World Villages for Children, a charity whose mission is to end poverty through education, has announced its biggest birthday celebration yet, giving nearly 20,000 children a single birthday celebration on 15th August 2023.
Every year, millions of children around the world lose out on education due to barriers caused by extreme poverty. Across its programmes, World Villages for Children, which supports the humanitarian programme of the Sisters of Mary, cares for nearly 20,000 children every year, giving them a quality education and technical training to help lift them out of poverty for good.
The Sisters of Mary currently consist of more than 390 Sisters who operate their programmes in the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras and Tanzania. The Sisters are a congregation in the Catholic Church whose headquarters are in Biga, near Manila in the Philippines.
Closely following International Youth Day on 12th August, the children celebrated “Every Child’s Birthday” on 15th August. Every one of the nearly 20,000 children received a modest personal gift containing essential school supplies, clothing, shoes, and a small treat. Many of the children do not know their birthday or even their age and so, for new students, this is the first time they will receive a birthday gift just for themselves.
The celebration is marked with a day off from lessons with games, cake, singing, and dancing. Nicola Lawson, UK Manager and Trustee of World Villages for Children, said: “The birthday celebration is a vital chance for us to nurture the poorest children who have come into our care, help them build confidence and make lasting memories to comfort them in the years ahead.
“Every Child’s Birthday celebrates our children and gives them joy filled childhood memories and a glimpse of the brighter future they will have when they finish school. It shows how we invest in children and their families, not allowing poverty to exclude children from education and the chance to reach their full potential.
“A birthday celebration is not just a birthday celebration when it represents the hard work and achievement of children who have only ever known struggle in their short lives. Too many children never have a proper childhood or the luxury of celebrating a birthday because their lives are so preoccupied with survival.
“At the Sisters of Mary Schools, with their basic needs met, children are free to enjoy a childhood, learning and growing towards a brighter future. Every Child’s Birthday is a chance to empower children and give them a proper childhood, nurturing their development into adulthood.”