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 supporters, 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, corporate volunteer activities, bakery and pastry products catering, consulting and training services for bakery professionals.
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.
Major Achievements and Awards
2010: One of 10 Shanghai Charity Programs with the most potential
2015: First prize of the Rotary Leadership Awards, non-profit category, awarded by Rotary Club of Shanghai
Shanghai Charity Education and Training Center
Chi Heng Foundation
Caoyang Vocational School
Ecole Francaise de Boulangerie et de Patisserie d’Aurillac
Alliance Francaise de Shanghai
What Makes Our NGO Distinctive?
Our motto is “Give an orphan some bread, you feed him for the day; teach him how to bake, you feed him for a lifetime.” SYB helps marginalized youth help themselves on the long-term, rather than provide one-off charity stopgaps.
SYB builds a training that answers critical market needs. There is severe shortage of qualified bakers on the Chinese market, but we are the only traditional European bakery vocational school in the whole of China.
We develop and manage most of this training ourselves (instead of paying for a training organized by others). This ensures high quality, relevance of our training to business needs, and respect of French professional standards.
We have set up a social enterprise to help raise funds for the program, and build partnerships that combine commercial interest and social engagement.
Our bakery trainers are former students who we sent to France for further training, and who are now an inherent part of the management team.
Our bakery trainers are now recognized experts. One of them was part of the 3-member Chinese team that won 4th place in the Bakery World Cup held in France in 2016.
We establish affiliation partnerships with other NGOs to help them develop bakery programs that benefit their own beneficiaries (blind Tibetans with Braille Without Borders, mentally ill patients in Beijing with Crazy Bake, disadvantaged youth in Qinghai with AmKham).