This January thanks to the kindness of our World Villages for Children friends and supporters, 1156 of the world’s poorest children were able to take up a new place at our Sisters of Mary schools in Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil and Tanzania.
Education and live-in care will give these children the nourishment, attention and stimulation they crave and deserve. It will help them make a better future for themselves and generations of their families.
However, access to education for the poorest children who remain in these local communities has been devastated by the Covid 19 pandemic.
In the Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil, state education and learning ceased for the poorest children during the pandemic lockdowns. For these children who are already deprived of so much, access to education is never easy but without internet access or equipment for virtual learning these children have fallen even further behind. Conservative figures suggest an average of 250 days of schooling have been lost over the last two years. These vulnerable children and the families that rely on them may never catch up
The Sisters of Mary at work in these communities witness these most vulnerable youngsters, particularly girls, suffering the greatest losses. Whilst school buildings lie dormant, impoverished children are excluded from virtual learning and drift further into deprivation, away from these vital sources of support and care. Girls suffer the added risk of early marriage which guarantees the end of their schooling.
 World Bank 2022
Throughout the pandemic, the Sisters of Mary schools have remained open and welcoming as many children as space and funds permit. In some of our countries the schools were, and continue to be, the only schools open and providing full time secondary education. Our schools in Guatemala are a particular example of this.
In Zona 6 and Zona 13 of Guatemala City, our two schools are alone in running full time in person education programmes for secondary age boys and girls. They currently have over 1700 poor children in full time care and education. Demand for places at these and all our schools worldwide has never been higher.
With the hard work of the Sisters and your vital support we have redoubled our efforts to give the poorest children the chance of a better life. Our 480 new children in Guatemala this January will have access to additional learning as they start school with little early education. They will have a safe place to grow amidst the chaos and deprivation caused by the pandemic, regular nutrition to help them thrive and they will learn the skills they need to eventually find work and build a better life for themselves and their families.
Mt Iztaccíhuatl Expedition Updates
In December 2023, Enrique climbs Mt Iztaccíhuatl. You can read his updates on training and preparing for the expedition here
In September 2023, the UN reviewed its progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Over October, we reflected on how we work towards these goals within our programmes providing our children with the opportunities to escape from poverty and thrive.
Tanzania programme visit 2023
In September, Nicola and Carey from the World Villages team travelled to Tanzania for the inauguration of the new boys’ school in Dodoma. It will serve to educate some of the most impoverished boys in Tanzania.