Imagine living in a house so small and flimsy that you must sleep sitting up. Diarrhea caused by contaminated water and poor sanitation drains your children’s body of all its energy. You can’t imagine that it could be worse than this but it can, because you are also branded as a “leper.”

The children and families of Tala are facing all this and much more. Although Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) is curable today, the scars and disabilities are still evident. The parents face prejudice, fear and ignorance when they look for work causing their families to go for days without food. When they do get work it is backbreaking menial labor that only pays a few dollars a day.

Our Lady of the Star Nursery opened their doors to help the malnourished and sick children of Tala. Children ages 3 to 6 arrive underweight and anemic. Many have tuberculosis and multiple other afflictions. The Sisters greet the children with love and welcome them to their preschool. The children receive medical care, nourishment and a preschool education to prepare them for public primary school. The grateful parents volunteer at the preschool by cooking, cleaning and gardening.

For every child there lives


Caloocan is part of metro Manila and once was the site of more than 8,000 people in the 1940s that suffered from Hansen’s Disease.

Program Highlights


Staff members and volunteers care for 300 young children five days a week.

  • Every child receives two nutritious meals each day Monday through Friday
  • Volunteer doctors provide checkups and prescribe medical treatments
  • Children are given immunizations, antibiotics and x-rays
  • Children learn to count and other activities that prepare them for public primary school
  • Families attend meetings on health education and parenting skills

Our Lady of the Star also offers scholarships to 50 young adults ages 17 to 25 at Don Bosco Technical Institute to enroll in automotive mechanic or electronic technician training. This will help them secure a job to support their families.



Without medical assistance many of the 300 children of Tala would not survive childhood.

  • $1,000 per month provides medicine for infections and diseases
  • $100 per month for x-rays, urinalysis and other laboratory tests

Food is the foundation for good health and life. Without food and vitamins, children will succumb to diseases and infections.

  • $2,250 per month provides 300 children two nutritious meals each day
  • $750 per month feeds 100 children
  • $250 per month ensures that each child receives vitamin supplements

Without a basic education they will continue to live in poverty.

  • $1,000 per month pays the salaries of the preschool teachers and a driver to transport the children
  • $200 per month provides the children with all their school supplies