Children's Story

Alirah’s Story

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Young girl and father filling buckets with water

Discover how the lives of our children and graduates have been transformed, thanks to the life-changing education they have received.

With a place at school, the children in our care have a proper start in life. They learn what they need to find reliable employment when they finish school but they also develop life-skills and values. They learn agency and take responsibility for their place in society. They have compassion, make friends, become stronger and more resilient individuals. They learn self-worth, self-discipline and how to live sustainably.

The stories of our children, their journey from poverty and the contributions they make in the world convey the transformative power of the Sisters of Mary education programmes and the impact of our work.


Children's stories
Sister Margie, Mama Baracka, Baracka and Sister Vialeth is outside Baracka's home in Tanzania
Dodoma Boys' School

Baracka’s Story

Baracka lives with his mother and sister. His father left them and his mother has been severely affected by polio. She finds it challenging to raise enough money to feed her two children. Work is infrequent and so there is rarely enough to support them all.

Yara standing outside
São Paulo Elementary school

Yara’s Story

Yara is just eight years old and is the 6th child in a family of seven children. Her parents are  separated and she lives with her mother who struggles to support the family as a cleaner and the children lead a very deprived life.

A group of girls in a classroom sitting at desks
Brasilia Girlstown

Raphaely’s Story

Raphaely lived in a small village in Maranhão, Brazil. Her home life was very difficult and she was abandoned at birth by her mother. Left in the care of her elderly grandmother who was also raising  two more grandchildren, the family were destitute and Raphaely would regularly miss school to help earn a living on their little farm.

A family group and a nun standing in front of a hut with thatching
Dodoma Boys' School

Petro’s Story

Petro’s family were so poor that they had to borrow money for his malaria treatment. Now he is healthy and safe at school thanks to our supporters.

Jade sits at the dining table with girls in her family eating and laughing - Credit Agape Visuals 2024
Biga Girlstown

Jade’s story

Jade comes from Cavite, the Philippines. Her mother gave her away at 8 months old due to her  struggle to cope with Jade’s asthma. Jade’s adopted family fell on hard times when her adoptive father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away.

Joriz stands in a rubbish dump holding a bag of garbage to be sorted and recycled
Adlas Boystown

Joriz’s Story

Joriz comes from a poor family in the Philippines. His parents are separated and his mother works by sorting rubbish to scrape together a meagre living for Joriz and his 4 younger siblings.

a mother and three children husk corn in a small wooden home in Guatemala
Zona 13 Villa de las Niñas

Sandy and Johselin’s Story

Sandy and Johselin are twins from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Their family of six struggle to have enough food and getting secondary education for girls in their community is a challenge.

Happiness in sports gear with her friends
Kisarawe Girlstown

Happiness’s Story

Happiness was one of the first young girls to join the Sisters of Mary school in Kisarawe and she has thrived in her time at the school.

Darely sitting at a desk in school uniform
Tegucigalpa Girlstown

Darely’s Story

Darely is one of the newest students at our Sisters of Mary girlstown in Tegucigalpa. Her early life has been tormented by poverty. Thanks to our supporters she is now in the care of the Sisters and her life will be transformed.

Esteffanny standing outside in school uniform
Brasilia Girlstown

Esteffanny’s Story

Esteffanny comes from Para in rural Brazil, her father and fifteen year old brother work on a local plantation to try to feed the family while Esteffanny helped care for her siblings. Esteffanny loves to study and “I feel that I am in heaven” now she’s at the Sister of Mary School in Brasilia.

boy with nun
Guadalajara Boystown

Armando’s Story

Armando had a very impoverished early life and joined our boys’ school in Guadalajara, Mexico in August 2023 but then in December 2023 his life was devastated by the tragic loss of both his parents, younger sister and cousin to extreme violence.

Emanuella sitting at a desk in class
Brasilia Girlstown

Emanuella’s Story

Emanuella comes from northern Brazil and is the second of three children, sharing the same mother but different fathers. Emanuella’s father died when she was very young. Unable to find work, her mother has been forced to work away from home, in London, and the care of Emanuella fell to her grandparents.

boy with nun
Dodoma Boys' School

Aneck’s Story

Aneck has three siblings and they make a little living by farming but the land is poor and the crops have failed. The family are hungry and desperate. The Sisters met Aneck in June and he is one of the first boys at our school in Dodoma.

Rodrigo in uniform standing outside
Guadalajara Boystown

Rodrigo’s story

Rodrigo’s parents were fatally attacked in the family home in Guerrero, Mexico when he was just six years old. With his parents gone the young family was split up and he was left in the care of distant relatives. Rodrigo was desperate for a better life and has now found one at the Sisters of Mary school in Guadalajara, Mexico.

girl outside school gardens
Kisarawe Girlstown

Bedola’s story

Bedola is 14 years old.  She is one of seven children from a farming family living in a remote village in Tanzania. Despite their hard work on the farm there is little money on which this family can rely for survival. With no money for books or uniform, Bedola had no hope of a better future until she met the Sisters of Mary last year and we were able to fund a place for her at our school in Kisarawe near Dar es Salaam.

a young boy sitting on a top bunk of a bunk bead with a backpack
Dodoma Boys' School

Anthoni’s Story

Anthoni is one of the first boys to come to Dodoma Boys’ School. He is the fourth of eight children and has had a hard young life. Now safe in our new school in Dodoma, with three good meals a day and his own bed, Anthoni has the chance to thrive and access the vital education he needs for a better future.

Marycelina sitting in class at a desk
Kisarawe Girlstown

Marycelina’s Story

Marycelina comes from a poor family in Kilimanjaro region. Her mother struggles to support the family alone and her home life has been difficult. Sometimes the family would only eat once a day. Now at Kisarawe Girlstown, Marycelina is able to dream of a life beyond poverty, where she can make an impact on the lives of others.

Two girls in white tops and blue skirts sit on a bench in a hallway
Brasilia Girlstown

Kethelyn and Isabella

Kethelyn and Isabella are the first children to benefit from the Sisters of Mary day care, elementary school, and secondary school education in Brazil and they owe their opportunity to our generous supporters.

A nun stands inside a mud hut in Tanzania with a family - a mother on crutches and two young girls dressed in yellow and blue dresses
Kisarawe Girlstown

Maria’s Story

Maria’s father abandoned her family before she was born, her hard working mother cares for and provides for them. It is a difficult life and they live in extreme poverty. Maria had little hope for her future until she met the Sisters of Mary late last year.

a boy stands outside in front of a colourful wall mural
Amarateca Boystown

Kenneth’s Story

Kenneth comes from Yoro, Honduras. His parents are separated and he lives with his grandmother.

a boy in school shirt and trousers sits in front of a mural
Amarateca Boystown

Yordin’s Story

Yordin comes from a farming family with seven children in La Paz, Honduras.

José smiling while sitting at a desk in class
Amarateca Boystown

José’s Story

José’s father died when he was young and his mother abandoned him with relatives a few years later. He is now happy and safe at our Amarateca school.

five girls in light blue long sleeve uniforms stand and smile at the camera in brazil
Brasilia Girlstown

Ana Carolina’s Story

Ana Carolina grew up in danger and poverty in Brazil. She is now safe and happy at our school in Brasilia where she is able to thrive.

Mark standing by a lathe in a classroom
Adlas Boystown

Mark’s Story

Mark used to go to school without food. Now he is safe and happy at school with three meals a day.

Gena standing next to her father who has one arm outside a building
Biga Girlstown

Gena’s Story

Gena comes from a poor farming family in the Philippines. Her father is disabled but still works hard, farming palay (unhusked rice) to provide food for the family of six.

Jescelle standing outside in a school uniform
Biga Girlstown

Jescelle’s Story

Jescelle was born into extreme poverty in Albay, The Philippines. As one of fourteen children, her loving parents struggled to earn enough money to put food on their plates. At a very young age Jescelle had to step up and contribute towards the household.

two girls in Mexico in blue sports kit smile at the camera on a field outdoors
Chalco Girlstown

Maria A’s Story

Maria comes from a rural village in the mountains of  Mexico. Maria had to care for a younger sibling at home and missed out on primary education during the COIVD-19 pandemic. Her single parent family struggled to put food on the table. In 2021, Maria joined the Sisters of Mary in Chalco Girlstown, Mexico. She is happy and fulfilled at school. She dreams of becoming a teacher one day.

Girl sitting in classroom
Brasilia Girlstown

Madalena’s Story

Madalena is 14 and from the poorest barrio in Santana do Araguaia – Pará, Brazil. she came to the Sisters of Mary in Brasilia in early 2023.

A nun and three women stand in front of a basic shack
Brasilia Girlstown

Alice’s Story

Alice comes from the state of Maranhão in Brazil. Alice comes from a poor family, and has struggled to access primary education. After meeting the Sisters in October 2022, Alice found a new home and a hope for a better future at Brasilia Girlstown in January 2023.

boy with a backpack on standing holding an open book outdoors
Zona 6 Boystown, Villa de los Niños

Sergio’s story

Sergio is from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. He is the youngest of two brothers from a very poor family working the fields to support themselves. Life was extremely harsh for Sergio who was desperate to study and then got even worse when his father died, leaving them destitute.

young boy in Honduras smiling with a backpack
Amarateca Boystown

Frandi’s story

Frandi had a difficult start to life, he lost his mother when he was five years old and his father struggles to support the family alone. Frandi dreams of a better life and now, at the Sisters of Mary school, he has access to a better future.

Waren wearing work apron standing in front of an exposed car engine
Adlas Boystown

Waren’s Story

Waren grew up in extreme poverty in a large, single parent family. Waren never thought he could finish secondary school and now, after coming to Adlas Boystown, he dreams of becoming an engineer. His education is making his dreams come true.

Rendel standing in from of glass windows

Rendel’s Story

Rendel is one of the newest students at our school in Adlas, the Philippines. Deserted by his father whilst very young, the family lived in desperate poverty. He joined us in August. His mother cried with joy when we were able to offer him a place in our care.

chidlren standing outside home in Tanzania

Mercedes’ Story

Mercedes comes from a poor family near Dar es Salaam. After her father’s death, her mother remarried but her step father is violent and abused the family. Mercedes dreams of becoming a doctor to help people like her mother.

Boy in a pink t-shirt drawing a man's face in pencil on a sketchpad

Justine’s Story

Justine is the second child of three children. His parents separated when he was just two years old. He and his siblings were left with their grandparents who tried their very best to raise them and help them to live a normal life but it was a very difficult existence.

girls in school uniform hugging young sibling

Suzana’s Story

Suzana comes from a poor family of six children. Her parents work hard but the family struggles to get by. Suzana joined  Kisarawe Girls School in 2021 and now has high ambitions for her future life.

Boy in white shirt and blue shorts uniform standing in front of plants
Amarateca Boystown

Oscar’s Story

Oscar is the fourth of 10 children from a poor family in Opatoro, Honduras.

Edwin and Cleofe sitting together in school uniform

Edwin’s Story

My name is Edwin and I am 12 years old. I have a twin called Cleofe and two other younger brothers. My parents are simple farmers who till the soil for us in order to survive.

girls standing in front of mud hut in Tanzania

Anastazia’s Story

Anastazia’s family is large and her parents struggle to meet their needs. Anastazia’s hope is that one day she can provide electricity to people in her community who cannot afford it.

Graziela smiling at the camera

Graziela’s Story

Playing with friends, eating nutritious food, and being loved by my parents. None of these things were experienced by me.

Angel standing with her father and Sister in a lean to with cooking equipment

Angel’s Story

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 with Sister Molina and her family at home

Frenchzai’s Story

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.

Cinta in her uniform outside

Cintia’s Story

The eldest of three children and from a very poor family. Cintia had a violent upbringing which culminated in her father’s desertion of her family leaving her mother to farm in order to support them all.

SaF Brasilia 2022 Lara Yasmin

Lara’s Story

Lara comes from a poor family in Brazil and her life changed when she entered the Sisters of Mary school in Brasilia

SaF Brasilia 2022 Lauanda Kaylane

Lauanda’s Story

Lauanda comes from a very poor family in rural Brazil. Her parents are separated and she dreams of becoming an accountant to help her family.

Naomi Lineth headshot with purple flowers in the background

Lineth’s Story

Lineth came to Villa de las Niñas in 2021 from a very poor, broken family where she experienced abuse. When she came to Villa de las Niñas, Lineth found a supportive family she can share her life with.

boys standing outside with book and backpack

Henry’s Story

When Henry was 4 years old his mother and father were shot and killed. Henry and he and his sister went to live with their uncle and his other 9 children. It was a difficult existence but Henry was determined not to give up his dream of a better life.

marvin standing in classroom

Marvin’s Story

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 standing in garden

Roel’s Story

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.

Close up shot of Lesly

Lesly’s Story

Lesly is 12 years old and comes from the village of Nueva Candelaria in Santa Rosa. Lesly’s family struggles to access fresh water regularly, placing additional pressure on her family.

Dora's story

Hear from Dora, former student and current teacher at our girls' school in Guatemala, how your donations changed her life.

“I shall never have enough words to thank the people who make possible the mission of the Sisters of Mary, as I am the living proof of how their donation can transform lives”

Arturo Mexico

“I’m so grateful for all that I’ve learned in this school. May many many more poor children and their families be helped by World Villages for Children and the Sisters of Mary.”

Irenea Philippines

“Honestly, without the excellent education provided for me by World Villages for Children, I would not be where I am now with my job and my ability to help my family live a better life.”

Luis Guatemala

“I owe my success to the Sisters of Mary, they're a great part of my life & I know that without them I wouldn’t be where I am now and I wouldn’t be able to help my family and get them out of poverty.”

David Zona 6, Guatemala
More Children's stories
Salome, girl at school in Tanzania

Salome’s Story

Salome came to Kisarawe Girls School in 2022. She lives with her grandparents and had to sell buns to buy school supplies as her family is very poor. They frequently experienced hunger but when Salome came to the school, she discovered life without a lack of food.

A Sister and Helena standing outside a basic shack

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.

Vanessa smiling while sitting at her desk in class

Vanessa’s Story

When her mother got pregnant with Vanessa, she was taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Vanessa was born premature and had to recuperate in an incubator. After four days, she was abandoned in the hospital.

Justa smiling at the camera while sitting in class with her classmates
Kisarawe Girlstown

Justa’s Story

Justa is one of 8 children and lives in severe poverty with her parents in rural Tanzania. Thanks to your support and the care of the Sisters of Mary she is now at school in Kisarawe and looks forward to a brighter future.

Young boy sits on his father's lap looking at the camera
São Paulo Elementary school

Miguel’s Story

Miguel is four years old and lives in Sao Paulo with his father. He recently lost his mother and was in a desperate situation as his father couldn’t work because there was no one to care for young Miguel, until, with the support of our donors, the Sisters were able to welcome him into their care at the Sao Paulo Day-Care.

girls sitting at desk in classroom

Agnes’ Story

Agnes comes from a poor farming family in in the Mwanga District of Tanzania. She started school at Kisarawe Girls School in January 2022 and is thriving in her new environment.

girl writing on chalkboard in class

Rejane’s Story

Rejane is one of five children and after her parents separated, her mother struggled to support them.  Rejane found new hope when she met the Sisters of Mary and was offered the chance to come to Brasilia Girlstown.

Young girl, Miriamu, at school in Tanzania

Mariamu’s Story

Mariamu is from a very poor farming family. Her father struggles with alcoholism and the family relies on her mother to provide, but she is sick with HIV. When Miriamu arrived at Kisarawe, she experienced stability and security for the first time in her life.

Where we work
Our Alumni