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. This historical surrender took place in the parlour of Canossa Convent.
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 the deaf, the blind and the handicapped. 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.