Hello! And welcome to our Guide magazine Winter/Spring issue. Please download your copy here Winter/Spring Guide Magazine.
The year is over and if you are like me you will find yourself asking a very clichéd question – where did the year go? Looking back on the past 12 months, it’s hard to reconcile the passage of time with the sheer number of things that have occurred.
The year began with a renewed strategy for Community Center Shanghai (CCS) and an appreciation that we needed to pause and reflect on our vision as we embrace the changing demographics in Shanghai. We conducted focus groups to concentrate our efforts and outlined key initiatives that would help us better serve the international community and truly become that home away from home.
In spring, we held our first sponsor mixer event, bringing together our partners and sponsors to thank them for their continued support. Market fairs and camps were held during the summer break. In autumn, Shanghai 123, one of our key orientation programs, was provided, with a record number of newcomers walking through our doors (page 42). Our collaboration with the government was strengthened and continued to provide a bridge between the local and international community – the very first Children’s Market was co-organized in the Biyun Community. New programs were initiated to cater for different demographics. Every Thursday our space was opened for parents of infants and toddlers to come and meet and share in this journey of parenthood (page 37). A new platform, Shanghai Stories, was established for professional-minded community members to share their stories and to be inspired to be more and do more during their time here in Shanghai (page 38). In autumn, the year culminated in our annual gala where we celebrated and embraced the joy and energy of community building with over 200 members of our community (page 8).
As I reflect on the year past and what CCS has been able to achieve, I feel energized and excited about 2020. I can see how critical it is that CCS focuses on serving the international community and providing the invaluable service of following you along your journey here in Shanghai. We are here to make your transition into Shanghai smoother and to help you adapt into this amazing city and ultimately thrive and be the best you can be while living here.
Take your time to explore this magazine and its theme of Reflection and Renewal. Read how the year has changed some of our community members and about what they are looking forward to in 2020. There is something for everyone at CCS: learn to cook a new cuisine, explore Shanghai through our photo walks (page 33), share your story and inspire others at our Shanghai Stories night, give back to community and volunteer through the CCS charity events held throughout the year (page 30), join our parenting village, attend our newcomer orientation events, and so much more.
It does take a village and during those times that you feel like you need that extra hand to help and prop you up, then please reach out to our internationally trained counselors for support (page 24).
Thank you for letting us be part of your journey. We are looking forward to walking along with you in 2020.
Senait Petros Tekeste