Our Story

Humble beginnings with BIG DREAMS.

Our Journey: Pivotal Milestones

Our story traces back to the founding in 1941. Throughout the 70 odd years of establishment, we experienced many ups and downs. Alongside changes in Singapore’s societal landscape, the Home constantly worked to identify key gaps and fulfil these needs.

Read how our past influences our future.

Our Story Timeline

A rocky beginning

Founded by the Canossian Sisters in 1941, the Home started off with a community of 4 Sisters, a novice, 4 postulants and 31 orphans. It was the result of Rev. Father Stephen Lee’s dream of starting an orphanage and a private Chinese school for the education of the poor. After the Japanese invasion and subsequently when the British surrendered in February 1942, the chapel was used as their office. The rest of the buildings were converted into a hospital for their wounded soldiers. The Sisters and orphans had to evacuate and they were sent to Fiji Village, Bahau in Negri Sembilan where they spent more than two years until the Japanese surrendered.

First the chickens, then the school

When the war ended in 1945 more than 150 orphans returned from Bahau with the Sisters. During this time of scarcity, planting vegetables and rearing chickens were more important than classes. More war orphans joined us despite the shortage of food.

From private Chinese school to Government-aided English school

In 1951 the Chinese private school was converted to a Government-aided English school. This was done firstly to raise the education of our orphans to a higher standard and secondly to answer to the request of the Chinese born in Malaya for tuition in English, so as to have better employment prospects. With this change, the Sisters took over the teaching from the Chinese-speaking teachers.

Widening our reach

By 1952, a new wing was opened and Fatima Home opened its doors to children with hearing impairment, visual impairment and physical disabilities. As the Sisters observed gaps that needed to be filled, they moved quickly to introduce new programmes to benefit the different groups.

More programmes were introduced over the years to meet the growing needs of the poor, the underprivileged and their families.

1960s

Sisters ran a mobile clinic.

1970s

The Vocational Training Centre provided opportunities for girls to master sewing and typing skills and to earn a livelihood. Magdalene’s Kindergarten was established. The orphanage changed its name to Canossaville Children’s Home in 1979.

1980s

  • Before and After School Care provided supervision for children who would otherwise be left alone at home.
  • Help Every Lone Parent (HELP) was introduced in response to the Singapore Council of Social Service’s proposal for a family-centred service for single parents.
  • Single Parent Encounter (SPE) provided a forum for members to meet and develop friendships.
  • Beginning Experience (BE) promoted healing by offering a peer ministry for widowed, divorced or separated individuals to work through their grief surrounding the end of their marriage/relationship.
  • Rainbow for All Children Programme provided a support group for grieving children from single parent families.

1990s

Total Learning Centre was opened to cater to the needs of children with learning disabilities. The Centre provides supervision for the child in a disciplined atmosphere. The child is guided to develop a healthy work ethic, personal responsibility and time management.

The Canossian Eduplex comprising Canossa Convent, Canossian School for the Hearing Impaired, Canossa Convent Primary School, Magdalene’s Kindergarten and Canossaville Children’s Home was born. This is a borderless concept which promotes close interaction and cooperation among the five sectors.

Today

Today we offer Residential Care to girls aged between 6 years to 12 years who come from family situations which may put them at risk. Our Student Care Centre is an Integrated Special Student Care Centre which accepts children with special needs.The Centre looks after 80 students, providing a safe and nurturing environment for them either before or after school. In view of the changing societal landscape, we are undergoing a transition period in order to serve the wider community. The new name of Canossaville Children and Community Services (CCCS) will be adopted with effect from January 2017.

CCCS is run under the auspices of the Canossian Daughters of Charity. The Canossian Sisters provide spiritual and pastoral care, an integral part in the formation of the heart, alongside many talented and dedicated people who care for our children and prepare them for the opportunities and challenges that life has to offer.