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Shanghai’s Youth Give Back

Every winter, international school students in China revel in three months of off-and-on vacation as Christmas, New Year’s and Spring Festival fill the calendar with a steady stream of holiday celebrations. While vegging out on the couch might be priority number one for most, the respite from studying offers a great opportunity for students to get involved with the city’s volunteer organisations that invite Shanghai youth to give back to the community. And if boredom isn’t a big enough motivating factor, studies have also shown that starting volunteering at a young age results in life long benefits, from increased longevity to lower rates of depression and heart disease. And let’s not forget the ever-important college application process!

Arts & Charity Extravaganza

Organised by Community Centre Shanghai’s Interkom initiative, the fourth annual Arts Charity Extravaganza (ACE) showcases the artistic talents of the city’s young expat population. Involving more than 450 students from eight of Shanghai’s international schools, the charitable event will feature a youth-driven fashion show, musical acts and visual arts. Proceeds will go to the Chi Heng Foundation to support the education of AIDS impacted students. Last year, the benefit raised RMB 25,000, but this year ACE is hoping to more than triple their donation to RMB 80,000, which would be used to construct a much-needed reading room for the disadvantaged students.

15 January. Obama Club, 2088 Yan’an Xi Lu, at the Garden Plaza. Email: [email protected]. Web:

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 as a non-profit Christian organisation dedicated to eliminating poverty worldwide. In 2009, 33 years after the first Habitat home was built in Zaire, the international organisation opened its Shanghai office and mobilised 100 volunteers for its first build in Zhejiang. Always open to student involvement, HFH invites students to join their Youth Program, which includes student-led campus chapters that raise awareness as well as construct homes for families in need. Also part of the China Youth Program, Global Village Build transports students to sites in Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan where they encounter new communities and cultures while building homes for impoverished residents.

Tel: 6136 9196. Email: [email protected]. Web:


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