Areas of Greatest Need
St. Joseph School of Industrial Trades
St. Joseph School of Industrial Trades provides for an education and vocational training to young people from the Holy Cross parishes across Bangladesh. After the compulsory 10th grade, those with talent in one of the industrial arts are welcomed at St. Joseph School in Dhaka. At the school they are trained to be craftsmen in carpentry, welding, automotive and electrical work. Additionally, these young men receive further academic education, live in residence in the dorm, and are accompanied in their faith by the Holy Cross Brothers.
Most recently, the HCMC helped build the new residence for them, which houses space on the first floor for the students’ products to be sold to the public. This retail space allows them to begin earning money and become known for their craft. The school has graduated many young men who are able to live a full life and support themselves with the skills they gained.
Money raised for this program helps support the vocational training and the residential costs (room and board) for the students each year. Annual cost per student is about $500-$600.
St. Marianne Cope Young Women’s Education Project
This project provides education for young women in Bangladesh. They are orphaned girls who have grown up and completed the years of compulsory education, and this offers further education (along with housing and food) for them to become educated in health care related fields and education. This program changes the trajectories of these young women’s lives, because without it, they would be destined to return to their villages, live lives of domestic work and begin having children at a young age. The annual cost per woman is $3,000-6,000, which covers tuition, housing, and food for them. In a country and culture where it is a steep challenge for women – and/or – the poor to succeed, these girls, who are primarily from Holy Cross parishes throughout the country, are able to become self-sufficient and independent, while pursuing a career, all within the networks of what they have known in Holy Cross parishes and schools. There are currently 25 women in the project, and we hope to grow that number each year.
Village Parish and School Projects – including Mariamnagar, Diagklona, Bandarban, Bolipara, Thanchi Parishes
These are five of the most remote and poorest areas where the Congregation of Holy Cross serves in Bangladesh – the first two being in the north along the Indian border with the Garo people, and the latter three in the southeastern sector along the border with Burma, with the Tripura people.
To sponsor the work at any of these parishes and schools is to sponsor a group of approximate 200 children who live in residence at each one, and the parish and school is their home. They are provided with their education, housing, food, clothing and all that they need. The annual school budgets (housing, classes, food) are approximately $22,000- 25,000 per year! So, they run on very little, and frankly, they don’t have much. However, the children are educated, formed in their faith, and well accompanied, and they are happy. Any project to raise money for one of these schools would be appreciated:
• $300 – $400 will provide sports equipment and some athletic competitions and tournaments for all the students in the residences.
• $250 provides a solid bunk bed, mattress, footlocker and mosquito netting for the children.
• $250 will provide internet service annually. The HCMC is providing funds to get access to the Internet, and then the costs will be about $250 annually.
• $500 – $1000 provides clean water systems for better drinking water for the children. We need to improve the systems at 3 of the schools, and finish the process of installing them at 2 of the schools.