The founder of Maria Social Welfare Foundation, Doctor Hong-Dat Chuang is a devoted Catholic. He graduated from Kaohsiung Medical University in 1973. In 1975, Dr. Chuang was a physician in Changhua Christian Hospital and was dispatched to be trained in Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in National Taiwan University Hospital for three months. This opportunity opened a gate to the intervention of physical and intellectual disabilities. Realizing that Ren-Ai Elementary school specializing in physical and intellectual disabilities in Hemei Township, Changhwa,needed a professional doctor for physiotherapy, Dr. Chuang then regularly visted the school and implemented his treatments.
During the year of 1983, Dr. Chuang realized the inadequate treatment of children with disabilities and the hardship of parents while working as a pediatrician director in Shun-Tian Hospital, Taichung. He then proposed to the hospital to establish Love the Children Rehab Service near by and started rehab services children.
In 1986, Dr. Chuang started his own pediatrician clinic and moved Love the Children Rehab Service to the second floor of the clinic. Using the clinic's afternoon break time, he applied physical therapies to the children and hired one employee. There were 5 children then. By the time in 1988, there were 30 children with disabilities and 5 emplyees. Dr. Chuang took care of these children with his own income from the clinic and his professional knowledge.
In 1988, Dr. Donald Alfred Nicholls from Australia held a center for children with cerebral palsy in Xitun District, Taichung. Because of retirement, these children with cerebral palsy had no place to turn to. Dr. Chuang received this information through Social Affairs Bureau; he then determined to look after them. Limited as the space, the finance became difficult as well.
In order to have a more appropriate location and care, Dr. Chuang approached to fund-raising. With the support from the government and society, Maria social and culture Education Foundation and Maria Home for People with Complex Needs were established to offer rehabilitation, education, and welfare services.
At this moment, there are Maria Home for People with Complex Needs and Maria Wufeng Caring Home ; and since 2002, we are contracted by Taichung City Government to run Taichung City Love Home and also collaborate with Kinmen County Social Affairs Bureau to establish the Kinmen County Early Intervention Center to provide services to delayed-developed children in surrounding islands.
Following the principles of Maria Social Welfare Foundation-'Love Never Fails', our team work has been serving for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities in aspects of living, medication, education, and employment. Maria Social Welfare Foundation accompanies people with disabilities with endless passion now and in the future.