Christmas Appeal 2023

It’s almost Christmas…when most children look for toys under a tree, many children in Tanzania are just happy to have a warm plate of food.

For the past 12 years, Sister Celeste Derr, MM has been educating and caring for children in the village of Igombe who are orphans or from families living with HIV/AIDS that are dealing with the hardship of extreme poverty! Thanks to your past support, Sister Celeste and her team were able to expand their daycare center into a true school—Mercy Montessori—and build a pump house to bring water from nearby Lake Victoria so they could irrigate their garden and grow food for the students.

It’s expensive and difficult to bring food from the outside into rural areas of Tanzania, like the one where the school is located. That’s why it’s important for them to be able to continue to expand and grow their own food. YOUR continued generosity is needed now more than ever since the school’s enrollment has grown to more than 200 students!



Sister Celeste knows that no child can learn effectively with an empty stomach, wondering when their next meal will come or even if it will come. The water pump from Lake Victoria, installed thanks to the support of friends like you, has allowed rice paddies to be created on the school grounds. The rice yield is expected to increase significantly in the coming years and will be enough to save many children from malnutrition.

Sister Celeste is deeply grateful for the generosity of our benefactors. She wants you to know that, “YOU make a profound difference for families living with the ordeal of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania and others gravely struggling to get enough money together to give their family even one meal to eat.”


Sister Celeste with one of her students!

The chance to learn in a positive, supportive environment free from hunger and abuse… to gain the knowledge and skills needed to rise above generations of poverty… is certainly a good way to keep the joyful spirit of Christmas going all year long!

YOUR DONATION will help 200 students in dire need have a chance for a great life!


Your support ensures that our Sisters can continue traveling to communities in need to advocate for the marginalized and oppressed just like the children Sister Celeste works with, they could not survive without YOUR HELP and many would live their lives without ever seeing or knowing God’s love for them.

Thank you, and may the blessings of Jesus Christ and his Holy Family be with you and all those you love this holiday season.

View Past Appeals