Our daily lives are sometimes so crazy and busy that we might forget that there are people out there who could use some help. Be it financially or simply by being present, local associations are quite important in the lives of hundreds of Macau residents. Let’s have a look at some local associations that have been giving comfort and hope to our community!
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Caritas Macau has been operating in the region since 1951. With more than 46 social services and education units across the city, it serves around 10,000 people every year. This is an international NGO with branches all over the world and helps people in many different areas. Caritas Macau is in charge of two homes for the elderly–Asilo de Betania (women) and Asilo Santa Maria (men)–and two homes for mentally and physically disabled people: Santa Lucia and Lar São Luís Gonzaga.
They provide 24-hour support for the elderly, transportation, economic and psychological support for single parents and other people in need. In addition to that, there is also a food bank that’s been operating since 2011, distributing food to the elderly living alone and low-income families. If you’re looking to help this association, contact their Macau branch by email, heading to their office or give them a call.
Macau Red Cross
This international association has branches all over the world. Founded in 1863 in Geneva, it provides all kinds of aid: be it on a daily basis, natural disasters or underdeveloped countries, the Red Cross is there. In Macau, they provide transportation, first aid, mobility equipment, among others. They are close to different local youth communities and organize several activities related to arts, sports, and education.
The Macau Red Cross underlines the importance of volunteer work. Being so, they have short courses to tutor people on ways to help others: Basic knowledge of Red Cross, Care and Communication Techniques and Basic medical care are their core courses. According to their website, “successfully passing all written tests, and rendering at least 30 hours in community service within a year, the volunteers are permitted to register as members of the group”.
For volunteer work, call +853 2875 2926 or send an email to [email protected]
Macau Red Cross 255-263 Alameda Doutor Carlos D’Assumpção, China Civil Plaza 3/F, Macau, +853 2831 3003, [email protected], www.redcross.org.mo
International Ladies’ Club of Macau
When founded (in March 1982), the International Ladies’ Club of Macau’s (ILCM) original name was The City Club. At first, they organized entertainment activities such as Scottish country dancing, keep-fit, drawing and macramé classes, but also monthly lunch gatherings. They then supported the opening of an English language library, inaugurated in 1983. “The Chong Shan Library was founded in March 1984 with approximately 5,300 English books by 1987. When the library closed, many of the books were donated to the University Library in Taipa”, according to their official website.
1983 was also the year they had their first fundraising event, which they still frequently do. Besides financially aiding several local institutions dedicated to helping kids, the elderly, battered women and other groups, ILCM also organizes a series of activities from galas to charity markets, classes and workshops, there is an array of things one can participate in while helping others! Why not join this community and be part of the change?
ARTM (Association of Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers of Macao)
ARTM helps people with drug addictions, both during the treatment phase or post-treatment phase. Founded in 2000, this local association works four basics: treatment, prevention, harm reduction, and policy advocacy and not just with drug users. They’re also helping people with other addictions, including alcohol and gambling. They started as a self-help and peer support group then developed into having treatment centers, a needle syringe and harm reduction program, a reintegration support department and the Be Cool Project, which focuses on prevention.
They provide different treatment programs, as well as a daily range of support services such as HIV quick test, primary health care, sex education, close contact with people who use substances to encourage safer behavior, among others. They also organize different kinds of activities to get the rest of the community involved, such as charity dinners and galas, talks at schools, among others. They accept financial aid and volunteers, and people interested in internship positions. Contact them for more information.
ARTM Treatment Center Estrada de Nossa Senhora de Ká-Hó, Macau, +853 2887 0117, artm[email protected], artmmacau.org/help/
ARTM Harm Reduction Department 11–13 Estrada da Areia Preta, Nam Fong Garden (Block 3) G/F, Macau, +853 2853 5110, [email protected]
ARTM After Care Department 52 Rua Três do Bairro da Areia Preta, Edf San Mei On, G/F, Macau, +853 2840 3430, [email protected]
Macau Holy House of Mercy
Founded by Portuguese Bishop D. Belchior Carneiro in the 16th century, the Holy House of Mercy offers help to several groups: besides a day-care center, they also have a rehabilitation center for the blind, a home for the elderly and a leisure center. Our Lady of Mercy Home for the Elderly has been operating since 2000 and has the capacity to house 123 people in a five-story building close to the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
Moreover, other social facilities include the center for the blind, which opened in the 60s and helps 50 people with this kind of disability. This is one of the most well-known charity associations in Macau, in which many Chinese, Macanese and Portuguese personalities are involved in.
Macau Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society
Born in 1892, it’s one of Macau’s oldest charity associations. The Second Sino-Japanese War flooded Macau with refugees and the numbers don’t lie: the city had 160,000 residents in the 20s, spiking to 500,000 in 1943. There was a lack of infrastructure and means to shelter and feed all these people, so charitable associations came in handy at the time. The Macau Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society was born in the 19th century to cater to the Chinese people living in the city.
The three-story building is located in the city center. They started with a Chinese pharmacy offering dispensary service and free–or low cost–Chinese medicine appointments and treatments. Besides this, they also offered O.B. care, funerals, and education, having later expanded the latter to girls as well. They have always been in the frontline when it comes to regional disasters–the great Macau famine of 1942, which claimed 16,000 victims, and a fire in the Ilha Verde area, in 1950.
Macau Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society 60 Rua de Camilo Pessanha, Macau, +853 2892 2022
Anima is a local association helping abandoned and injured animals in Macau. Founded in 2003, it has a shelter, a medical clinic and lots of dogs to adopt, so help is always welcome! They organize a series of activities throughout the year where their animals are the focus: be it small-scale fairs or outreach programs at schools, Anima has been quite active when it comes to communicating with the local community.
Whether you adopt a dog or a cat, donate money or volunteer to walk the dogs, help out at the shelter or just becoming a temporary caretaker of dogs and cats, Anima is open to all sorts of aid. Contact them for more information on how to help and where to head to for this.
MASDAW (Macau Association for Stray Dogs and Animal Welfare) has been rescuing and sterilizing dogs (and cats) in need by taking them to the vet, doing public adoption fairs and other events. Founded in Macau in 2014, the association has more than 200 dogs up for adoption. Whether if it’s a puppy or a senior, how great is it to have a buddy at home? Think about adopting one of these, but weigh all the pros and cons before deciding on it because an animal is for life, not just a whim. They also have bank accounts where you can donate to help these creatures.
Macau accounts – 130120024733 (Bank of China), 9012686823 (BNU)
Hong Kong accounts – 131128414400 (Bank of China), 9012686891 (BNU)
MASDAW [email protected], www.masdaw.org, www.facebook.com/masdaw
For more information about these and other public and private charitable institutions in Macau, check here
Good Shepherd Centre
Battered women and children may find solace at the Good Shepherd Centre. Operating in Macau since the 70s. Local bishop Arquiminio da Costa invited sisters from this religious association to carry out service with teenagers like they were already doing in Hong Kong at the time. Many of the women supported by the Good Shepherd Centre come in with their children and face issues where domestic violence is one of them.
The shelter also supports underaged women previously involved in sex trafficking and sexual slavery. They have a team of people actively working towards the betterment of these women’s lives and are also looking for financial aid and volunteers to help out.
Good Shepherd Centre 107 Rua Central, Edf. Tak Tai G/F, Macau, +853 2835 8615, www.goodshepherd-asiapacific.org
Missionaries of Charity
In 1946, Mother Teresa of Calcutta founded the Missionaries of Charity, which branched out throughout the world and now have several sisters doing the work. Mother Teresa created the Macau center herself almost three decades ago. They have a creche for children from less fortunate families, in the north area of the city, but also take care of homeless people and have a soup kitchen on Sundays.
Missionaries of Charity Avenida Conselheiro Borja, Macau, +853 2823 4415, www.motherteresa.org
Social Welfare Bureau (Macau Government)
The Social Welfare Bureau offers a wide range of social services for all those in need, including the elderly, children, the handicapped, families struggling financially, victims of disaster, drug rehabilitation and gambling addiction, among others. Inaugurated in 1938, its first and main service was to provide financial assistance to all the social organizations offering help to the population, while also delivering “relief benefits” to poor people, supervising and taking care of all the orphans taken in, abandoned babies and poor persons. From 1947 onwards, they started functioning as the Public Relief Society and their aid went to poor persons, lepers, orphans, abandoned babies, misfortune adolescents, pregnant women and their babies.
They have public workers doing most of the work, but they also collaborate with a series of local associations–such as Caritas or Cradle of Hope–to enhance their efficacy and cover more ground when it comes to helping the less fortunate. These are their facilities: Ilha Verde Centre for Victims of Disaster, Comprehensive Assessment Centre for Rehabilitation Service, Healthy Life Education Centre, Detoxification and Maintenance Treatment Services – Ilha Verde Drug Treatment Centre (Methadone), and more.
Social Welfare Bureau 6 Estrada do Cemitério, Macau, +853 2836 7878, [email protected], www.ias.gov.mo
Cradle of Hope Association
The Cradle of Hope association has been helping babies and children in Macau since 1993. Both homes–Cradle of Hope and Fountain of Hope–house children who were victims of abandonment, neglect or abuse and give them a warm place to stay, food and lots of care until they are 18 years old. The association also works closely with the Social Welfare Bureau of the Macao SAR and volunteers willing to provide aid.
With most of their money coming from the local government, Cradle of Hope takes care of the little ones and through a healthy environment, helps them to grow. Their website has lots of information, including how you can help via volunteering and donating.
Cradle of Hope Association +853 28837056, +853 28432610, [email protected], www.cradleofhope-association.org
Home Cradle of Hope Travessa dos Currais, 58 Macau Building C R/C, 999078 Macau, +853 2883 7055, [email protected]
Home Fountain of Hope Rua do Regedor, Edf. Chun Fok Village, Torre 6, Wai Seng Kok, R/C, Taipa 999078, Macau, +853 2843 2610, [email protected]