It is fitting that our readers should know of the good, valuable and necessary work being done by our nuns in Singapore and Malaya in the rearing and teaching of babies and young girls and in the care of women of various ages.
These nuns who are trained in Child Welfare, conduct several orphanages and nurseries and receive babies into their care almost daily. Many of these unwanted babies die; indeed when they are left at the Convent it is often because they are ill or weakly. At the age of five, the surviving- babies go to the Junior Orphanage where they remain until they are thirteen. They go to school, learning English, Chinese or Tamil, according to their race. At thirteen they join the bigger girls. A few continue their studies but the greater number help with the housework and learn sewing, laundry work, child welfare, etc. The majority of the orphans leave the Home to p:et married; a few enter the novitiate of the Society.
Some find work. but the good nuns prefer the girls to leave only to settle down. On these lines the SISTERS OF THE HOLY INFANT JESUS conduct 7 orphanages and 7 nurseries. About 1,140 girls are cared for from the ages of six to twenty-five in the orphanages, and about 300 babies from one day old to five years make up the seven nurseries. All these children receive expert medical attention and no conditions are laid down for their acceptance by the nuns except that they must be poor. The Home receives a Government grant of $10/- a month for each child under 17 years of age.
In much the same way are 3 orphanages run by the CANOSSIAN SISTERS where they care for 430 children, whose average age is 12. These children either come from very poor homes or are orphans, and when they leave the Sisters' care they marry, or work is found for them, or they return home to help their relatives, if any. The orphanages are supported by Government Grants and voluntary subscriptions.
The Good Shepherd Convent Home at Kampong Java Road is conducted by the GOOD SHEPHERD NUNS and numbers are one hundred and thirty-one girls and women. These girls and women are entirely under the supervision and training of the Sisters who are trained in Social welfare during their Novitiate in France.
This time is supported by voluntary aid and by the industry of the Sisters and the "children"; the ages of the latter range from sixteen to fifty years. Medical care is always available and every attention is paid to the maintenance of good health. The food is supervised by the Sisters and days at the seaside are provided regularly.
Jobs are found for girls when they wish to leave the Home and contact is maintained with them when they are employed away from the Convent. Occasional visits to the Home are encouraged. However there is no limit to the time the girls may remain in the Home. It depends on their own wish, but girls who the Sisters feel may be in danger outside are encouraged to prolong their stay. The new Home, much more spacious than the present one, has just been completed in Thomson Road.
The Malayan Catholic Newsletter, September 24, 1950. pg 5