The St. Marianne Cope Young Women’s Education Project provides education for orphaned girls in Bangladesh who have grown up and completed their compulsory education. Students are given the opportunity for further education in health care or education-related fields. This program changes the trajectories of these young women’s lives. Without it, they would be destined to return to their villages, where they would work domestically and typically begin having children at a young age.
The annual cost per woman is $3,000-6,000, which covers tuition, housing, and food. Bangladesh and its culture make it challenging for women, and/or the poor, to succeed. Because of the project, these women are able to become self-sufficient and independent, while pursuing a career. Primarily from Holy Cross parishes throughout the country, these women end up working within the networks of what they have known in Holy Cross parishes and schools.There are consistently 20-25 women active in the project every year, and the difference it has made in their lives has been tremendous.