• Gita Banks

Spring Newsletter 2020

Updated: Apr 5

Dear Friends, 

We begin this newsletter with the hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. 

The last few weeks has seen the world dramatically change due to COVID-19.  Nonetheless we continue to look to our uncertain future with high hopes that our world return to health and happiness with learnings that will aid all of our futures. 

Our girls and their families have also been severely impacted by COVID-19. All of India is on government shut-down. This means, in addition to the risk to their family's health, our girls' parents won't have work and will struggle immensely. Your continued financial support is now more important than ever. To each and every one of our Sponsors we say - THANK YOU!

We hope this newsletter adds a bit of light to an otherwise dark time.




Our Girls are Award Winners!


Above: Ankita & Tanushri Ramteke winners of awards for Fine Art and Expressive Dance

As we move into Spring 2020, the Mariam Society is excited to review how we did in Year 1, and share plans for Year 2 of our project to help 100 girls complete high-school. 

In Year 1 we focused on ensuring girls who wanted to stay in school had the financial means to do so, and those who had dropped out could re-join.

With gratitude we are pleased to share that the Mariam Bursary Program has had a 100% retention rate, with some of our girls excelling as top performers and award winners! 

Here are their stories.




Ankita and Tanushri

sponsored by Dr. A. Anselm


Two sisters, Ankita and Tanushri Ramteke (picture above) lost both their parents several years ago and live with their grandmother who has almost no financial security. So they dropped out of school.

After being sponsored by Dr. A. Anselm, they were able to return to school, and have excelled in all their studies, even winning awards for their artistic endeavours.

Not only are the girls thriving, their older sister Sayli Rajesh Ramteke, is now also able to attend university due to the financial assistance which is part of the Bursary Program her two sisters recieve. 

Sayli wishes to thank her sisters' sponsor, below.




See how we're helping Sanskruti

sponsored by Bipasha C.


Sanskruti lives in a remote village with her mother, a hospital cleaner, and siblings.  Her father is deceased.

Their dwellings are meagre, with barely enough money to get them through the month. Due to the location of her home, Sanskruti has to travel a great distance to go to school, but continues to be an excellent student. 

Check out her video below.




Mariam Society Mentorship Pilot Update


In anticipation of Year 2, the Mariam Society Mentorship Program was set to launch a face-to-face mentorship via Skype pilot. However, given the current government shut-down, the pilot is on hold. Our focus is keeping our girls and program coordinator safe and healthy. We plan to move forward as soon as the shut-down is lifted (fingers crossed!).

Despite this short-term setback we are happy to report on the progress we've made with the Grameen Foundation India on this front. To date we've completed the following:

✓ Development of mentorship program model to test on the ground logistics, connectivity, and efficacy of mentorship

✓ World-class mentorship curriculum

✓ Selection of mentorship pilot participants (mentors and mentees)

We will share outcomes of the pilot and how you can get involved in mentoring the girl you've sponsored as we move into Year 2. Details below. 




Year 2 Launch!


Celebrate our Society's accomplishments in Year 1, and be a part of shaping your sponsored girl's future in Year 2!

I am hoping to host a fun wine & cheese event where we can all get together and celebrate our shared success. Stay tuned on developments. For now please save the date.

Date: Sunday, June 7th

Time: 2 - 4pm

Location: my home, 4245 Ennisclare Drive, Milton, ON  N0B 2K0 


Register Here







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