Although Brazil has seen economic growth in recent years, large segments of the population still don’t benefit from the progress the country has made. In Northeastern Brazil, where the Sisters perform most of their recruitment, extreme poverty persists. Regular access to water and electricity is rare, sewage systems are inadequate, and many children have to leave school in order to work and support their families’ basic needs.

Our Girlstown in Brasilia offers free live-in middle and high school education to girls from extremely poor backgrounds. The Sisters of Mary also run an elementary school for boys and girls from grade 1 to 5. Many of these children are from distressed families or are being brought up by single mothers. The Sisters of Mary provide these children with a safe place to study away from the influences of drugs and alcohol. “Clinica Medica Maria”, a dental and medical clinic for the poor, provides free services.