Taiwan: Sisters are 'Guardian Angels' to single mums

Latest government statistics in Taiwan, reveal that  there has a been an increase in the number of births to young single women, and an increase in violence against women. In 2008, 8,195 children were born to single mothers, equalling 4% of all births. 3,802  of those new mothers were under 20. From January to September 2008 alone, there were 895  reported cases of violence suffered by under-age girls.

According to the Good Shepherd Sisters, behind each one of these numbers is a girl who desperately needs help and the Catholic Church cannot remain indifferent, but must become a 'guardian angel' for these young mothers. The Good Shepherd  Sisters' Social Welfare Services are working on the frontline to support them. 

In addition to four specialized centres:  a Home for Newborns in Tai Nan, The Dew Service Centre, the Good Shepherd Home for Children,  and a Child's Care Centre in Ning Xin,  that offer assistance to raped, abandoned or abused women, they have also opened two telephone help lines offering moral, medical, and psychiatric counseling to pregnant women.

During 2008, they helped 22 single mothers (including 16 under the age of 18) to find suitable accomodation for themselves and their newborn children. They  also offered 347 direct services (visits, meetings, individual and collective moral support), 178 medical services, including pre and post natal care.

 For more information about their work in  Taiwan,  see: www.goodshepherd.org.tw/index.html

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