IT STARTED as an orphanage for boys and girls run by the Canossian Sisters. Almost 70 years on, the Canossaville Children’s Home remains committed to helping disadvantaged children. But over the years, the home has evolved, coming up with a programme to help latchkey children and those with special needs.
In 1983, it started the Before and After Student Care Service now called the Student Care Service, in response to the rising number of children returning to an empty home after school because both parents were still at work. There are now 80 children in this programme.
At Canossaville, they have their meals and are supervised while doing their homework. The centre aims to provide a conducive environment “for children to be formed in the head and heart”, executive director Anne Siew says. So time is also set aside for moral education, as well as indoor activities like board games, computer work and reading. To help children with learning difficulties, its Total Learning
Centre provides individualised attention. The student care service also helps children with special needs, especially those who are hearing-impaired. It became an Integrated Special Student Care Centre in November 2004. Canossaville however still holds true to the very aim it was founded on and continues to be a refuge for children.
The children it takes in now are mostly girls. There are now 11 girls aged 12 and below and most are from troubled or singleparent homes. While it provides the girls a place to stay, Canossaville also hopes to help reintegrate them with their families. “The number of residents we have is very low because we don’t want to institutionalise these children.
We try our best to help them go back to their families,” Madam Siew explained. Because most of the children the home reaches out to are from dysfunctional families, plenty of emotional and psychological support is needed, she said. At the end of the day, her hope is that all the children who come to Canossaville will become happy, confident, resilient.
About Canossaville Children’s Home
It was founded in 1941 by the Canossian Sisters as an orphanage. It is now open mainly to girls and has 11 residents. It also offers a student care service for latchkey children and has 80 children in this programme.
Can you help?
About 20 volunteers help out on a weekly basis. There are also corporate volunteers who
help regularly. The home welcomes more volunteers, especially those who help with the
student care service during the day. Canossaville also welcomes donations.
Who to call
Call Executive Director Anne Siew at 6748 5777 or
You can also go to: www.catholic.org.sg/canossaville