A nun stands outside an informal house with three girls in Brazil
Ana Carolina (left) at home with her family during the Sisters' community visits

Early life

“My name is Ana. I am 13 years of age. I live in the northern part of Brazil. My mother is Maria. She has 34 years of age. She works as a community health agent. My father’s name is Roberto . He has 54 years of age. My parents are separated. My mother has two daughters, myself and my younger sister.

My family lives in the house of my grandmother because my mother didn’t make our own house yet. There are 5 persons living in this house. My grandfather is a motor taxi. He is the one together with my mother who sustain the house. My grandmother has 63 years of age. And my grandfather has 58 years old. Due to age and health problem my grandmother cannot work.

My mother’s work is visiting the houses of other people just to know how their situation is. My younger sister has 7 years of age. When my mother goes to work, I and my sister are at home until lunch time and then primary school until 6.15 pm. Since I am studying in a public school, I never learn about Sewing class and Computer Class. While the teachers sometimes they teach well but more of the times they are just on their cellphone.”

five girls in light blue long sleeve uniforms stand and smile at the camera in brazil
Ana Carolina at school, second from the right

Early life

“My father work as a mason. He has another wife, and he has son with this woman. But they separated also. Now, my father is living with another woman who has a son with another man. My father sometimes helps my mother with my needs. I and my sister are with different father.

I don’t like to go out from house nor my mother also allow me to do so because it is very dangerous because of kidnapped and raped.

I heard about the sisters who are helping some girls who have the willingness to study. When I know that I will be accepted my mother prepares everything for me to be in Brasilia. When the day came for me to leave my mother told me to behave and study well for me to pass and learn many things. During the travel, I thought that if I am going to Brasilia then I should struggle much for me to give pride for my mother since she spent money for my travel.”

A group of smiling girls in uniform standing together with Ana in the middle

Life at school

“At the beginning I felt longing with my family. But I thought of the efforts and sacrifices of my mother. And I perceived the difference of the school with my school before in my own city. That is why I starts to give value with the classes here with the sisters. I am really studying well for me to bring good news to my family.

Here in the Sisters of Mary school I learn how to be humble and always help others. Also, I learn above all things to give value and be grateful of I have. Here, I get everything for free. I love the food here because everything that was served is all nutritious and helpful for my health because in my house all that was served is rice, beans, and beef, sometimes my mother put vegetables because it is a little bit expensive and almost of the meal, we drink soft drink.

I like the clothes that I receive here with the sisters because it is in variety and with quality while in my house, I have few clothes for my mother couldn´t afford buying some for me. Here, I love playing with my roommate because I see a lot of fun playing with many girls while in my house its only I with my sister and only dolls while here the games are diversified. I am having more fun with the studies here because they are more evolved and when I doubted the teachers clarifies my doubts.

Now, my plans are pass in my studies and reach until third year high school with my technical course that I want someday for me to be able to help my family. I want to have my own work when I finish my studies here in the Sisters of Mary. Then, pursuit my dream which is to be a nurse.”