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Each semester, students at The Beijing Center (TBC) are encouraged to participate in local service-learning activities to practice the Jesuit tradition of helping others and attaining a sense of social responsibility. This fall semester, TBC students volunteered at Five Loaves and Two Fish, an organization acting to support migrant worker families. The name Five Loaves and Two Fish originates from the biblical story about a miracle performed by Jesus where he served five thousand people with five loaves and two fish.
Since some migrant workers may not have typical full-time jobs, family in the nearby area, or the financial resources for extracurriculars, their children are often left on their own outside of school hours. This is where Five Loaves and Two Fish steps in to provide a safe space for these children to receive help with homework, participate in various activities, and enjoy snacks with their peers.
On a couple Saturday afternoons, TBC students split into small activity groups to play games and spend time with the children at Five Loaves and Two Fish. A few students joked about feeling out of touch with the younger generation and were amazed to learn the new and improved versions of the games that they had played in their childhood years. This service experience enabled the students to connect with the children.
Through TBC’s service-learning program, we hope to draw attention to grassroots organizations supporting the often-overlooked groups in society, while enhancing students’ learning, and personal and social skill development. As a Jesuit institution, in this unpredictable year of 2020, TBC has received an abundance of support and continues to spread love, kindness and devotion to our communities.
Founded in 1998, The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC) is a center of higher education in Mainland China committed to fostering mutual understanding between China and other cultures through cultural exchange, education and research. What makes us unique is our placement in a long and storied tradition of Jesuit education, one that teaches us that true cultural engagement starts first with friendship.