Proud Moments, but Hazards Ahead. Recent months have been full of very proud moments for MCF. We want you, as our supporters to join us in being proud, because it wouldn’t be possible without YOU. Our younger students in Bangladesh are showing great promise, studying hard with the goal to one-day travel abroad to study. They are also volunteering to get involved in other charity and community initiatives. We have a new batch of students starting senior high school at grade 11; they will join Milestone school so it’s a slight change. We also have one of our high school students, Mahin, working very hard to manage admin and operations on the ground, this is a big help as we have no paid employees and very limited outside volunteer help. A new batch of students has made the transition to Portugal to study for their degree in Braganca in Feb 2019. We now have a total of 18 students in Braganca studying for their degrees – an incredible feat considering that 14 years ago we were told that we were crazy to dream so big for these children. I’m especially proud that the latest batch managed the process on their own, especially arranging travel to India for the Portugal visa application process, which is very complicated – they only required financial support and a push from us to the immigration authorities to speed up the process. (Standard process they need to wait in India for 42 days!) We’re even more proud of Sumi, she had so much bad luck and delays in arranging her documents that she had to travel to India on her own, but she managed it perfectly, a very mature young lady. Now she’s working hard to catch up on studies because she started 2 months late. The original 10 Braganca students are doing well despite the challenges, we are starting to see a real transformation in many of them, maturing and becoming strong individuals. Our main focus is still in Bangladesh where we still have 83 students between the age of 7 and 17, studying hard. Despite their enthusiasm, we do notice the struggles. If they don’t have enough nutrition they don’t have the energy to focus. We are trying our best now to raise funds to ensure that the families have sufficient food in the mornings so that the students have the energy to get through the school day. We are also trying to provide better school transport; we have always struggled with this because it’s surprisingly expensive considering that it’s a developing country. We constantly worry about the hazards of travelling to school, especially with the rainy season approaching, so we hope to obtain funds to support better school transport.
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