UN Sustainable Development Goals Graphic showing Number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12

How our programmes are working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs)

At World Villages for Children programmes, we work towards 9 of the 17 UNSDGs. Every aspect of our work in the countries and communities where we operate is focused on sustainability and using education to create a long term solution for extreme poverty. In July 2023, the UN released the 2023 Progress Report, revealing how progress towards achieving these SDGs has been slowed by various factors including the Ukraine War, COVID-19, and a weak global economy.

Following the report, we took a deeper look at how our education work aligns with each of these goals. You can navigate to a specific goal by selecting the link below:

UNSDG Icon Number 1 - No Poverty

No Poverty

The cornerstone and ultimate mission of our programmes is the alleviation of poverty – UNSDG 1 No Poverty.

Our humanitarian programmes were set up by Father Al in the 1960s to end poverty. He saw the best chance of this was by providing education and  giving children the skills they need to help themselves to succeed. These are the skills that are otherwise locked away by poverty but, with access to education, children can become successful and happy adults, empowered to help themselves and generations of their families and communities to a poverty free future.

We hope that one day poverty will be a thing of history and we believe that education is the best way to achieve that goal. We can only do this with the generous support of our donors and friends, who are as passionate as us about seeing an end to poverty for good.

Ending poverty for good

So far over 167,000 children have graduated from our education programmes and into work, skilled and able to help themselves and generations of their families out of poverty, multiplying the impact of our work many times over.

UNSDG Icon Number 2 - Zero Hunger

Zero Hunger

We want a world where all children have enough food to eat every day.

In 2022, 148 million children had stunted growth and 45 million children under the age of five were affected by wasting due to lack of food. Our programmes aim to tackle hunger and the development problems caused by hunger by providing enough nutritious food for our children to thrive at school. We then ensure that through their education, our children have the skills to earn enough to feed themselves and their families well.

Providing nutritious food in our programmes

All of our impoverished students have experienced hunger and malnutrition in their early lives and we see first-hand how these vulnerable youngsters can be transformed with three nutritious meals a day at our schools.

By providing this full time care and equipping these youngsters with skills for work, we ensure they go on to thrive in life, have a brighter, independent future and ensure that they and their families live hunger free.

UNSDG Icon Number 3 Good health and wellbeing

Good health and wellbeing

Ensuring good health and wellbeing are a vital part of the children’s lives at our schools. Many of the poorest children come to us suffering the effects of food deprivation, they are malnourished & stunted from lack of nutrition or suffer from simple, treatable illnesses.


At our schools, the poorest children can begin their journey to good health with the nurturing support of the Sisters and full medical care including regular medical check ups, immunisations, disease prevention such as malaria nets, dentistry and eye care.


The schools focus on the care of the whole child including their mental wellbeing. Physical education and exercise, a positive social environment, opportunity for the children to make new friends, pursue passions and hobbies, all contribute to a positive and nurturing environment which wraps around our children, helps them to enjoy a happy childhood and thrive during their time at school.

UNSDG Icon Number 4 - Quality Education

Quality Education

Providing a quality education, accredited in each country is the foundation of our work and the best tool we can provide to empower our children and to fight poverty.

Academic education

Every child studies a national curriculum of academic subjects,  overseen by the education authorities in each country. All subjects are taught by qualified teachers and every child qualifies with a national certificate at graduation and the skills they need to secure employment, go on to further study, or to start their own businesses.

Vocational education

Every child also receives practical training in a range of vocational skills. This vocational education is tailored to the skill needs of local industries and means that children are equipped and ready for jobs available locally as soon as they complete school. Many children use these skills to work whilst supporting members of their families and studying part time in order to achieve their dreams in life, like Ross.

UNSDG Icon Number 5 - Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Every girl and woman has the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life.

Girls are disadvantaged in access to education and suffer from greater levels of poverty and hunger.  Our education programmes are based on equality of opportunity. Education for disadvantaged girls is our priority.

The first schools we build in each country are for the poorest girls in the region. Our programmes address the lack of provision for quality education for girls and provide them with the skills they need to overcome their difficult early lives and thrive at school and into the future.

Early marriage limits girls’ education prospects

According to the UN, one in five girls are married before their 18th birthday. Early marriage leads to early pregnancy, and child rearing. This negatively impacts girls’ health, and economic prospects, limiting them by forcing them out of school with insufficient skills for life and work.

By giving girls an education, we are providing them with the tools to live independent, free lives, make new dreams and ambitions and fulfill their potential.

UNSDG Icon Number 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

Clean Water and Sanitation

Access to water for drinking, sanitation and hygiene is the most fundamental requirement for good health and wellbeing. The poorest children are deprived of this basic survival need.

Investing in clean, reliable water sources

At our programmes, we ensure the children in our care never have to worry about water again and, with your support, we invest in measures which ensure a sustainable supply of water for our children, such as the new well recently drilled at our Guatemala Girls’ School.

With more support, we can maintain this progress and help our other school programmes like Minglanilla Boystown with the urgent repairs and building projects needed to ensure a reliable supply of clean, fresh water for our children.

UNSDG Icon Number 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Affordable and Clean Energy

We teach our students the importance of protecting the planet and using clean, renewable energy to power our schools by installing solar panels.

Training in renewable energy sources

We offer vocational training on solar panel installation so that our children can benefit from, and be a part of, the solution to provide affordable and clean energy. As the demand for better renewable energy sources increases, training children to be ready to work in this industry is key to their own future employment opportunities.

Making our programmes more sustainable

In our programmes in The Philippines, Tanzania, and Honduras, solar panels help to supplement the schools’ energy supply. This has many benefits including

  1. Providing lower cost, renewable energy sources which help to increase the sustainability of the programmes reduces costs and allow us to reach more children in need
  2. Providing a reliable source of energy when many of our programmes exist in countries with unreliable and intermittent power provision
UNSDG Icon Number 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Decent Work and Economic Growth

As part of our school programmes we endeavour to provide a well rounded academic and vocational education in order to give our children the best opportunities for stable, fairly paid work once they finish school.

We match the vocational education that we provide with the skills needed by local employers, from car repair and tailoring to culinary skills and computing, to ensure our children are successfully recruited and make lasting careers, able to help themselves, their families and communities onto better lives.

Partnering with local employers

The Sisters develop close relationships in-country with local employers looking for skilled workers and able to provide fair salaries and decent working conditions. These employers provide work experience (On the Job Training) for the children and final job opportunities. This ensures our children can graduate into good jobs, develop careers and support their families and communities with poverty relief and growth.

UNSDG Icon Number 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Consumption and Production

In each of our programmes we focus on protecting the planet and responsible consumption of our resources. Reducing waste, recycling, and reusing items is central to our activities, minimising costs and conserving every resource.

Effective use of donations as a way to teach children

Every child is taught the value of responsible consumption and conserving precious resources.  They reuse and recycle all materials at school including school waste water which is treated and used in gardening, they grow much of their own fruit and veg. The schools use every vocational training opportunity to equip the children with employable and practical skills and to save money by making their own furniture and supplies for school.

The schools have now become highly effective in resource management using every donation to its fullest potential to care for the children at school and to welcome more of the children in greatest need.