In 1993, a baby boy was thrown into a garbage bin, wrapped in a plastic bag and had been bitten by mice. A lady passing by heard the baby boy crying, rescued him and took him to the hospital. This news was in Macau newspapers. Local media also stated that at that time in Macau, there was no institution that could shelter children under the age of 3 years old. Feeling compassion about the baby´s situation, a couple of young missionaries, Jorge and Marjory Vendramini, decided to offer their home and foster the baby. The couple looked after the baby for the next four months, until Macau Social Welfare Department arranged a family from Sweden to adopt the baby boy.
After this adoption, more abandoned babies were in need of shelter and the missionary couple continued to provide for them, placing the abandoned babies in their own home .
In 1994 the couple decided to launch an Association so as to support more babies, as their home was getting smaller and they needed more people to help them looking after the babies.
It was at first located in a tiny apartment and only able to shelter eight babies. In 1997 Macau Social Welfare Department donated a proper place for COHA to care for 18 children under the age of 3 years old. This place was named “Cradle of Hope”. In the beginning all the children that came to live in the Association, were there only for a temporary period and after that, most of the children ended up being adopted.
In 1997 the situation started to change. COHA started to receive children that were not just abandoned or unwanted by their birth parents. Many children started to come due to problems with their birth families and there was a need to care for children over 3 years old and to continue to care for those who could not not go home.
COHA decided, than, to extend the age of the resident children and started to look for another proper location for the older children.
Knowing about the needs of COHA´s resident children, in 1998 Oriental Foundation donated a facility located at Toi San district “ Macau Building”. After two years of renovations, in 2000 COHA launched another home for children from 3 to 14 years old that was given the name of “Residential Home Fountain of Hope”.
The problems on the children´s pathways, however, did not stop. Children started to grow up and neither could go back to their family home, nor could be adopted. It was then decided that, when children would reach the age of 12 years, they would transit to Fountain of Hope.
Therefore, in the year 2008 Fountain of Hope moved to a facility in Taipa that extended the services of the Association for children from 6 to 18 years old.
Social Welfare Institute of Macau provides use of additional space to expand Cradle of Hope to accommodate up to 34 babies.
In 2010, Cradle of Hope´s children under 6 years of age moved to the previous facility of Fountain of Hope and extended the age of resident children from 0 to 6 and from 18 children to 34 children.
Nowadays, COHA´s objectives are to provide social, educational, cultural assistance and moral support and beneficence.
Thus, the Association manages and supervises two residential Homes for children and teenagers that are abandoned ,suffering abuse or neglect and needing protection. Cradle of Hope and Fountain of Hope Homes.
The Association also assists and supports women at risk providing workshops to help single mothers or families to care for their babies and children.
Also provides counselling and therapy for children and families at risk.
COHA also delivers training for care givers that are working with vulnerable children in Macau, China and other countries in Asia.
COHA´s funding comes from Macau Social Welfare Department (approx. 70%-80%), and the remaining funding comes from individual’s, organisations and associations in and around Macau. The funding also involves companies committed to socially responsible business practices.
The Association works in partnership with Macau Social Welfare Department, but also works close to the Health Bureau Services and the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, in order to improve the Children and Families welfare.
Our 17th Anniversary.