The St Jane Family is a group of 43 girls in Grade 7. The St Jane Family girls started secondary school at Biga Girlstown in 2021. The girls are cared for by their Mother-Sister, Sister Molina. The girls come from incredibly poor and desperate families and their education at the school is a source of hope for them and their families.
Sister Molina strives to be a support to the girls and says that she believes that “to study away from home, away from their parents is a big challenge for them, so, as Mother-Sister, I always try to be with them to be able to immediately attend to their needs and listen to them.” Sister Molina herself is from a poor farming family and was a student at the Sisters of Mary school, and took Holy orders after graduating, so she understands how tough each girl’s situation is from her own experience.
When the children start school in Grade 7, they receive their school uniform, a bag, three pairs of shoes for sports, school and leisure, a set of colouring pens, some house clothes and sports uniform. They also receive books, board games, and other indoor game materials for use in their dormitories during leisure time. They have a general medical check-up to assess their medical and dental health needs. Your sponsorship of a family will contribute to these basic costs, making sure that each child has clothing, food, and books for their school.
Every day, the St Jane Family eats breakfast, do their chores, attend classes and extra curricular activities, spend some time gardening with Sister Molina, eat dinner, and study together before going to sleep in their shared dormitory space. Their lives are communal and they do everything together, giving each other support and friendship as they progress through their schooling.
“My name is Angel from The Sisters of Mary School in the Philippines, I am part of the St. Jane Family. I am third of four siblings. My parents are simple barbeque vendors but the little they gain is not even enough to pay the house rent- we don’t have house of our own. When I was in elementary, I woke up early to help my parents to prepare the things for selling. Sometimes we don’t have enough food to eat and don’t have enough to buy things we need for school and so my elder brother has to stop schooling to be able to help my parents.”
You can read Angel’s full story below and hear how she is enjoying her time at Biga Girlstown and the difference the school and her family has made in her life.
“My name is Frenczhai, a 13 year old Grade 7 Student from The Sisters of Mary in the Philippines, I am part of St. Jane Family. I am the eldest of four siblings. My father was a jeepney driver. When I was 6 years old, my parents separated. So, I stayed with my grandmother together with my youngest sister. I was supported by my Grandparents during my elementary studies but sometimes I was bullied by other students, I tried not to mind them since I wanted to finish my studies and pursue with my dreams.”
You can read Frenchzai’s full story below and hear how her life has changed since coming to Biga Girlstown and the difference the school and her family has made in her life.
The St Blaise Family is a group of 30 boys in Grade 7. The St Blaise Family boys started secondary school at Minglanilla Boystown in 2021. The boys are cared for by their Mother-Sister, Sister Kay. The boys all come from incredibly poor and desperate families. Their education and place at school is a great source of comfort for them and hope for their families.
The Saint Blaise Family is among the four families that were formed during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as a response to safety measures.
Sister Kay says that “As a family, with me as their mother-sister, we exchange our continual support to one another through being there for each other and through sharing our time and effort. We also support the children by providing them with everything they need from head to foot which includes their basic needs and necessities, high-quality secondary education, an intensive vocational-technical curriculum, and different services such as medical and dental.”
When the children start school in Grade 7, they receive their school uniform, a bag, three pairs of shoes for school, leisure and sports, a set of colouring pens, some house clothes and sports uniform. They also receive books, board games, and other indoor game materials in their dormitories for leisure time. They have a general check-up to assess their medical and dental health needs. Your sponsorship of a family will contribute to these basic costs, making sure that each one has clothing, food, and books for their school.
Every day, the St Blaise Family eats breakfast, do their chores, attend classes and extra curricular activities, spend some time gardening with Sister Kay, eat dinner, and study together before going to sleep in their shared dormitory space. Their lives are communal and they do everything together, giving each other support and friendship as they progress through their schooling.
Marvin was born in 2006, Calbayog City, Samar. His parents separated when he was six and he lived with his two sisters, father, and new stepmother. It was a very poor life. His aunt was kind and tried to help whilst his father worked hard to sell sand for a living, but there was little money to be made and his father would often have to leave the children for long periods without sufficient food to sustain them.
Access to school was difficult for Marvin. He often helped out on his farm instead of studying, or joined his grandfather fishing, helping to sell his catch.
At home he did not enjoy a loving relationship with his stepmother and when he was 11 his stepmother pushed him against the wall in an alcoholic rage and splashed him with petrol. His father moved him to his grandfather’s home for protection.
In 2017, whilst living with his grandfather, Marvin met the Sisters and was offered a place at their school in Minglanilla, Cebu. Now in the St Blaise family at the school he says “when I entered the Sisters of Mary School, there was a great change in me. I have learned how to respect people. I was very happy for being able to enter the school. Everything is provided and we are taught in a holistic approach. I am grateful to be part of the St. Blaise Family because I feel the essence of a true family with them.”
Roel is the ninth of eleven children, born in 2004 in Leyte in the Philippines. His father died when Roel was six, leaving his mother to care for the family alone.
The young family faced enormous difficulties as the only work his mother could find to support them was babysitting and this meant working away, leaving the children alone in their mountain home. She would return only at the weekends. When he was ten years old, he started to work in his neighbour’s rice field, planting and harvesting rice. The family frequently ran out of food and then he would harvest root crops like sweet potato or banana or beg for food.
In 2017 Roel was introduced to the Sisters of Mary working in his region. He says “I was so happy and felt blessed when I was able to enter Sisters of Mary School. If I didn’t make it here, I think I wouldn’t be able to study. Maybe I would have given up my studies to help my mother and support our family.”
He feels that being part of the Saint Blaise Family is a blessing for him. “At first, when we were formed as one family, everyone was silent, and I still had to adjust especially with whom to share my problems. But, after some time, I saw that our Family was really jolly and fun to be with. When I have problems, my dormmates won’t leave me until I feel better. Every one of us treats each other like real brothers. And that is why they are so important to me.”
£9 – Helps provide all the clothing, care, health and hygiene essentials for a child for a month
£21 – Helps provide all the reference books, textbooks, notepads and pens for a child’s education for one month
£26 – Helps provide all the food needed by one child for a month
£84 – Helps provide everything needed to care for one child for a month*
*these costs are based on the average across all our schools
Angel came to the Sisters of Mary School in Biga, Cebu from a poor family of barbeque vendors. Angel is now at school in her first year of secondary school and is enjoying her life with her classmates.
Frenchzai comes from a poor family and after her parent separated, was looked after by her grandparents. After her grandfather died, life was a real struggle for their family.
Marvin’s parents separated when he was 6 and he lived with his 2 sisters, father, and new stepmother. It was a very poor life. With poor access to education Marvin worked on farms or as a fisherman. In 2017 Marvin joined the Sisters of Mary school in Cebu and his life changed.
Roel is the 9th of 11 children. His father died in 2010 when Roel was just 6 years old. Roel had to grow up quickly and help care for his siblings. He says he felt a lot of responsibility almost like a father. He worked hard to support them all.
Your donations help us to provide education for the world’s poorest children. They help us to fund school places and the everyday care needed for boys and girls who are without hope. See the difference your monthly or single gift can make to the lives of the children in our care: