By the end of 2018, a total of 241 children in Macau were living in temporary dormitory homes provided by the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) in collaboration with several other institutions.
The figures from the IAS note that the main reasons for this are mostly to do with extreme poverty or lack of parental care, public broadcaster TDM reported.
According to the same IAS report, specialists in the field have pointed out that the children have the right to participate in family and society, noting that the absence of such an environment affects their growth and social development.
One of the institutions providing this type of service is “The Fountain of Hope,” a social welfare service provider located in Taipa.
The institution, which has been led by Marjory Vendramini for several years and is part of the “Cradle of Hope Association,” has been addressing the problem, noting that children should not be isolated from their families and should be included in a family-like environment, to the extent that this is possible.
With this in mind, the association is planning to develop dormitories that provide a more “family-friendly environment,” so the children can experience growing up in this environment.
A dormitory staff member said to TDM that “the place could be more like a community, that is, an even smaller family dormitory home format, like the living spaces of regular families,” noting that this project “needs support from the government or other service units to enable children or youngsters who are in need to have a more family-like living environment.”
In the opinion of the person responsible for the dormitory, society must consider the right of participation of children so they can have the ability to carry out the responsibilities of a citizen in the later stages of their lives.
In her opinion, keeping children from families and society in their early stages means “that they are alienated from family, alienated from school, and alienated from society [when they grow older]. It is not a good thing for fostering the development of society.”
According to IAS’ information, there are currently nine dormitories in Macau that provide temporary accommodation for children. RM