainers for sustainability
有没有好的老师，是职业培训能否有效的关键。在“海上青焙坊”，培训师都是地地道道的法国烘焙师。他们在上海各自掌管着一个厨房，精通传统法式面包制作技艺，同时热心公益，不收任何费用。 A good teacher is the key to an effective professional training. The trainers of SYB are all French bakers. They are all chefs in Shanghai, skillful in French bakery and devoted to charity — they offer their know-how to the project for free.
被学生们奉为偶像的路易克（Loic Ledru），有20多年从业经验，会讲中文。2009年初，正在休假的他应邀到“海上青焙坊”传艺，为此几乎放弃了所有休息时间，全心全力。 Loic Ledru is an idol for the students. He has been in the baking industry for more than 20 years, and he speaks Chinese. In the beginning of 2009, during his vacations, he was invited to pass his skills onto the SYB students. He later gave up all his spare time and has been fully devoted to the charity program.
不过，志愿者毕竟只能贡献部分时间，作为一个长期的职业培训项目，“海上青焙坊”越来越需要全职工作人员。于是又有了新点子：在学员中挑选几个出类拔萃又有志于此的“苗子”，送去法国培训，回来做老师。 However, the time volunteers can spend on the project is limited. As a professional training program with a long-term plan, SYB is in an ever-increasing need of full-time employees. So a new idea came : some students were chosen, based on their excellence and their commitment to the project, to further their skills in France so that they could become teachers after they come back.
王莉和肖金金被选中了。“海上青焙坊”去年把她们送到上海法语培训中心学法语，接着将送去法国。 Wang Li and Xiao Jinjin were chosen. Last year, SYB sent them to Alliance française in Shanghai to learn French, and they will go to France soon.
当初创办“海上青焙坊”的12位法国人，如今已有9位离开了中国；告别的时候，他们真的为这座城市留下了美好。 Among the twelve French that started the project, 9 have already left China. Before saying goodbye, they have really left a sweet memory to this city.