A purple crucifix with flowers
Cross, hand painted by Sister Margie, Sisters of Mary, 2024

Facing the challenge of poverty

As a church, facing the reality of poverty in our global community is an ongoing challenge. Helping the poor and giving to those in need is an important Christian value, deeply rooted in Jesus’ example of love and compassion. The foundation of the Sisters of Mary programmes comes from their Catholic faith and values and Father Aloysius Schwartz‘s vocation.

World Villages is pleased to have the support of churches around the UK. From collections, to hosting events, fundraising, and spreading the word about our work, churches and their members are integral to our work supporting the Sisters of Mary programmes around the world.

As a church, you can support the Sisters of Mary’s work by coming together to pray and give to support their life saving work, putting your faith into action. Join the Sisters of Mary’s mission to end poverty through education and support their humanitarian education programmes around the world.

“Christ's presence in the poor: that is the reality to which many Christian eyes are dimmed. Yet all our talk to reform and renewal will come to naught unless the Church - and we are the Church - faces the challenge of poverty”

Venerable Father Aloysius "Al" Schwartz
a group of girls in purple tshirts in Chalco Mexico

How your church can be a part of our work ending poverty

The global church community is integral in our work. From supporting with prayer and providing financial support, the Christian community is a big support for the Sisters’ work and for our children.

Visiting your church

If you are interested in hearing more about how you can support the Sisters of Mary in their mission, one of our team members will visit your church and speak to the congregation or at a gathering about our work.

Key points in the year your church can support

6 boys wearing santa hats holding gifts.


Are you planning a collection for charity, a Christingle service, or a shoebox appeal in your church over Christmas?

You can give the gift of an education to children from the most deprived communities by raising funds to provide their needs and also give a modest Christmas gift.

At Christmas, every child receives a small gift, small enough to fit in a shoebox, of school supplies, clothing, shoes, and a small treat to celebrate and bring the joy of Christmas to our children.

Ask our team for Christmas tags and you can write a personal message which we send out to the children which the Sisters attach to their gifts. The children love receiving messages from people who care enough to support them through their education.


boys opening presents, one is holding up colouring pens


Every Easter, we give small, practical gifts to each of our children to support their education and development. Each gift contains school supplies, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, vitamin supplements, and a small treat to help them celebrate Easter.

Children who come from poverty experience many deprivations, including malnutrition. Addressing poor nutrition in children’s early lives is a priority for our programmes and so we ensure that every child has 3 nutritious meals a day, and vitamin supplements. Easter is a vital opportunity for us to give additional vitamin supplements to aid the children’s growth and physical development.

Your church can support our children at school and with their nutrition by taking an Easter collection and giving thousands of poor children the best foundation for a poverty-free life where they can flourish.

Girls and a nun sitting on the ground with present bags

Every Child's Birthday - 15 August

On the 15 August, we celebrate Every Child’s Birthday. This is one day in the year where every child in the education programmes is celebrated, they receive a small gift, share a meal together, play games, and enjoy a day of fun and celebration together.

Many of the children who come to us have never celebrated their birthday, many do not know their birth date, and  some of them are unsure of their exact age. Poverty deprives these children of dignity and the basic necessities for survival, so birthday celebrations with a treat like cake are something they have never experienced before and bring them untold delight.

Every Child’s Birthday is a joyful and profound event in the year, where children feel loved, celebrated, and have the freedom and joy of a birthday celebration in a community with their peers, teachers, and the Sisters.

Group of nuns sitting on a wall in Mexico smiling at the camera

Coming together as a community

At World Villages for Children, we want to enable all churches to participate in championing the cause of the poor worldwide and encourage acting for social justice in countries where provision and support for poor children is desperately needed.

You know best how you can support and our team is here to help you every step of the way.

“It is easy to delegate charity to others, yet the calling of every Christian is to become personally involved” – Pope Francis, World Day of the Poor 2022

If you would like to partner with us, please get in touch!

Please contact Carey on cevans@worldvillages.org.uk or call us on 0207 629 3050

Sr Margie on the Catholic Talk Show

Sr Margie of the Sisters of Mary was recently interviewed in the US by the Catholic Talk show and took the chance to explain about the life and work of Father Al, the foundation of the Sisters of Mary and her current work with the poorest children in Tanzania

Where we work