Young boy on rubbish dump Tondo Philippines

We support education programmes for the world's most deprived boys and girls

Children who are orphans or from the very poorest and disadvantaged families in the communities and neighbourhoods of the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras and Tanzania.

Young boys and girls who work long hours on the streets and in the slums of these regions to earn money, who risk disease, early marriage or a life of crime.

These children lack the basic conditions for survival like adequate shelter, regular nutrition, healthcare, water for drinking and sanitation and who lack vital access to a good education without which they have no hope of a better future.


Girls working on an electronics project

Gender equality is at the heart of the programmes

We offer girls and boys equal opportunity to receive a good education, to overcome poverty and their difficult start in life. Equipped with the right skills children from the Sisters of Mary programmes are able to secure local jobs when they finish school. They become productive and independent members of society able to help their parents and generations of their families.

Working for over fifty years, the Sisters have so far taken care of over 167,000 children in 13 schools in these countries. Each year we accommodate nearly 20,000 desperate children and the Sisters use their dedication and compassion for the poor and in country education expertise to ensure that, together, we deliver a truly excellent education for the most vulnerable children in our care, at a fraction of the cost.


Girl carrying her brother, Guatemala
Final year student from girls town caring for her younger brother

World Villages for Children and the Sisters of Mary

We focus on raising funds and providing support for the Sisters’ work, including engaging with the donors who make our work possible, measuring and reporting impact, and helping to develop and monitor safeguarding policy and implementation. It’s a warm and profoundly collaborative partnership based on mutual trust and respect that has worked well since 1998.

The results of our work extend far beyond the individual child. Our children finish school and find work. They are driven and able to nurture their families, supporting their parents and siblings financially.

They provide access for them to healthcare and education and break the cycle of poverty  that has often persisted for generations. The children are also a source of inspiration and hope – showing that a different kind of life is possible.

They help to shape the futures of their countries, showing by their success what is possible when you believe and invest in children.

Overview of our Tanzanian Programmes
Children's stories

Helena's story

Helena is the third of six children based in Tabora, Tanzania. With no access to healthcare, her mother died suddenly and her alcoholic father was left in charge of the children. He has no education and no work.

Read about Helena's story
Where we work

How we use your donations

We work hard to use your money in the most efficient way and to focus on those in greatest need. When you donate to World Villages for Children, the money goes to the Sisters of Mary programmes to maintain support to the children in school and to fund new places for those who need it the most.

Our finances
Our impact

Since 1998 we have been helping to provide top-quality education to children who would otherwise have little to no formal schooling. Educating a single child can have a profound effect on their families and communities – it means that every pound spent educating a child has an impact on the relief of poverty worth many times its initial value.


Number of children in our schools worldwide in 2023


New children welcomed into a place at school in 2023


Children graduated into work or further education in 2023

Overview of our staff in Tanzania

How we keep our children safe

The Sisters of Mary’s formalised child protection policy supports their practices to ensure that all children are protected from any form of violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying and any other form of abuse prejudicial to their development.


Read more

Taking care of people and planet

The programmes are run on a modest and sustainable basis. The schools are moving towards clean energy provision with solar panels installed in the Philippines and Honduras for responsible consumption and to reduce electricity cost. The facilities at the schools are conscientiously used not just for the children at school but where possible to meet the additional care needs of the wider community.


Read more