Frequently Asked Questions

We welcome any questions you may have about our work. Below are the most Frequently Asked Questions. Please feel free to submit additional questions to Info@worldvillages.org or check our Site Map to help you find the information you need.

What is your Mission?
What is your history?
Who do you help?
What do you do?
How are the children selected?
What does your work achieve?
Why do you mail frequently?
Why do you mail coins?
How is my donation spent?


What is your Mission?

World Villages for Children helps poor children break free from a life of poverty, suffering and despair.
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What is your history?

The work of World Villages for Children is carried out by a Catholic order of Sisters called the Sisters of Mary. The Sisters of Mary, who now number more than 200, were founded in 1964 by Father Aloysius Schwartz to help the thousands of orphans and street children in South Korea following the Korean War.

At the same time, Father Schwartz founded a fundraising organization to support the charity programs of the Sisters of Mary. Presently, World Villages for Children has fundraising offices in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

In 1985, following the invitation of government and church officials, Father Schwartz extended his charity programs to the Philippines and in 1990 to Mexico. In 1997, the Sisters of Mary started helping poor children in Guatemala following the invitation of President Alvaro Arzu, his wife, First Lady Patricia Escobar de Arzu, and the Archbishop of Guatemala City, Msgr. Prospero Pernados del Barrio. And, in 2001, the Sisters of Mary expanded their charity work into Brazil.

Father Schwartz received many awards for his charity work and was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Prior to his death in 1992, Father Schwartz personally named Sister Michaela Kim as his successor and director of his charity programs.
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Who do you help?

World Villages for Children currently helps more than 22,000 poor children in the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil. The children are generally of high school age (12-16 years old). The Sisters of Mary travel extensively throughout each country to find children they feel will benefit the most from our assistance.
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What do you do?

We presently have eleven Children’s Villages that provide poor children with food, clothing and medical care. Just as importantly, we provide the children with high quality high school education along with vocational training relevant to local industries and businesses.

The children also learn basic life skills that they may not have been taught at a younger age. For example, because our children have never lived in a home with running water, they have to be taught how to wash their hands in the sink, how to shower, how to brush their teeth and how to use a flushing toilet.

There are also many extra-curricular activities such as sports and music. For many of our children, this is their first real opportunity to play. Our children excel at local, regional and national competitions.
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How are the children selected?

Only the poorest children who are at greatest risk and whose parents cannot afford to send them to high school are chosen by the Sisters of Mary. It is important that the children have good academic potential so they can take advantage of the high quality education and vocational training we offer which gives them a chance to break free from a life of poverty. Therefore, each child must have successfully completed elementary school.

The Sisters personally interview each child and also visit their family to ensure that their living conditions are genuinely impoverished. This is necessary as many well-off families apply due to the excellent reputation of our schools. The Sisters often select the eldest child of a family so that they can help support their younger siblings and parents after they graduate and get a job.
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What does your work achieve?

When the children graduate from high school and leave our villages, the Sisters help them find a job as well as their own place to live. Already more than 45,000 graduates have broken free from a life of poverty and are gainfully employed. Many of our children are professionals and have continued their studies in college.

Graduates are invited back to their village one Sunday a month so the Sisters can offer them support and so they can share their experiences with other graduates. The graduates also talk to our younger children and encourage them in their studies.

Finally, we welcome any questions you may have about our work and appreciate your support. Without you, our children have no chance for a brighter future. Thank you and God Bless you!
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Why do you mail frequently?

We send regular appeals throughout the year because we have found that many of our donors prefer to be informed regularly about our charity work and the needs of our children.

We do not expect each donor to give each time. However, we have found that when we provide our supporters with more opportunities to help us, we are able to raise more money, which means we are able to help more children.

Thanks to the long-term commitment and support of our many generous supporters, we have helped more than 45,000 formerly abandoned and poor children graduate from high school and find good jobs. They are now gainfully employed and helping their families and communities. And at present, we take care of and educate more than 22,000 poor children in the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil.

I hope the above information answers your concern and that you will join us in our efforts to help children break free from a life of poverty.
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Why do you mail coins?

We use coins in our mailings for two reasons.

First, they are a real attention getter. People see the coins, it gets their attention and they are more likely to read the letter.

Second, the coins draw attention to the fact that it only takes a small amount of money to help a child break free from a life of poverty, suffering and despair. Many people once they realize this are very enthusiastic about helping us. In fact, when we mail coins we are able to raise more money, which means we are able to help more children.

Thanks to the long-term commitment and support of our many generous supporters, we have helped more than 45,000 formerly abandoned and poor children graduate from high school and find good jobs. They are now gainfully employed and helping their families and communities. And at present we take care of and educate more than 22,000 poor children in the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil.

I hope the above information answers your concern and that you will join us in our efforts to help children break free from a life of poverty.
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How is my donation spent?

To receive our latest Annual Report and Accounts, please send a written request to our office: Asian Relief, Inc., 180 Admiral Cochrane Boulevard, Suite 240, Annapolis, MD 21401.
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