The Sisters of Mary work in countries overseas where poverty remains extreme. They see the impact of poverty on children. The price they pay is terrible and the effects can be life-long. Poverty leads to stunted development for children, low skill levels, and eventually lack of employment and onward transmission of poverty down through the generations of families.
Sister Margie was in Mexico this spring to reach out to just some of these children in need. She reported that “Yesterday, I and some of our Sisters were asked to visit the state of Guerrero. We spent two days going through the communities, to let families know we were looking to help children. We spent two nights in the car, hardly sleeping The morning of the meeting, there were hundreds of girls and boys waiting for us before we even arrived, as well as their siblings and family members – almost 1,000 people gathered together. We have truly felt how much God needs us."
Each child that they meet will fill in a form and do a short test and then the Sisters will spend time with each child to learn of their home situation, to meet any family and in time to visit them in their home within the community – wherever that is. The process is long but the Sisters consider it their duty and a privilege. If the Sisters are able to accept the child, they will start at school 2-3 months later.
In Mexico, the Sisters met over 3,000 children this spring. All of these children were living in desperate poverty and deserve our help. With the generosity of our donors we have been able to offer places to 1,300 children in Mexico this year, but we have had to leave behind so many more. With limited resources, heart-breaking choices must be made by the Sisters. The future of so many of these precious and vulnerable children rests with the Sisters and weighs heavily on them.
It is the same story in all the countries where we work.
Sister Zeny in Guatemala Girlstown reports that during their visits to the slums of Guatemala this year they met over 2,000 children who desperately needed the chance of a place at school. They were only able to offer places to 220 girls. The same is true in the Philippines and in Honduras where families line up outside the school for the chance of a place for their child.
It is an ongoing commitment for the Sisters to reach those children who remain in the most terrible hardship. We are so blessed by the kindness of our donors who provide the resources to fund the school places for these children in need. Every new donation we receive goes towards the funding of a new place for a child and we simply couldnt do this life saving work without you.