Our Impact and Graduates

The ripple effect of education

Meet Our Graduates

World Villages for Children has a close relationship with the local communities in each of the countries where it operates. Our programs focus on the objectives of reducing child poverty, improving health, educational attainment and progress into employment and our work facilitates grass roots change in poverty levels within the local communities. Case study examples from our graduates demonstrates the impact of your donation when the enhanced employment and earning prospects of our children results directly in their ability to care for their families.

Teaching students

Darlene Ricafrente

Girlstown Biga, Class of 2014

“You are not created to be fat little ducks waddling in the mud but to be eagles destined to rise above and explore the kingdom of God.”

I memorized these precious words when I was in my first-year high school. Venerable Aloysius Schwartz, the founder of the Sisters of Mary School where I had my secondary education, utters this quotation. Wherever I go, in varied and sudden moments, I remember this and it always reminds me to work hard, to succeed, and to fly high like an eagle.

I am from the humble town of Famy, Laguna. I lived in a simple concrete house with my mother and siblings. My early years as a child were challenging, poor, and traumatic. My parents separated after three (3) years of marriage. Until now, I don’t have news about my father. I went on schooling with a single mother. She had to work as a cook in a small restaurant in the center of our town earning a bit and she always had to leave me under my grandmother’s care. But the money earned by my mother was not enough. Sometimes, our food was just salt and water or sugar.

Sometimes, I had to go to school with empty stomach. I can still vividly remember, while my classmates were eating during snack and lunch, I was just studying my notes and would hear my stomach growling. I had to endure the stomachache because I had a goal, which was to have good grades and certificates that though we had nothing financially, my family could still have hope that someday, something would change.

Months before graduating elementary school, one of our teachers informed us about the Sisters of Mary School. I asked permission from my mother and she let me take the examination and interview with the sisters. I was informed that this was a home and school which was offering free food, clothing, shelter, and education. I was amazed and so eager to enter the institution. Fortunately, I passed.

Being part of the Sisters of Mary family made a huge impact on my life. The most important among these was the spiritual aspect. I had known God in a deeper way. I was so grateful to Fr. Al and to the sisters who taught me to pray and be faithful to Him for these helped me get through all the challenges life threw at me. I had known as well the lives of saints that the sisters taught us which really inspired me. I did not waste this opportunity given by Fr. Al and by the sisters. All my years here, I dedicated my life studying hard and strictly obeying the schedules and rules because those were the ways I knew to give back their love and generosity. They offered their lives to a person like me, poor and suffering.

By God’s glory, I was a honor student until I graduated. I also had Bookkeeping NCIII certificate from TESDA which I could use applying for a job once I went outside. This was also one of the things that amazed me, it was not just offering secondary but also vocational education that the graduates could use to finance themselves and their family. Studying in this institution was really life-changing.

After graduation, I pursued my tertiary education in our town in Laguna. I reviewed for the Licensure Examination for Teachers and passed it on the first take.

In between these achievements and victories, I had a lot of prayers. The teachings and guidance of Fr. Al, sisters, and teachers played a big part in my life leading me to success. Now, I am Licensed Professional English Teacher and currently teaching in my beloved alma mater, the Sisters of Mary School. Today, I am financing my mother and my siblings and helping as well my other relatives.

I will continue praising and glorifying our God for His Divine Providence and for using Fr. Al and the Sisters of Mary so that I can be what I am today.

Adonis Sulit

Boystown Silang, Class of 1992

I was accepted to the Sisters of Mary Boystown in 1988 and spent 4 years of high school there. Around three years was spent at the Manila campus until Boystown was moved to Silang, Cavite in 1990 or 1991. I belonged to the third batch of graduates, but our batch was the pioneer graduates of the Biga, Silang, Cavite campus in 1992.

I would say that I, together with all the poor children there, was provided with a quality education that I would not have had if I did not take the chance to go to Boystown. More than the secondary education, I would also say with conviction that Boystown molded my spiritual and moral well-being. The time that I spent inside Boystown was crucial because those were my formative years, and that learning had a long-term effect on me as a person and as a professional. I can say that my spiritual foundation is as strong as Father Al would want to have from all his children.

I am never ashamed to say that I was once a poor child materially and spiritually. I have been blessed so much that I have a good life at present. I have my own family now and live in our house in Quezon City, Philippines. I married in 2006 and have two children, aged 9 and 13. I am presently a government official, serving as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Justice (DOJ). I have traveled around the world and met a lot of important people for my work. I have been with the DOJ for twenty years now. Free time is spent with family watching movies or shows, or singing, in the comfort of our home, especially at this time of the pandemic.

Jonalyn Coraza

Girlstown Talisay, Class of 2007

I’m originally from Davao City, Philippines, where I was born and grew up. When I was young, I used to attend a Sunday school beside our parish church. One day, they announced that for those who were willing to study high school in Cebu City, there would be an entrance exam and interview with the Sisters of Mary on a scheduled date. I was more than willing to study in a school where my parents would no longer worry about my high school expenses for four whole years. My father was a baker, and my mother was working in a cooperative store where she earned below minimum wage. I only had one sibling, my brother, who is a year younger than me. Though we were only two children in the family, we still lived a very simple life since my parents couldn’t afford to gift us with expensive things.

The Sisters of Mary taught me how to love God in my own special way. During my time there, I was molded to become a good Catholic, how to pray with devotion, to pray fervently the rosary daily, attend Holy Mass and accept all trials and hardships in life lovingly and offer up everything to God’s big hands. I learned to be positive amidst those storms that came into my life. I held tightly to my faith in God. I learned to surrender everything to him no matter how painful it was. My life has truly changed 180 degrees. I’ve been more positive in life. I’ve learned to become more diligent and conscientious and at the same time to remain simple. I’ve learned to value more what is most important to me rather than those material things that are only temporary and couldn’t give me enough satisfaction at the end of the day.

I’m living in Davao and working as a loan processor/teller in a financing company. I studied this course for four years in college. Now, I have enough time for my family, my mother and brother. They’re the only two who remain. My father passed away during my 4th year of high school due to a heart attack, which left me a huge blow. Then, my husband of only six months was diagnosed with kidney failure and passed away after one and a half months. I was left with no kids. I’ve become a widow at the age of 28. I’ve been devastated, grief-stricken and broken, yet I strongly held my faith and trust to God.

If God allows, I hope to have a whole and complete family of my own. I want to have kids. I hope to give my family, my mother and brother, the best life they can have in their lifetime. The most important thing for me is my family, and there is no greater gift than to be with them and let them feel how special and important they are to me. We’ve been there for each other through our ups and downs, and I’m truly grateful to God for giving me this kind of family. They are indeed my treasure, and I couldn’t ask for more.

Sherlyn Comia

Girlstown Manilla (now Biga), Class of 1999

I come from a very poor farming family outside of Manilla in the Philippines. I lost my mom when I was 12 years old, lost my dad when I was 13. The Sisters of Mary took me in. They didn’t just transform my life; they were my life. They provided me with everything necessary to live a life with dignity! After 4 years of being raised and educated by the Sisters of Mary, I was able to attend a very good local university on a full scholarship. I studied information technology and was offered a good paying job, but I made a promise to myself that once I graduated, I would serve the Sisters in return for all they’ve done for me.

I’ve been working with the Sisters for the past fifteen years. What drives me every day is the thought that I am a part of something bigger than myself, and that is so fulfilling!

Patricia Rodriguez Sanchez

Girlstown Chalco

As a small girl, Patricia slept uncomfortably in a bed with her siblings each night. Food was often scarce. Everything changed when she was brought to the Girlstown in Chalco, Mexico. “I discovered a new world. We had very big spaces. I tasted different dishes I didn’t know existed. I played games I didn’t know. I learned English. And I had all the time to study without having to take care of my brother and sisters. I knew there was something there that could help change my life and even more my family’s life.” After graduating from Chalco, one of Patricia’s first gestures of love as an industrial engineer was re-engineering and adding on to her parent’s small home. Her help for others hasn’t stopped with her family. Now she is creating small versions of those same miracles for others in need due to her professional success.

I can help people who need it; support people in some of their big problems. I know that I have a long way to go, a lot of things to do, and I am working on them,” she said. “I also know that I should help them not just economically, but spiritually, as well. I thank God for letting me be part of the unfinished symphony of Father Al. If I hadn’t lived at Girlstown, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

A Graduate's Success Story

Our graduates are the result of our relentless dedication to the poorest of the poor, and our commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty. To date, about 150,000 graduates have received an education through the Sisters of Mary, and thanks to the support of our generous benefactors.

Josephine's Story

A graduate from the Philippines creates her own video to share her story of how education through The Sisters of Mary has transformed her life.