Holy Cross Afternoon Literacy Programme

The Holy Cross Afternoon School began shortly after the Birth of Bangladesh, in Shorotkal, 1972. This was a time following great sacrifice, untold suffering. This was a time of new beginnings for some, of rehabilitation for others. This was a time of high hopes and dreams. All looked to a bright future for their families, for their neighbourhoods, for society as a whole. One afternoon following the dismissal of classes of Holy Cross Girls’ High School, a neighbour lady who lived just outside the Railway Quarters of Tejgaon came to ask for assistance. Sister Marian Teresa and Margaret responded that the Sisters didn’t have any “things” to give away but we had the ability to teach. If the lady who had small children could find seven other children who might be interested in learning, we would teach them to read and write and be able to figure prices. She did! This lady, with hope for the future of her own children and those of her neighbours, gave the spark for the opening of the Afternoon School.And so, one afternoon we started. Classes were from 2:00-4:00 PM with one teacher and 7-9 students.

Sister Brenda (now known as Sister Margaret Shield), Margaret Gomes, Razia Begum and Khursheda Begum were determined that the children of the poor and their families could and would benefit from a regular programme of learning to be offered at Holy Cross School. The Programme continues till this day under the supervision of Sister Rani Catherine Gomes Headmistress of Holy Cross School, 7 teachers. 300 students are getting education free of cost up to class 5. Classes are held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Regular students from both morning and the day shifts contribute (Tk. 20/ per month) to help bear the costs. After the completion of class 5 most of the students of the literacy programme continue their studies in different schools. Besides studies, some young boys helped their fathers in their small shop.  From this Literacy program the students learned many things for their life. Their lives were change forever and they are very grateful to Holy Cross Girls High School for this wonderful opportunity.