Expats in Shanghai become volunteers to help the local community

Published:  5 Mar at 6 PM
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In a bid to include expats in the local community, a Shanghai service station is recruiting them as weekend volunteers.

The station serving residents in Shanghai’s North Bund area is now recruiting expats as weekend-only stationmasters in a bid to help them integrate into the local community. It also provides a hub where retired residents can receive medical advice, socialise or take exercise, with the introduction of international volunteers also attracting young Chinese interested in joining several workshops started by the local expat group.

Station officer Ding Xiaoyu told the media expats from as far away as Germany, Israel and Russia have been serving as weekend stationmasters, turning the venue into an international hub for diversified cultures. Those who’ve taken him up on his volunteer scheme say it’s been a great way to integrate into the local Chinese community. One of the volunteers works as a senior executive at a nearby hotel and can speak Chinese but is eager to learn more about China’s traditional culture. She told reporters locals tell her tales about Shanghai and its past, adding she tells them about many aspects of living in Germany.

Local officials are more than happy about the development of the station as a weekend meet-up venue for both communities, and are looking at more ways to involve resident foreigners in local life and recreation. They’re hoping the station will become a central platform for the integration of expatriates into the Chinese community and help Shanghai’s development as a result.
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