Welcome to the Mariam Society, changing lives through education, one girl at a time.

about us

 The Mariam Society for Women's Empowerment was founded to do little things with great love in a big world of need.


The Society is a passionate group of women who believe in the power of education to change a girl’s life. We come together to help girls living in poverty stay in school, perform better, and dream bigger.


The Mariam Society is proud to partner with the Grameen Foundation, founded by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus who started the Grameen Bank and is a global leader in the fight against poverty.


Together we provide education bursary and mentorship programs that partner women in Canada with girls in rural India, to help them pursue higher education, and imagine a life in which dreams are possible.


The Mariam Society is a registered not-for-profit organization. 



Our mission is to develop and fund programs that empower women & girls in developing countries through education and skills training to lift themselves out of poverty.  


The Mariam Society publishes an annual Impact Report outlining the effectiveness of our bursary and mentorship programs in the continuation of education of girls who participate.

Why the name “Mariam”?

The Mariam Society is named to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was likely known as “Mariam” in the Aramaic spoken in her time.


Also, “Mariam” is an ancient name with derivatives across cultures. It reflects the Society’s value of universality and honours the dignity and

gifts of the feminine.


Meet our founder

I am a wife, mother, gardener, amateur chef, and lover of all things true and from the heart. 


As a young child living in India, I witnessed every day, girls my age living in slums and on the streets caring for little siblings and begging for their next meal. I carried these girls in my heart for over three decades, wanting to do something that helps them access their own power and the abundance of our world. As my three girls were born and grew, my desire burned brighter.


The Mariam Society was founded to give busy, professional women like me the opportunity to directly contribute to the education and empowerment of a girl who would not otherwise have a chance to break free of the cycle of poverty into which she was born.


I wish to keep the Society small, with a focus on helping one girl at a time.  

God bless you always,

Gita Banks



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