We work where the care and education we provide would otherwise be impossible for the children of poor families to access in any other way. We will only plan and build schools at the invitation of the authorities in each country and in places where we know our work can make a significant difference, but also where we know we can provide the excellent standards of education and care that children deserve.
School places are for the most deprived boys and girls in these regions and with the help of our supporters we fund school places to help the maximum number of families in each poor community.
We focus on vocational training and skill acquisition relevant to local job vacancies and ensure boys and girls equally have the skills they need to find work and help their families. We give the poorest children dignity, the opportunity to live a productive life and to fulfil their potential.
The schools in the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras and Tanzania provide care and secondary education for boys and girls aged 11-18. We also fund health and dental care in medical centres alongside these schools in the Philippines, Guatemala and Brazil, nursery support for vulnerable young children in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and Tanzania and a training centre for young women in Tanzania.
At school, we fund everything the boys and girls need to help them enjoy their learning, grow healthy and strong and succeed at school. When they finish their studies they leave school qualified for work, confident, independent and able to support themselves and their families out of poverty.
The Sisters of Mary officially started operations in the Philippines in 1985 and we now fund four schools and two medical clinics providing care to almost 8000 young boys and girls from the poorest families throughout the country.
Our charity programmes began in Mexico in 1991, starting with a Girlstown in Chalco, a small day-care centre for toddlers and this was followed with our Boystown programme in 1998. We now care for over 5200 of the poorest children from throughout the country.
The Sisters of Mary officially started operations in Guatemala in 1997. Thanks to the recent expansion of the Boystown, we are now able to care for over 2100 boys and girls. We also fund a small day-care centre for youngsters aged three to five, and a medical clinic that supports the school children and the poorest from the local community.
We have been caring for children from some of the poorest families throughout Brazil at our Girlstown school in Brasilia since 2001. A year later, the Sisters opened a day-care centre where children aged three to five are being taken care of by the Sisters while their mothers are at work. We also fund a day-care and Elementary School in São Paulo which offers education to young children and primary school age children in grades one to five (ages 6 - 11).
The over 1500 children at our schools in Honduras come from the most remote and impoverished regions in the country. The programmes in Honduras comprise a school for girls in Tegucigalpa and a school for boys in Amarateca.
Childhood poverty in Tanzania is severe and particularly impacts girls and young women. The Sisters of Mary began their work in the communities of the country in 2018 with the construction of a school for girls in Makarunge, Kisarawe close to Dar es Salaam. They now have the capacity at this school to care for 900 girls and in 2023 a boys' school was opened. A training and day care centre was also opened in Kiluvya in 2022 which will allow young mothers to learn a trade while their children are cared for.
With your help, despite the challenges in the world, 2022 was a year of great progress at the Sisters of Mary schools.
Ground breaking Ceremony for new Boys’ school in Tanzania
On 9th December 2022, we broke ground for the site of a new boys’ school in Dodoma, Tanzania. to provide free, quality education for the poorest boys in Tanzania.
What is Vocational education?
Vocational, or technical, education is a vital part of the holistic education received by children in our programmes. Adding technical skills and experience to our children’s education gives them the very best chance of stable employment after school.
I grew up in a poor family in the Mexican countryside. School was always important to our parents and so they made it possible for me to attend primary school regularly.
Arturo’s early life in Monte Blanco, Mexico, was very hard. With no money for food, the family was always hungry and from the age of seven, Arturo was expected to work every day in the fields harvesting coffee and sugar to earn a few pesos to support the family.
Eva was the youngest in a family of eight children living in the slums of Honduras.