What is the program about?

Maria Cristina Foundation concentrates on eradicating poverty by providing education to those who belong in the poverty trap. We not only provide education to the children in the slums but also to their parents through adult education programs. Once the adults have graduated from the adult program, we provide them with jobs through the ethical employment program located in Dubai. We have 5 promising children who currently study in Dubai through the scholarship of MCF. To help the families in the slums of Dhaka, we need funds for tuition fees, admission fees, books and stationery, tiffin, toiletries, transportation, food, etc.

Where is MCF based?

Maria Cristina Foundation is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We support underprivileged children are in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

How can I help?

You can be a part of our child’s success by donating online or making a direct transfer to our bank account.
You can also offer your skills as a volunteer. We always need help with graphic design, website design, grant and proposal writing.

How many children does MCF support in Dhaka?

We support 133 children in Dhaka who are being provided with education through our foundation. We have a lot more on the waiting list.

How many children are studying in Dubai?

We currently have 2 children studying in Dubai. 3 graduated in May 2016 and have gone to various universities.

Can I adopt a child?

You can sponsor a child’s education. If you wish to sponsor a specific student, please e-mail us at The fees for 2016 are:

Grade 1-8: $1,000
Grade 9-10: $1,250
Grade 11-12: $1,500

We encourage sponsors to commit till the end of the student’s education and build a relationship with them in order to avoid anyone having to drop out of school after years of studying.

However, we do realise that circumstances change and you may not be able to sponsor a student for longer than a year.

What if I don’t live in Dubai or Bangladesh?

We accept online donations and international bank transfers. We are registered in the UK, USA and Portugal.

How can I sponsor a child?

If you wish to sponsor a specific student, please e-mail us at

We want to make sure your donation goes as far as possible and incurs minimum admin fees, so we send donations directly to the schools in Dhaka.

For more information on how to sponsor a child click here

For donation details, click here

How does the host family program work?

We bring the best minds to Dubai to be exposed to the international world and a world far from what they are used to in the slums of Dhaka.

To be a host family, you will be taking the child under your wing and caring for them like your own children. Education costs are covered by MCF though the basic necessities will be provided by you.

What is expected/required of a host family?

We are entrusting the children to you, so we want them to receive love and care from you. We ideally choose families who can commit long term towards the children until they graduate and complete their studies.

How often do the children go to Dubai for education?

Currently, we are focussing on helping the 5 children complete their education. There are no active fostering programs.

Can I join Maria at marathons?

You can definitely join Maria during her marathons and raise funds at the same time. If you wish to do a fundraising marathon with Maria, do get in touch at

How often are the events?

We don’t have a regular events calendar. Events usually get organised by volunteers.

Maria does a race nearly every weekend. Please get in touch at to find out where and how you can join her.

How do I get involved?

The best way for you to get involved is by spreading the word to your friends and family about MCF. Help us raise funds and awareness for the children by sharing and liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and telling your friends to do the same.

You can also get involved by raising funds, donating, sponsoring and volunteering.

How do I make a donation?

You can donate online or make a direct transfer to our bank account.

View our ‘Donate’ page for details.

Who receives the money?

The money is received by Cambrian School and College, where our students study and covers their school fees.

Some supporters have chosen to support individual families, but those funds don’t go through us and supporters make their own arrangements, usually via Western Union.

Can I make a cash donation?

We are unable to accept cash. You can donate online or make a direct bank transfer donate online.

Do you accept clothes and/or food?

We encourage supporters not to donate clothes or any other items. The cost of shipping them to Dhaka is very expensive and we don’t have a place to store them in Dubai, the UK or Portugal. Clothes and shoes donated in Western countries are often too large and/or inappropriate for Bangladesh.

You could hold a flea market/yard sale and donate the proceeds. If you are able to pay for shipping the donations to Dhaka yourself, we will happily accept clothes and other items that are in good condition, washed and appropriate for Bangladesh.

How can we partner?

Partnering with us and helping our children is simple: drop us a line with your proposal at

How can I volunteer?

Info on volunteering opportunities is available here.

You are welcome to visit our children in Dhaka anytime. We have volunteers in Dhaka who would be happy to assist you during your visit.

Please contact us before your trip so we can inform our Dhaka volunteers.

How can I raise awareness?

Like us on Facebook and share our page to your family and friends. You can also follow us and the children on Twitter and Instagram.

You can raise awareness through your own efforts such as running a marathon or hosting a speaking event for us.

Who manages the program in Bangladesh?

A member of staff, Mr. Shafiqur Rahman, is in charge of the program in Dhaka. He has been with us since the beginning (11 years now) and is the liaison between the school and us and reports to Maria with any issues.

What other control or audit processes do you have in place?

We have had our accounts for 2015 audited and an accountant is hired on an ad hoc basis to keep track of the accounts. We also have access to funds received by the school upon request.
Audited accounts for 2016 will be available in early 2017.

What is your percentage of admin cost?

We try to keep the admin cost as low as possible. There is no regular sum that goes towards admin monthly. For instance, the salaries of our 3 staff members are paid by a sponsor and do not come out of donations.
We have no office and all staff members work from home. The only admin fees that we can forecast for 2016 will be payment to lawyers in the UK, who are helping us register in Bangladesh. Thus an estimate of admin cost would be 3-5% annually.

Why are the school fees so high?

We send our students to a private college for several reasons. The government and NGO schools in Bangladesh are normally very overcrowded, up to 60 students per class. The teachers are underpaid, which results in lack of motivation and the facilities are meagre.

The government schools are free until 5th grade. This normally means that girls from poor families drop out after primary school and either get married or go to work.

We want to give these children an equally competitive chance in the job and university market after they graduate from high school. This can only be done with quality education, which is renowned, controlled and brings results.

How do you ensure the donations are used for the intended purpose?

Cambrian School and College is one of the most respected educational organisations in Bangladesh. We regularly meet with their chairman and the headmaster of the school. Receipts are issued upon receiving funds from us, which we send about monthly. All transactions are also present in our audited accounts.

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