Beijing Buddies is MCF’s drop in volunteer project – and you can get involved, whether you’re in Beijing for a day, a week or a year!

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Every week, our BB volunteers travel to a migrant school 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 devote your time and attention to these children, 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 12.30pm to 3.00 pm and Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.

Our Aims:

  • 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 (except for our Friday teaching sessions) – you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to give your time and attention to these children for a few hours.

You don’t need any specific skills or qualifications to be a buddy (except for our Friday teaching sessions, see below for more information) – you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to give your time and attention to these children for a few hours. We run four different BB sessions, each aiming to foster creativity, teach new skills and encourage an atmosphere for happiness and fun…

Our Sessions

Saturday Sessions

Our Beijing Buddies Teachers lead volunteers at two migrant schools in teaching English using both classroom based lesson plans as well as games and interactive activities. No teaching experience is required. Volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups with students, helping them with English speaking and listening and building confidence in their overall English skills. Sessions can be attended once or regularly depending on your availability.

Friday sessions

If you have TEFL qualification or experience of teaching English as a foreign language, why not get involved in our Beijing Buddies classroom sessions. We’ll provide you with a mini-syllabus to give you guidelines on what to teach, and you’ll spend 2-3 hours in the classroom enthusing the children about the English language.

Get involved

The time: Beijing Buddies sessions run every Fridays from 12.30pm to 15.00 pm and Saturdays from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm. (including travelling time)

The place: we will notify you once you have registered online.

Transport: we’ll accompany you to the session using local transport and return you to the city centre afterwards

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. Wear comfortable clothing and remember you’ll be outside for the session, so dress for the season.

Is Beijing Buddies a big commitment?

Beijing Buddies operates on a weekly basis, and you can only join in after signing up.

*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.

All we ask is that you let us know you’ll be joining us for our next Buddies session at least 48 hours in advance of the session beginning.