Maria Cristina Foundation looking for helping hands

Maria at work

Maria Cristina Foundation calls for more partners to support work for needy children in Bangladesh

Dubai-based charity founder Maria Conceicao has received the official confirmation for her double world record success from Guinness World Records after conquering the 777 Ultramarathon Challenge, a seven full-distance 50km ultramarathon that was run on each of the seven continents within seven weeks. Maria completed the challenge in six weeks. She crossed the line of the final ultramarathon in South Africa together with her race colleague Ziyad Rahim, who gained the same record in the male category. Maria’s second record was the fastest aggregate time to complete an ultramarathon on seven continents.

 Maria completed the challenge for her charity, the Maria Cristina Foundation (MCF), which helps educate slum children in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and free them from poverty.  The first Portugese woman and third national to summit Mount Everest, Maria has taken a number of other endurance challenges in the past, all aimed at raising awareness and funds for the organisation.

 MCF currently supports over 200 children from the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in primary, secondary and college education programs. The group sends children with the most promising potential to schools in Dhaka that provide higher quality and which could give the children the best possible opportunities to break out of poverty.

 The 777 Ultramarathon Challenge has certainly raised awareness of the Foundation and its work, but the charity remains in urgent need of funds to help more children stay in school and continue their education.

A company can contribute to the work of MCF in a number of ways. Support can be in the form of financial donations, which would contribute generally to the education of the 200 children currently in their programs, or they can specify to sponsor a number of children under sponsorship and receive regular reports of their progress.

 Alternatively a company can contribute to the Foundation a small percentage of revenue of each product or service sold. For instance, MCF partner Right Bite, a pioneer in customised healthy meal deliveries, use this method, wherein a portion of Right Bite’s healthy meal plan packages’ sales revenue go to MCF. Another method is where customers are given an option to pay a small amount extra for each purchase, which enables customers to contribute to the cause themselves. MCF are currently developing such a scheme with Fraiche Café in JLT.

 For those companies with a taste for adventure, there is an opportunity to be directly involved with supporting a challenge. Maria has not one but two new challenges in preparation. After climbing Everest and running a marathon on each of seven continents, they are sure to grab headlines for all involved!

Author: Nichole Miranda

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