“Music lessons are expensive! Just think of all the children who have missed out on the chance to enjoy music simply because they cannot afford it!” said Monique Pong, who strongly believes that all children should have the right to learn and enjoy music. To translate her belief into action, Monique and her sister, Annike Pong established Music Children Foundation Limited (“MCF”) in 2013, a non-profit with a social mission to transform the lives of underprivileged children through music.
MCF is currently offering free music playgroups, orchestra training and choir programs to over 1,200 under-resourced children in eight districts, including Sham Shui Po, Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Kowloon City. The diverse music programs offer young children from under-resourced families valuable chances to acquire music knowledge, realize their potential and connect with the community, and the impact on the children beneficiaries is supported by a measurement study conducted by the Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong.
The study showed that MCF’s students demonstrated higher level of self-efficacy, community participation and sense of belonging, as well as better communications skills and family relationship when compared to a control group. These are all important factors that contribute to the healthy development of a child’s formative years.
MCF would probably not be able to deliver its programs as efficiently and achieve their impact without a corresponding development of a solid organizational infrastructure. Since 2015, The D. H. Chen Foundation has, via its “Core Partnership” arrangement, been providing its financial, intellectual and social resources to support MCF’s capacity building, governance enhancement and network expansion.
Many start-up NGOs face similar challenges encountered by MCF. The Foundation is committed to promoting the model of Core Partnership to like-minded funders so that more non-profits will be benefited from the financial, intellectual and social resources with the aim to achieve their mission and effect positive impact in the community. Besides MCF, the Foundation is also a Core Partner of Teach for Hong Kong.