Dubai, UAE: A charity is looking for families willing to host pupils from overseas who are studying in the emirate.
The Maria Cristina Foundation provides education to underprivileged children. In 2010, MCF brought five children to the UAE for education. This was a pilot project to expand the horizons of children from a small community in Dhaka.
“These kids have been in our programme for the past nine years, they are doing very well. We owe a huge part of their success to the kindness of the people who’ve been caring for them like their own family. Some of these children are going back to their home countries soon and we are in need of more foster families who could provide the children a home away from home,” said Maria Conceicao, the founder of the charity.
One MCF pupil needing a new home is Milon Hossain, a 16-year-old Bangladeshi who attends Gems Wellington Academy in Dubai.
The story of how he was saved from the slums of Dhaka by the charity was so inspiring, he was invited to tell it at a reception at his school attended by Bill Clinton. But his foster family is returning home to Australia, so he needs somewhere else to stay while he finishes his education.
The foundation ensures that host families are provided full support when they take in children to live with them.
“We still take care of the children’s educational needs and other relevant provisions. When we get families interested in sharing their homes with the kids, the most that we ask from them is to provide these children the guidance, love and support that they would to their own children,” Ms Conceicao said.
© The National