Introduction

Obra das Mães is a non-profit organization with a long history and distinctive merit in charity and social welfare in Macao. The name of the organization comes from the Portuguese phrase “Mother’s Work”. Obra das Mães was founded in 1959 by the wife of the then-governor, the Macanese and Chinese communities. Although coming from diversed social sectors with different nationalities and religious beliefs, members bear the spirit of carrying forward to a range of charitable activities. This unique identity gives Obra das Mães its Portuguese and Chinese characteristics. Members, on behalf of the “spirit of maternal love", work to help mothers and defend the rights and interests of women in Macao, as well as to promote activities related to various areas of charity and social welfare. The organization’s mission is to promote activities related to family education, to improve the quality of life in families, to give help to mothers, to defend the rights and interests of women and to promote the harmonious development of society. During the past fifty years, Obra das Mães has refined its services and developed more activities to promote charitable work. In the past few years, Obra das Mães has worked exclusively for women, children and the elderly. The organization’s work has been recognized by entities across a variety of sectors in Macao.

Obra das Mães currently runs seven institutions dedicated to children’s education and elderly care: four "Creches São João" (in Horta Costa and NAPE and Taipa and UM) for children care, the "Lar dos Idosos" and the "Lar de Cuidados Especiais" homes for elderly care and the "Centro de Convívio"  - Day Centre, for senior citizens. Obra das Mães has maintained its concern for development of women in society, healthy growth of children and services provided to the elderly. Providing monthly subsidies to families and individuals in need, has been an important programme of Obra das Mães. Among those who are in great need, the organization highlights the elderly on their own and single parents.

With the support of the Macao SAR Government and entities from across different sectors of society, Obra das Mães continues to improve services and develop activities to promote social welfare, supporting the needy. Awarded with the Medal of Philanthropic Merit in 1989, Obra das Mães was again awarded the Medal of Merit in 2007 by the government for activities in the areas of charity and social welfare. These two medals confirm not only the appreciation of the organization’s work by the community, but it also serves as a great encouragement for the work of Obra das Mães in the future.

Obra das Mães continues to improve the quality of services and promotes a growing number of charitable and social welfare activities. In order to follow the various phases of modernization and development of the community. Based on many years of experience, members work together in an active and responsible manner, keeping in mind the guiding mission of the organization. The continuous progress of the community defines new challenges for work in the areas of charity and social welfare and Obra das Mães continues to work closely in accordance with the various measures of the government and promote the participation of members in social welfare activities with the aim of helping increasing numbers of families and individuals in need. Obra das Mães seeks to improve the quality of their work regarding the well-being of women in Macao, as well as charity and social welfare, so as to meet the ever-changing needs in the community.

Mission

To promote activities related to family education, improve the quality of family life, give assistance to mothers, defend the rights and interests of women and promote the harmonious development of the community.