Every Child’s Birthday

by | Jul 26, 2023


Mae Audrey, Biga, Philippines

20,000 children celebrate their birthdays in world’s largest one day celebration.

The event, named ‘Every Child’s Birthday’ will take place Tuesday, August 15th across six countries globally, and will mark the birthdays of some of the world’s poorest children; many of whom do not have the luxury of knowing their own birthdates.

Here is how Mae Audrey, from Biga, Philippines, described the day last year, “This is the first birthday I’ve ever had when there is food on the table and a big cake. My heart is filled with happiness and joy when I have a large slice of cake on my plate because I know exactly how it tastes. I also appreciate and love the gifts and candy I was given on this day.”

This was precisely the intention of the annual birthday celebration when the Sisters of Mary and their founder, Fr. Al conceived the idea in the 1980s. Here is how Fr. Al envisioned the special day:

“Most of these children in poverty do not know the exact date of their birth. In fact, many do not even know how old they are. So, we made August 15 a “universal birthday” — and celebrate the birthday of all the children on that date.

The ingredients of the party are quite simple: ice cream, cake with candles and an individual present for each child. The present usually consists of a much-needed article of new clothing, such as shoes or jackets.

The party and individual present gives each child a glowing feeling of personal worth. It lets them know that they are truly “lovable,” and not just a cast-off or “throw-away.”


World Villages for Children has been supporting the poverty relief programs of the Sisters of Mary for 60 years in its mission is to be an avenue where you can practice charity to the poor by helping children break free from a life of poverty. So far, over 150,000 of children have been housed, cared for and educated by the programs, with over 20,000 children aged between 11-18 still currently in their care. This celebration marks a significant and special moment in the calendar year for the children, as without it, many would not have the experience of celebrating their own birthday.

The Sisters of Mary reach into the most poverty stricken communities where they find children who have suffered unspeakable deprivations and very often abuse and neglect. But they also suffer in less obvious ways. They lack communication skills, have no confidence and have missed out on the luxuries of childhood; playing, making friends and celebrating the milestones that so many of us take for granted – like birthdays.

August 15 was chosen as the day for Every Child’s Birthday because it marks the founding of the Sisters of Mary and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin – her birth into eternal life.

With the support of World Villages for Children’s donors and the Sisters of Mary, this global event is celebrated through a lesson-free day of games, sports, competitions and a party with cake at each of the 18 schools worldwide. Each child also receives a gift.

These gifts, funded by our generous donors, are not luxurious but will be essential items for play or for school, like shirts, socks or shoes. They are so modest by our standards but a source of unimagined joy for these children who have known so little in their lives.

Won’t you be a part of the celebration by sending a generous gift to the “Children’s Birthday Fund” today? What a marvelous way to celebrate summer — by sacrificing and giving so that children in need may have a birthday to remember! Click here to contribute to this year’s Children’s Birthday Fund.

Thank you so much, and God bless you.

Learn more about the children

The children at our schools come from the poorest of the poor. Each child has their own stories of what their life was before coming to our schools and how their lives are being transformed by the Sisters of Mary programs.  Read the moving stories of our children in their own words. 

Meet Our Graduates

There are 160,000+  graduates from the Sisters of Mary Schools. Many of our graduates went on to live prosperous lives, helping their families and local communities. Read the inspiring stories of our graduates in their own words. 

Life At Our Villages

Learn more about how we help children break free from a life of poverty.