Beijing Buddies is a chance for Beijingers – both locals and expats – to get involved with MCF and help migrant children at a grassroots level by teaching, supporting and inspiring them. It’s a great opportunity for people to become more involved in their community and to learn and be inspired themselves.
Every week, our BB volunteers travel to migrant schools in Beijing and become a ‘buddy’ to the pupils – all of whom are the children of migrant families living close by. As a buddy, your job is to give your time and attention to these children while teaching them, and to create an environment where they feel happy and secure. In the course of their ordinary lives, migrant children spend a great deal of time in the classroom, working or helping their families: our aim is to allow them to do what children do best and have fun! We run Beijing Buddies sessions on two days during the week – Fridays from 9:30am to 12noon and Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.
- To foster cross-cultural engagement between volunteers and migrant communities
- To give volunteers the chance to see a different part of the city and to contribute to the wider Beijing community
- To encourage children to play as well as learn – the focus of Beijing Buddies is upon nurturing as well as educating
- To foster creativity, literacy, physical activity and self-respect amongst the children
- To encourage leadership and mentoring skills
Be a Beijing Buddy!
You don’t need any specific skills or qualifications to be a buddy (although if you do, please tell us!) – you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to give your time and attention to these children for a few hours. We run multiple BB sessions, each aiming to foster creativity, teach new skills and encourage an atmosphere for happiness and fun…
Our Beijing Buddies Teachers teach lessons at different migrant schools and very often these are English lessons, however, we also look to teach a wider range of subjects, including music, art, science, photography and IT. If you have any skills in these areas, please let us know!
Using both classroom based lesson plans as well as games and interactive activities we take the children away from their text books and encourage meaningful learning in a constructive way. No teaching experience is required. Volunteers work in small groups with students and are normally paired with a teaching assistant who offers both teaching and language support in the classroom. Sessions can be attended short or long term, on set dates or regularly depending on your availability.
These currently run fortnightly and involve teaching at an infants’ school for ages 4-6. The lessons still focus on English but the emphasis is on playing, singing songs and arts & crafts. A small amount of English vocabulary is introduced to the students on a specific topic, be that numbers, parts of the body or making faces and then these are reinforced through fun games and activities.
The time: Beijing Buddies sessions run every Fridays from 9:30am to 12noon and Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm. (including travelling time)
The place: This depends on which sessions you’re available for, but our meeting places are normally at a subway stop in Beijing, we then walk or get a bus to the school.
Transport: Meet at the subway stop then a bus comes and takes us to the school or, if it’s close enough, we walk!
Sessions: Check out our session schedule
What to bring: There’s nothing to pay, but we welcome material donations to help us run our sessions effectively. There is also no dress code, but we ask you dress comfortable and appropriately, be that jeans and a t-shirt or something smarter – it’s your choice!
Is Beijing Buddies a big commitment?
Beijing Buddies operates on a weekly basis, and you can only join in after signing up and speaking with our volunteer coordinator, Lorna.
*If we reach capacity for our session, priority will be given to old volunteers. (Also Limited numbers)
Become a Beijing Buddy today!
It couldn’t be easier to sign up for Beijing Buddies and it won’t cost you anything except a few hours of your time, but we guarantee it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.
If you’re interested in joining MCF as a Beijing Buddy, please email Lorna at firstname.lastname@example.org.