Volunteering in Beijing: a guide for busy parents and their kids

There are hundreds of ways to get involved in Beijing, start with these nine

Volunteers at the Farm to Neighbors farmers' market
Inspire your kids. Get to know some of the people making Beijing an amazing place. Contribute to a cause you care about. There are tonnes of reasons to get involved with a volunteer project in Beijing.

No matter your interests or your schedule, this list is full of the best ways for busy parents and their kids to get started.

Didn’t see your favourite organisation on the list? Let us know how you get involved in Beijing in the comments below.
For foodies

For foodies

When the weekend rolls around, you’d probably be at a farmer’s market anyway, so why not help out setting up, promoting recycling initiatives and giving info at Farm to Neighbors. Working with the market, currently taking place Saturdays and Sundays at the Grand Summit, is a hands-on way to help out the organic farms in town and promote sustainable.

If weekend hours don’t work for your family, F2N also offers off-site opportunities. Kids 15 years and older are welcome to participate and children over 12 years can attend with their parents. For more information, contact F2N founder Erica Huang on WeChat (ericaaah).

Time commitment Saturdays and Sundays. Off-site volunteer options also available.

For animal lovers

For animal lovers

International Center for Veterinary Services (ICVS) is a godsend for Beijing families and their pets, but the centre also welcomes volunteers to help care for animals, clean kennels and do administrative tasks. Parents and kids ages 16 years and up (with references) are encouraged to apply. All volunteers must be vaccinated against rabies. ICVS prefers that volunteers have English and Chinese language skills. For more information, email icvs_china@yahoo.com.

Time commitment 4-6 hours per week or one day per week.

For bookworms

For bookworms

Roundabout, the Beijing-based social enterprise perhaps most recognised for their second-hand book fairs, is always accepting volunteers. Help out in the organisation's warehouse sorting clothing and household items, during book fairs or with special projects like accounting or web design. Roundabout also offers a juniors programme, open to kids between ages eight and 12 years old, which takes place on Saturdays. For more information and to register, visit the Roundabout website (roundaboutchina.com).

Time commitment Flexible, from two hours per week to four days per week.

 For social butterflies

For social butterflies

Beijing Community Dinners (BCD) hosts a monthly dinner event with speakers presenting about social issues worldwide. Past topics include technology in education, women’s rights and mental health in China.

BCD is looking for volunteers to help in locating speakers and event planning and marketing. In the near future, we’re told, the BCD website will be a platform where NGOs can advertise their own volunteer opportunities in town. As many of BCD’s speaker topics are for mature audiences, this option is best suited for mum and dad. To get in touch, email BCD coordinator Jess Lam at beijingcommunitydinners@outlook.com.

Time commitment 5-10 hours per month, including attending and helping host events.

For helping children

For helping children

The Migrant Children's Foundation (MCF) is a UK-registered nonprofit that helps disadvantaged kids throughout China through volunteer work, sponsorship and events. MCF places volunteers in under-resourced schools in Beijing, who then help kids learn new skills and share time and experiences. MCF also has a volunteer programme for kids (which already operates out of international schools in town like Beijing City International School and Dulwich College Beijing). For more info on how to get involved, head to the MCF website.

Time commitment Volunteers can work once or twice a month for at least three months.

Olivia's Place is an organisation that provides peadiatric services, education and funding to disadvantaged or at-risk children in China. For students or parents interested in volunteering, there are opportunities to help with marketing, fund-raising, and administrative tasks. For more information, send an email including a resume to volunteer@oliviaplace.org or click here for more info.

Time commitment dependant on volunteer post

Love & Hope (Beijing) Center is a non-profit organisation devoted to underpriviledged migrant children and women from rural areas. The organisation is looking for volunteers to help with extracurriculars for students like drum and guitar classes and English classes, as well as help with administrative tasks. To get involved, call 134 2628 8676 or send an email to lovehope1004@sina.com.

Time commitment dependent on volunteer post

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