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Project information

Educate the slums

We formed 13 years ago to educate the children of 101 families in order to give this educated generation a chance to break the cycle of poverty. 87 students now remain. We have already seen some of our graduates move out of the slums, go to university and get gainfully employed.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Maria Cristina Foundation

Maria Cristina Foundation logo
  • Need


    Inter-generational poverty in the Gawair slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh.


    We educate a generation, who will be able to get jobs that will allow them to save enough to move out of the slum and to put their own children through school, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To educate all children of the 101 families.


    » Raise funds to cover school fees for the children.
    » Raise funds to cover all other school related costs, such as uniforms, transport and stationery.
    » Secure ethical employment opportunities for the parents of the children, so they can make ends meet without having to send their children to work.

    What success will look like

    We will provide real-life success stories of students we have already educated and who have gone on to lead successful, poverty-free lives.

  • Impact


    Our approach is to educate a small community of children, but the domino effect this has already started will ensure the children and grand children of these students will not struggle to get a decent education.
    With a quality education, they will be competitive in the job market and be able to find employment other than maids, factory workers or rickshaw drivers.


    There is always a risk that children are taken out of school by their families, either to go to work or get married.
    We have eliminated this by providing everything that is needed for them to go to school, so their parents have no burden to bear for this. For those, who are worst off, we help find better employment and/or help them with rent and food costs.


    We send regular reports to sponsors, so they know how their money is being spent. Those sponsoring a specific student receive school reports and letters from the child.
    We also provide receipts for all donations and annual accounts.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £104,900

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      Amount Heading Description
      £34,600 Grade 1-8 Annual school fees per 37 students
      £23,000 Grade 9-10 Annual school fees per 29 students
      £47,300 Grade 11-12 Annual school fees per 21 students

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Fundraising events £30,000 Conditional
    Individuals sponsoring a student £30,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The Gawair slum area is close to Uttara, which is one of the nicer neighbourhoods of Dhaka. It is difficult to quantify the people, who live in Gawair. New houses appear every day and people from the villages arrive daily. The average population may be about 30,000 people.

    Gawair has one main road, which is partly paved, but mostly unpaved, dusty and very potholed. There are open sewers, some buildings are part of the national grid, some are not, some have made their own plans.


    Primarily the children of 101 families, but in longer term the whole community will feel the impact of an educated generation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working in this community for 13 years. We know them all by name and they know us. We know everyone's biggest worries, joys and problems and have gained the full trust of the community.
    We also know the ins and outs of how things work in Dhaka and have over the years developed contacts and supporters in various places to make our operations run smoother.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Maria Conceicao


    Susana Militao

    Chief Operations Officer


will pay for annual school fees for a grade 1-8 student.

My adoptive mother said: "If you can feed 6, you can feed 7", and this is the motto I carry with me in Dhaka.

Maria Conceiao