Monique joined Mother’s Choice in November 2014 and is the Advisor of Community Education, a department whose role is to mobilize our community to be a voice for children in adversity, and to support practices and policies that reflect their best interests. Monique has two teenage children and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring nature, and trying new restaurants with her family.
Q: What do you do at your job? What does a typical day at work look like for you?
A: Community Education is a relatively new department at Mother’s Choice. Previously, all our efforts were focused on intervention services that serve vulnerable girls and children, but to help fulfill Mother’s Choice vision to see every girl and baby in a loving family in Hong Kong, our department focuses on preventing the problems we face. In the Community Education team, we mobilize the legal community to work together to support for practices and policies that ensure children to grow up in families, conduct Sexuality Education workshops to prevent crisis pregnancy, and partner with the academic community to research evidence-based approaches to maximize our impact on the community.
I see my role being to build up a strong team, so my work revolves around working closely with team members to plan our programs. Many activities that we do interlink with other departments, so I also spend a lot of time working collaboratively with colleagues across Mother’s Choice. As our focus is on inspiring and mobilizing our community, I truly value every opportunity to engage our stakeholders in exploring partnership potential.
Q: Can you share a memorable moment with us?
A: When I first joined Mother’s Choice, I spent some time in our Child Care Home getting to know the children. One of the children that touched my heart was Tony. He lived in Wee Care and had severe special needs. He needed help in almost every aspect of his life. At the time, I wondered whether Tony would ever be adopted because of his needs. I couldn’t believe my eyes when six months later, I saw a couple at Child Care Home holding Tony. The couple were Tony’s adoptive parents coming to take him home. The way they held and touched him was as if they were meeting their newborn baby for the first time. I’d never seen Tony so calm and at ease as he was in that moment. That picture of Tony in his parents’ arms is so fresh in my mind and I was so moved that day. To me, it was a miracle.
Q: What has surprised you most about working at Mother’s Choice?
A: Early on in my career, I worked with another NGO, where I worked closely with volunteers. At the time, I thought the volunteers were pretty committed, but the volunteers at Mother’s Choice take it to a whole other level! I’m amazed at the level of passion, commitment, and professionalism of Mother’s Choice volunteers across the board, whether they care for children at Child Care Home, translate documents for us, or donate their legal expertise to us.
Q: What makes Mother’s Choice unique?
A: I think our beliefs and values make Mother’s Choice unique not only in Hong Kong, but also internationally. We believe that every child belongs in a permanent and loving family. We believe in the need to constantly challenge ourselves to think outside of the box. We also believe strongly in providing the highest quality of services. I think these things make us unique.
Q: Where do you hope to see Mother’s Choice ten years from now?
A: My vision is to work myself out of a role, but I think that’s a little bit ambitious for ten years! I hope that we’ll see less “stuck” issues, that we will have made progress in our advocacy efforts for children, and that common practices will reflect the child’s best interests
Interested in working with Monique? Click here to see our current openings!