Chinese Version
What We Do

Our goal is to promote the development, understanding and valuing of diverse classical and modern art and music, particularly among the young and the disadvantaged. A portion of profits from Mark’s music recordings and book sales also contribute to the fund.


A.Art Exhibitions (Calligraphy, Painting, etc)
We promote calligraphy and art exhibitions to bring attention to our cultural heritage. Young people worldwide are often unaware of their cultural treasures. For example, Chinese youth increasingly use computers, avoid handwriting, and are unaware of the beauty of calligraphy.

We also help artists find buyers for their work, by offering a venue or opportunity to share with a broad audience. Art exhibitions of contemporary and even classical art can be staged in China and abroad. For example, bring Xian artwork to Kenya and second tier US cities.

This art exchange will encourage artists from Kenya, America or China to build awareness of different cultures among themselves and the general population. Established Chinese artists, for example, can visit Nairobi, Kenya and display their work, visit and experience tribal villages, seeing colorful clothes and traditional art, developing a dialogue with local artists and donating Kenyan inspired artwork to charities in Kenya and China through auctions, sales etc. They can exhibit their calligraphy and paintings to Nairobi citizens and artists, and visit various villages to understand and be inspired by local art and traditional culture, e.g painting the colorful costumes. A music event or book signing can be planned simultaneously, to draw additional donations for local orphanages and schools.

Who it benefits:
Ordinary Kenyans interested in Chinese culture. Also helps Chinese understand Kenyan culture, fostering greater understanding.

Support needed:
Minimum 300,000RMB (Approx US$40,000) covers plane fares, accommodation in Kenya and other travel expenses. Sponsors are also needed for local marketing, exhibition space and logistics.


B. Art Scholarships for talented, needy students
Manage and award scholarships at local and foreign universities or art schools for talented students annually or bi-annually. A pilot program could include one university to start. This includes calligraphy scholarships.


C. Develop youth orchestras
Simeon Ndesandjo used to say that singing in a choir with others was one of the most wonderful experiences of his life. This initiative in orphanages in China, starting with Shenzhen, Guangzhou. encourages children to not only make music, but also work as a team. Many orphans, for example, have great difficulty working with others. This initiative will not only increase their confidence through art awareness, but also through collaboration later in life.

Currently, colleges and high schools in many developed cities in China have their own music orchestras, which differ in member ages, knowledge levels and other aspects. However, many welfare centers and less developed areas do not have such art organizations. Learning musical instruments and artistic skills can have a tremendous, positive impact on children's psychological health, and become a distinguishing feature of welfare centers, including orphanages. Children’s orchestras can play a critical role in a variety of roles such as ceremonies, sports games, social visits etc. It builds team work as well as demonstrate cultural and spiritual qualities.

Who it benefits:
Children in economically disadvantaged schools, orphanages and welfare centers.

Support needed:
A minimum of 100,000 RMB (US$ 16,000) to cover instruments including flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, cornet, euphonium, euphonium, baritone, tuba, snare drum big rub, bass drum, triangle, bells to support 26, 32, or 52 players. In some cases, volunteers can be vetted to provide initial teaching.An example of such a music troupe is the one established by Mark at the Shenzhen orphanage.


D. Music Concerts
Give concerts in tandem with other artists in China and abroad. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Foundation. The concert with Zhao Yin Yin and The Indonesian Angklung Orchestra Benefit Gala are prime examples.


E. Book Launch
Mark will launch his memoir, Cultures in January, 2014. It is a brutally honest depiction of his life, and how he realized a dream by using music to reach and make a difference to the orphans of Shenzhen. Cultures is a powerfully written, moving examination of cultural identity, love, and the redemptive power of charity. He also intends to publish a book on Tang poems by March, 2014. A portion of profits from book sales will go to the Foundation or other organizations that help the disadvantaged.


F. Piano+1 Program
Provide at least one piano to each poor and underserved schools and orphanages globally, starting in China. Along with a piano, funds would also be provided for a teacher. These teachers would be provided 2-3 year contracts and could be possibly drawn from the art scholarship applicants. Schools have been contacted and are eager to start, but funds are not available to purchase the pianos and fund the teachers.

A core component of the Foundation’s programs, the Piano + 1 program provides at least one piano and a teacher (the “+1” ) to needy children in China and around the world. From 2011 to 2013, Mark and his wife Chloe canvassed school districts across China with this goal in mind and received specific requests from over 300 schools and welfare centers for over 500 pianos. Pianos and teachers have already been received by orphanages in Shenzhen but many more are needed.
Who it benefits:
Children in economically disadvantaged schools, orphanages and welfare centers.

Support needed:
Piano + 1 requires a minimum of 100,000 RMB (US$ 16,000) to cover the piano, transportation and a professional teacher’s salary. In some cases, volunteers can be vetted to provide initial teaching.


G. Student Mentor Program
Provide American talent to mentor children in return for room and board and local stipend. Lots of gifted, musical young people from the developed world would love to get on the bandwagon to have the experience of China for 6 months–1 year. Something like the Peace Corps, this program would give the feedback of a fantastic experience, satisfaction in giving a “leg-up” to the most needy.




Born in Kenya and a fifteen year resident of Shenzhen, People's Republic of China, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo is an accomplished American pianist, writer, artist and businessman. He is Adjunct Professor of Arts and Media at Beijing Normal University and has a BSc. Physics (also completed BA math requirements) from Brown University, an MSc Physics from Stanford and an EMBA from EmoryHe is an HSK L7 (advanced) Mandarin speaker and writer, and an avid brush calligrapher. 
His business advises investors aiming to link Asia, Africa and the USA, using over 25 years of communications and international branding experience gained as a senior manager at Lucent, Nortel and other companies.
In addition to his first book, Nairobi to Shenzhen, he has completed a memoir, An Obama's Journey, and published 3 piano CDs, The Untimely Ones, Night Moods and his own composition Reflections on William Blake. His current projects include translating to English the complete works of Tang Dynasty poet Li Shangyin. Mark has been regularly volunteering piano lessons to orphans in and around Shenzhen since 2002. He is Shenzhen's Volunteer Image Ambassador and China's Special Olympics Image Ambassador, as appointed by the Chinese government. Mark is also Image Ambassador for the France-China Cultural Forum.  Recently he established the Mark Obama Ndesandjo Foundation Ltd for cultural exchange, whose goal is to bring art to youth and the disadvantaged.
About the Novel
The protagonist, upon arriving in China in the wake of 911 and the onset of a terrifying global war, is forced to confront his early experiences in Kenya and the United States as a result of his growing love for a beautiful Chinese woman and a young orphan. Parallels between his own upbringing and the potential family that lies before him lead to questions about his true identity, the complexities of his multi-racial family and the relationship he had known with his father. 15% of profits from book sales are donated to help disadvantaged children.