Who we are and what we provide

The Sisters Of Mary

The Sisters of Mary are devoted to helping the poorest of the poor in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The religious order was founded by Aloysius Schwartz, the priest of the poor. The Sisters have been operating charitable programs for more than fifty years serving children with the greatest need who have the greatest potential. In 6 countries there are 400 Sisters of Mary caring for over 21,000 children with the mission of helping them break free from a life of poverty. This is one day in the life of a Sister.

Your Support Provides

  • Hope.
  • Clean water.
  • Medical care.
  • Dental care.
  • Three nutritious meals a day.
  • A safe place to live and study.
  • Clothing and school materials.
  • Help to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Spiritual, physical, and emotional care.
  • Vocational training tailored to local industries.
  • Protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Opportunities to participate in sports, music, and art.
  • Spiritual, social, and academic formation and guidance.
  • Education for students that leads to careers or college.

Meet Geovana



I’m Geovana. I’m 14 years old, from Maranhão. I have one brother with different father. My brother’s age now is 10 years old. He is studying grade 4 elementary in a public school. The father of my brother is a police officer. He lived together with my mother for almost 3 months and after separated. Then my mother started to live with her sister.  

I am living with my mother and brother. My mother as of now has no other man. And my father abandoned my mother. That’s why only my mother takes good care of us. We don’t have a house to live in other than the house of my aunt, my father’s sister. My aunt was very cruel. She treats us like somebody that she didn’t know, that’s why we went away from this house. Thanks to God, somebody help us, an old neighbor, but it is for a short time. My mother needs to look for a house were to live with my brother because it’s shameful to live in the house of others. 

The house where my family is living now is a simple house made of bricks with 4 rooms. We need to pay monthly bill for the electricity. As my mother is working as a cleaner in the health center, we use her salary. With that she tries to sustain all the needs in the family.  

One day my uncle, my mother’s brother, had pity on us then he gave a shack for us to live. At that time my mother was not working because of my younger brother, my mother only depends on the help of the government but it can’t sustain us. Many times, we don’t have any food to eat and I saw my mother crying without a word. My father doesn’t help us, even the father of my brother.  

During weekdays I help my mother: cooking the food, cleaning the house, bringing my brother to school because my mother comes home already late after working and I go to school at noon. During weekends I passed my time with my mother because it is the only time that we can be together.  

Sadly, before I didn’t have a good education. I answered badly to my mother. Also I didn´t want to do the exam to study in Brasilia Girlstown. But with the poverty that my family is experiencing I think to myself how ungrateful I was with the effort and struggles of my mother. I saw how my mother suffered, that’s why when I came to know about the Sisters of Mary School, I have a great sense that something good will happen in my life.  

Before coming here my mother found a job as a street sweeper. She did her best to gain money for my travel and my neighbors. I’m really very grateful I will do my best to study hard and reach my goal. 

When I arrived in the gate of the school my first thought is I will pass one year without seeing my mother and I thought that its better for me to give up. But other people gave me the advice to go on with what I have started knowing how my mother is struggling.  

During the first month here in the Sisters of Mary School I wanted to give up and go back home. But later, I realized that everything here is different and will be the way for me to able to help my mother someday. Here I see that the sisters are taking care of me very well. Everyday I don’t have the worry of what I will eat for everything is prepared for me. I have class all day long not like in my city that I only assist class at noon. Here the teachers teach well unlike in my school where I come from. Now, I could see in me the changes: before I like to respond badly others. Here, I learn how to be respectful. I like to help my mother because I don’t want to be scolded but here I learn that doing good things for me to be happy and for me to be prepared for my future for someday I too will be a mother and I need to learn how to clean my house, wash the dishes, cultivate flowers and how to learn in order for me to be someone. 

My goal and ambition in life is to be a good nurse. I like this profession because it is a good profession helping others. Many of my friends told me that I cannot do it because of who I am – a poor little girl who come from a poor family. But I learn here in the Sisters of Mary school that if I decided to be a nurse I can. That is why now I am really studying well and learning many good things for me to be a better person and help my family. I want to show to everyone that I am a new Geovana.

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.