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Educating the slums

by Maria Cristina Foundation
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Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
Educating the slums
One of our graduates.
One of our graduates.

Dear friends,

I have good news: we have manged to secure school fees payment for all our children for the current year (January 2017 - December 2017). We are incredibly humbled by your support and thank you for helping us make this happen. 

I would like to say a special thanks for HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Vice President of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, and Dubai Cares for granting us $25k towards the school fees for the current year. 

We now continue to raise funds for the next year and hope to be ahead of schedule. This will allow us to give some much-needed attention to issues other than fundraising for school fees. Our students need school transport, meals and uniforms. They also need our time and guidance, especially those on the brink of graduating. Many wonderful volunteers have visited recently and given workshops on CV writing, held mock-interviews and given the students more ideas about different career paths. 

I completed another challenge: 6 Ironmans on 6 continents in 56 days. It was a gruelling couple of months, but I got through it and raised nearly $25k. This also got us some much-needed media exposure. Thanks to everyone for your generous donations and encouragement. 

In Dhaka, we are as busy as ever. The older students are tutoring the younger ones and an English language study group for parents has been opened. We have had 40+ visitors in the past 3 months, who have all contributed to school transport and meals. 

Two students graduated this May and are now looking to go to university. I could not be prouder of their achievement For the children we help in Dhaka, graduating from high school is an incredible achievement and something that nobody in their families has achieved before.

I am so grateful to each and every sponsor. No matter the amount, you are all contributing to changing lives. 

Thank you.

Maria's 6 Ironman finishes on 6 continents.
Maria's 6 Ironman finishes on 6 continents.
Most of the children also celebrated Ramadan.
Most of the children also celebrated Ramadan.

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The start to this new year has been a challenge for us. We needed to find sponsors for all our 127 children. 16 students still need your help for this year. If we cannot secure their fees, they will have to drop out. 

The children in Bangladesh do not need sympathy. What they need is a chance, someone to take action and make a plan. Getting married as young as 13 to men twice their age or laboring in gloomy garment factories are the primary options for girls without education. Boys will find work as day laborers, rickshaw drivers or return to run-down farms in the countryside. 

The lives of the children we are educating have already changed. Their mindsets are different. They strive for much more than their parents ever could. Those 12, who graduated last year have found gainful employment or gone to universities across the world. We could not be prouder. None of this would be possible without you.

Many of you have opted for monthly donation. This has been immense help and allows us to plan for the future better. Thank you for your commitment.

Our founder, Maria Conceicao, has now started her latest extreme challenge: 6 Ironman on 6 continents. 

What Maria is doing is well beyond her physical limits, but there is nothing she wouldn’t do for ‘her’ children. Like any Mother would, she is fighting for her children at the cost of her own life.  

It is a 42km run, 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride. A full Ironman is something that seasoned athletes train for a year. We do not have the luxury of time. Extreme levels of training are needed to go from a novice athlete to Ironman level. Maria is risking serious injuries to accomplish this.

Help Maria raise USD479,000 to pay for school fees up to 2026, to give a better life to those the whole world seems to have forgotten. It may seem like a large amount, but is a small price to pay for completely changing 127 lives.

With endless gratitude,

MCF team

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Dear friends and supporters,

We hope you sent 2016 away in style and have had a wonderful start to 2017. Thank you for your support and encouragement. 

We are happy to announce that we are starting 2017 debt free. However, this means no student will be enrolled unless their fees are 100% paid for. We had a lot of tears and disappointment this week when students were registered for the new year. Students without a sponsor are sadly on a waiting list for a sponsor as we are no longer allowed to enrol students on credit.

We appeal to you now to make a commitment for 2017 to sponsor a student. The graduation of 12 students in 2016 showed what a transformational effect education can have on a person's life. Children we found in the slum 12 years ago, dressed in rags and begging for a living, are now studying in world-class universities. Our support and their hard work has paid off and eliminated desperate poverty from their lives.

There are 51 young people waiting to turn their lives around. They depend on you for that chance.

Thank you for giving so many young people a chance to better their lives, break stereotypes and help them achieve their dreams. 

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Survey results
Survey results

Maria's Channel swim

A little more than a month has passed since our founder, Maria Conceicao, attempted to swim 34km to cross the English Channel in order to raise funds and awareness of the work we do in Dhaka. Unfortunately she had to be pulled out of the water after 7 hours due to very strong currents that were taking her in a direction vastly different to France. We were taken aback by all the support I received on the run up to and during the swim and want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement. We raised nearly USD 10,000, which will be used to pay for school fees for the children.

 

You have spoken...and we are listening

Our supporter survey carried out in the past couple of weeks showed that the majority of the respondents are familiar with what we do and happy with how we do it. However, there is always room for improvement. 

Many of you want to receive more updates from our students and their families. We will do our best to give you more news from Dhaka, however, the best way to keep up with children in Dhaka is to follow us on social media, where we regularly post family and student updates and significant news from the community. 

A big thank you to everyone who took their time to respond and those who still wish to make a suggestion - please feel free to email us.

 

Sponsor a student

We at the Maria Cristina Foundation believe that sponsoring one or more specific students will make the biggest impact on their lives. 

38 amazing individuals have already made a commitment to a student. Many of them have travelled to Dhaka to visit the student and their family, many are in touch over phone or Skype and many write letters.

93 students are still without a sponsor. Our aim is to find a sponsor for each and every student, to act as their friend and mentor and to bring long-lasting real change to their lives. 

Sponsoring a child could not be easier. All you need to do is decide who you want to sponsor, pay their school fees and we will help you get in touch with them.

 

Stories from the field

A number of volunteers have visited Dhaka recently. Some only for a day and some for up to a week. The community has received all visitors and volunteers with open arms and copious amounts of sweet milky tea.

Read about some of their experiences and be inspired!

 

Finally, a big thank you to everyone, who has donated. We are a very small organisation and rely on generous supporters like you to continue doing our work in Dhaka. Thank you. 

Sponsor a student
Sponsor a student
Volunteer
Volunteer

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We want to thank you for your continued generostiy and for helping the Maria Cristina Foundation reach its goals.

We have had a successful couple of months and have managed to raise nearly enough funds to cover school fees for all 172 students for 2016. We are still missing $36,000, but are confident we will reach this target. 

Maria has announced her next challenge - swimming the English Channel. With this gruelling 34km swim, we hope to gain international attention and raise enough funds to make sure no student is left out of school. Please keep and eye on our Facebook page for updates on her progress. 

9 students in Dhaka and 3 in Dubai graduated from high school in May. Some of them are looking at options to go to university, others are looking for jobs. Many have already secured scholarships. 

We have had 27 volunteers visit the children in Dhaka since March this year and more visits are planned for this year. We are currently in need of long-term volunteers in Dubai who could help us with grant and sponsorship proposal writing. 

The outlook is positive and we keep going, helping one child at a time. We could not do this without you and are very grateful to each and every one of you.

Rita Akter, one of the students graduated in Dhaka
Rita Akter, one of the students graduated in Dhaka
Anonya Akter, another graduate with her parents
Anonya Akter, another graduate with her parents
A volunteer with some of the children
A volunteer with some of the children

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Organization Information

Maria Cristina Foundation

Location: St Austell - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MCFConnect
Project Leader:
Katrin Winter
St Austell, United Kingdom
$16,407 raised of $120,000 goal
 
227 donations
$103,593 to go
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