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Macao’s first children’s protection conference calls for greater awareness

Head of Family and Community Services stresses need to support carers helping abused children and provide more resources to help prevent maltreatment.

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Head of Family and Community Services stresses need to support carers helping abused children and provide more resources to help prevent maltreatment.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:47 am

More than 100 social workers, teachers, academics and caregivers attended Macao’s inaugural Children’s Protection Conference on Saturday, calling for local society to pay greater attention to children’s welfare.

The head of Family and Community Services, Lei Lai Peng, expressed her support and encouragement for creating more awareness and supporting industry practitioners providing care to children who have suffered abuse. She also called for more resources to be allocated to those who can prevent the abuse.

“This is the first Children’s Protection Conference, and I believe it is very important and needed for Macao,” said Lei. “I hope that everyone can learn more about the work that is involved in safeguarding children’s rights and health. We hope that this is just the start and that we continue to work together, with great results.”

Children Protection Conference
Good Shepherd Sisters Executive Coordinator Maria Rosa Viloria with IAS head of Family and Community Services, Lei Lai Peng – Photo by Oswald Vas

Good Shepherd Sisters Executive Coordinator Maria Rosa Viloria said: “I think it is very encouraging. And to see the response of so many people, so exciting in a way, so enthusiastic in doing something. Macao needs this and even the whole world needs this, especially now with cyberspace where a lot of abuses are happening. We have to be more alert about that as well. The young people need us despite how busy adults become.

“This conference reminds people [about children’s needs] and to educate us. People will be more aware. It takes time but this is only the first drop in the ocean.”

Presentations, discussion panels and workshops were held throughout the day to raise awareness about children’s rights. 

Children Protection Conference
COHA Founder Marjory Vendramini with Good Shepherd Centre Director Debbie Lai – Photo by Oswald Vas

On thanking participants at the end of the day, Cradle of Hope Association (COHA) founder Marjory Vendramini reminded everyone that “protecting the rights of children is a community responsibility” and that the best way to protect the children is to teach them to protect themselves. “Never forget, it takes a village to raise a child. And to make sure the children are safe, it’s everyone’s responsibility,” she said. “Let’s never forget that.”

The conference was headed by Good Shepherd Centre women’s shelter, co-organised with COHA children’s foster home and the City University of Macau, and sponsored by the Social Welfare Bureau and the International Ladies Club of Macau.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:47 am

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