Chi Heng staff provides vocational school counseling to junior high school graduates who do not wish to pursue a senior high school education. The consultation includes an overview of vocational schools and their programs, and sharing of experience by vocational school attendees and graduates sponsored by Chi Heng. Financial support is given to students who attend vocational schools.
Other than providing placement referral for students who wish to pursue vocational training, we also provide one type of vocational training ourselves. Our vocational training school, Shanghai Young Bakers (“SYB”), is a charity program providing free training in French bakery to marginalized 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. About 30 students each year start a new life as bakers or pastry chefs and are able to support themselves and their families.
SYB also partnered with a Social Café called Village 127, its affiliated social enterprise in Shanghai, to provide customized pastries to SYB supporters starting from October 2019. SYB was responsible for the product development, technical support and marketing whereas Social Café, with all the bakers being SYB graduates, looked after the production, sales and delivery of the customized pastries. The partnership benefited SYB program with new revenue stream and at the same time enhanced Social Café with new product knowledge and wider marketing coverage.