“What was truly reinforcing was the rapport built between me and my students. That was why I always treasured my time to communicate with my students and listen to their sharing on various aspects of their lives,” reflected Martina Ng, a Psychology graduate and one of the first cohort of Teach for Hong Kong (“Teach4HK”) teaching fellows. Her fellow comrade, Francis Lau, an English and French graduate shared a similar sentiment, “I wanted to give my students love and guide them to become a better person.”
Inspired by the model of the 25-year-old NGO Teach for America, Teach4HK is a local charitable organization with a mission to enlist outstanding university graduates to serve at local underprivileged schools through a one-year fellowship program. The objective of the fellowship program is twofold: to nurture future compassionate leaders to effect systemic change in education and to enrich disadvantaged students’ exposure and learning opportunities.
During the intensive fellowship program, teaching fellows with excellent intellectual capacity, strong dedication and diversified talents teach full-time at a formal school, and curate academic classes, extra-curricular activities and life & career education workshops for under-resourced students. The model emphasizes hands-on teaching experience and quality teacher-student interaction, enabling the fellows to identify and respond to pressing educational needs.
With much prospect of driving substantive impacts in local education, Teach4HK is going through a critical stage of development and needs both financial and social resources to establish a core operation platform for scale-up. Understanding Teach4HK’s situation and seeing the value of their social missions, the Foundation became a Core Partner of Teach4HK since July 2016, funding the organization’s operation expenses and providing them with intellectual and networking resources. “Under the Core Partnership, The D. H. Chen Foundation made a solid financial commitment to us to build a strong base for further expansion, when most other sponsors and donors focus merely on current programs. Moreover, the support given to us extends beyond funding where the wealth of experiences of the Foundation’s team provides valuable inputs to our operations,” Arnold Chan, Founder and CEO of Teach4HK noted.
While our current education system needs many more passionate and empathetic talents to enhance diversity and social mobility, we have faith in Teach4HK’s work in nurturing such talents to drive positive change. The partnership will see 32 education leaders being nurtured and 4,800 students from low-income communities being served. We are already witnessing some encouraging results of Teach4HK’s work. The first cohort of teaching fellows have already pledged to continue to serve in education. We look forward to seeing more Teach4HK fellows dedicate themselves to bettering education in different professions they choose to pursue.
As a committed practitioner of engaged philanthropy, the Foundation is keen to develop and drive new funding approaches and the Core Partnership is a great example. Through the unique approach, we aim to provide start-up NGOs that share the Foundation’s philanthropic objectives with financial, intellectual and social resources during their critical development stage. We believe that by helping them enhance their organizational effectiveness, our partners can focus on achieving their mission and making transformative differences to the communities they serve. Besides Teach4HK, the Foundation is also a Core Partner of Music Children Foundation and Green Monday Foundation.