Farewell to our dear Beiyaowan Centre

In the fast-changing city of Shanghai, Baoshan District has been developing at rocket-speed, which is good news to many residents in the district. However, amidst the recent development in the district, migrant workers have had to move out of these areas in search of new homes. Inevitably this development of events brought about the closure of our operations at our facility, the Beiyaowan Centre; and, sadly, we bid it farewell.
Having finished with another activity in Qing Pu that morning, colleagues from the You Dao Foundation spent the whole afternoon in preparation of the farewell event. They cleaned up the rooms, mopped up dry puddles of water around the area, and put up a big tent to welcome and shelter to the guests.
May 28, 2016, was a stormy weekend in Shanghai; torrential rains persisted until noon, at when it worsened. The organizer worried that their guests, discouraged by the weather, would turn back. However, to our pleasant surprise, the rain did not prevent many of our guests from travelling to attending the farewell party at the Beiyaowan Centre. Suddenly, the facility became alive with children, their parents, and our volunteers.
The party kicked off with a slideshow to showing the history of the Beiyaowan Centre, from its humble beginnings, to its last days as local fixture, central to the lives of many of those pass through. A lot of fond memories resurfaced in the minds of our audience. The Chairman of You Dao Foundation, Mr. Compton, and the facility in-charge, Fr. Wei, both gave their speeches. The volunteers Yang Jiaqin, Yin Haichen, and Cai Lin shared their experiences; the young children listened patiently to their beloved teachers.
Almost every weekend of the past decade, Beiyaowan Centre was the children’s study hall, graced by many volunteers who provided assistance to young minds over their studies. Other than focusing on their school assignments, children and volunteers also had a lot of fun together -- activity day, games day, summer camps etc. … these activities cemented the friendship between the children and the young teachers.
In addition to these volunteered teachers, Mr. Compton also thanked the institutions whose encouragement supported the You Dao Foundation tremendously in realizing its goal in helping the migrant families. They are Fudan University, Blue Ribbon Society of Shanghai University, the European-Chinese Society, Woodpecker Society, and Yaohua International. Their support is indispensable to the migrant families and on both our behalves we are extremely thankful.
We are all reminded by a piece of advice given by Mr Compton at his speech, “Closure of the Beiyaowan Center is only a means to an end as we would review our service and better prepare ourselves in future. Let’s walk together this journey with our migrant families!”