Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Dhaka Project makes me extremely happy as it sets out on its own in a world filled with possibilities. With great pride, I announce that the TDP is taking a bold new step in independently running its affairs, while staying true to the original spirit of its founders.
The new team of council members and project managers will be much more involved than ever before, and my mission to give the project a financial boost has also come true.
It has been an amazing 40 months during which we have led the organization and its children towards interesting and fulfilling goals – the recent trip to Germany, Emirates Airlines and the Le Meridien Hotel recruiting our volunteers, the Emirates Foundation sponsoring the next five years, and a major funding approval from Dubai Cares awaited soon.
This means a lot to all of us. It now allows me to focus on starting something new.
Given the success, I feel confident that the Project has reached self-sustainability, and will be successfully run from Jan 2009 by the Dubai based TDP Council and the Dhaka based RFS and local Project Managers
The newly registered RSF:Dhaka Project Dubai office legal structure and organisational set-up give me the feeling that all the good work that we've put into building The Dhaka Project to where it is to-day now has a chance to live beyond its Founder and through 200 years and more!
The main beneficiary? The delightful kids...
I wish the Project a successful future, and hope my initial thoughts of rescuing the underprivileged from the slums of Dhaka will continue to be the true spirit of the project going forward.
As always, I shall remain available for the Project, the children, the council and the Project Managers whenever required.
Thank you for all your support,

Maria Conceicao
Founder, The Dhaka Project.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our garage sale is keeping up spite of having been slowing down.
In this special season and due to many related factors, the volunteers' availability has turned a little down...
Once again we should refer the huge solidarity come from our donors who have filled up the store. We had to use another space to keep all the donations; this is a sure sign showing how the Dubai people keep concerned about those less privileged... as seen in previous entries in this blog, almost all donors come forward to deliver their used items (sometimes brand new items) at our drop-off point, so keeping Solange Fortuna really busy in the organization of the donations...
Here follows a list of donors who offered their items or their work towards The Dhaka Project; possibly some of them haven't been able to deliver their donations due to some kind of problem and surely a huge number of them have done it anonymously.
  • Mafalda Godinho, offered clothes from Portugal; obviously not possible. The necessary logistics would have a huge price due to freight plus rights at Dhaka side.
  • Blessy Varghese, offered "ladies clothes, baby clothes and toys".
  • Cyd Vargas and staff at his company, "gathered gifts for the children in Dhaka".
  • Matt Potts, offered "a lot of clothes, bedding, towels, shoes...".
  • Suzanne Nicholas, offered "a box full of nik naks, cds, dvds, books, ladies clothes, baby items, etc".
  • Tom Mannion and Chi Chung Wong, offered to take suitcases to Dhaka.
  • Sandra's sons Lucas and Devin have been helping with school photos sale in the school to raise funds.
...A true movement around a cause, the cause of the poorest.
And finally the volunteers of the weekly Friday Garage Sales:
  • 12th DEC. Maria, Nurul, John, Dash and Herman sold items worth 949.00 Dirhams.
  • 19th DEC. Herman Tanielu, crew with Emirates, and Nurul Islam, have run the sale having raised 855.00 Dirhams.
  • 26th DEC. Herman Tanielu and Nurul Islam took care of this Friday sale fundraising 2,375.00 Dirhams.
  • 27th Dec. Nurul Islam did more sales worth 521.00 Dirhams.
Solange Fortuna is the store manager for this month and of course is who takes care of the tidiness in the store spending a lot more hours in the store... with the cooperation of Lucas and Devin whenever possible.
To all who dedicatedly and passionately donate and work to give our children a better and rewarding life, here is our thank you on behalf of them!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Lorena Serrano, a Venezuelan crew with Emirates and member of a latino-group named The Athletae Christi, requested us to send someone to do a presentation about The Dhaka Project to explain our activities to the group. The presentation has been trusted to Alexander Allen, a volunteer who has already been to Dhaka for a few times and the author of a Volunteer Manual published in our Official Website and linked in this blog.
Lorena also announced that the group wished to donate towards The Dhaka Project and raised the amount of 5,550.00 Dirhams that they handed to Alex, the representative sent by Maria Conceicao.
Also an Anonymous donor made a precious donation of 750.00 Dirhams to The Dhaka Project, in his solidarity spirit, which will represents a great difference to us.
Huge thanks to Lorena Serrano and her Athletae Christi group, and to the above Anonymous donor, for being sensible to our work and kindly be wishing to donate towards The Dhaka Project children.
And also thank you to Alexander Allen for willingly donating his time, skills and supportting expenses to perform this task.


Very recently, Maria with Herman and Nurul have spent two days distributing thousands of leaflets in crew boxes at new Emirates CBC appealing to pilots and crew to take suitcases to Dhaka.
We made leaflets to encourage crew and pilots to donate their skills and volunteer to carry items to Dhaka ..
Hermn Tanielu and Nurul Islam helped getting lots of free leaflets to this task.
In spite of we being able to witness heroic feats performed by pilots and other crew taking huge loads of suitcases with clothes to Dhaka, we couldn't manage to get them all in the field, being 40 suitcases left behind at old CBC waiting for a good soul to bring them back to our stores.
And the angel appeared in the form of Herman who were to old CBC 6 times to get all back to our store, having paid from his own pocket for the trips to CBC. So this means that we have 40 pieces ready to be taken to Dhaka, suggesting volunteer pilots to perform a kind of 'no cash' but carry a suitcase to provide our children with beautiful and still good clothes.
Moreover, Herman and Nurul are running every Friday Garage Sale being Herman also committed in tidying the donations in the store.
A nice boost to our sales and hopefully to getting items in Dhaka!
Many thanks to volunteers Herman Tanielu and Nurul Islam for the good job done and the huge boost provided!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Celebration of Independence Day

The Dhaka Project family organized a cultural program to celebrate the independence day of Bangladesh in the school premises. It was a colorful day for all the students, teachers and the employees of The Dhaka Project. A series of events were beautifully organized by Mr Nazrul where the participants were mostly students backed by some of the Teachers, Doctors, Faria and our new volunteer Julie as well.

These events included group song from students of different age and class, individual performance and some very exciting, ethical and hygiene drama. These events showed the urge of students’ for developing themselves in order to live in a developed country. The teachers helped the students while performing by playing different musical instruments.

The most fascinating outcome which was realized was the natural talent of the student in such activities. The students together with the improvement in study are also showing their cultural endowment through such program. The most promising was a kid who performed a solo song. Everyone attained the event was astonished by her singing skill.

Altogether the celebration was a charm to the daily life stepping of The Dhaka Project family. Everybody’s participation proved that The Dhaka Project is a happy family.

Thanks to AISD, British Embassy & Hotel Westin for support us...

A big thanks to AISD (American International School Of Dhaka), British Embassy and Westin Dhaka to their support.

AISD invited us to take part in the fair organized by them. We were allowed to put a stall to exhibit our products from sewing section. The fair was all day long, Mr Shimul and Ms Faria from the office sacrificed their holiday to attend the stall.

Thanks to British Embassy for giving us the chance to know more about them by inviting us to a fair organized inside the embassy. It was a big thing for a NGO to expose themselves to foreigners. As we are constantly looking for volunteers to come and work here; it was very helpful for us to get more people to contact with and hopefully we will get a few volunteers coming next year.

Westin Dhaka, a five star hotel where most of the cabin crew of Emirates spend their transit time, gave us the chance to exhibit our Sewing products. For the whole month of December they allocated a table in the lobby for The Dhaka Project. The exhibition is for two hours everyday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Thanks to Mr Mahbubur Rahman, Communication Director, who arranged everything from the hotel.

Report Card Day @ The Dhaka Project

The first Half Yearly Exam of the schools under The Dhaka Project started on 29th November and ended successfully on 7th December. It was decided a month ago and as scheduled the report card day was on 20th December. The announcement was done continuously so that all the parents come and meet the teachers and know about their child’s performance.

The Report Card Day started at 10:00 in the morning. Most of the parents came to collect the report cards of their children except few of the garment workers. As directed, respective class teachers were in the class room to counsel the parents and along with the kids. To our outmost astonishment we saw that few guardians were very concerned about their child’s education. Few of them wanted to see the teachers again to know more about improving the learning method.

The parents for the first time got to know what the kids have studied during the first half of the session. Those who had a wrong concept of making their kids work were flushed with ideas of getting them educated. There were few parents who wanted to know about the syllabus of next half of the session. They emphasized on the importance of books for the kids and we are trying to provide the books by the first week of January.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The Jebel Ali Primary School had a non uniform day in which they fundraised on behalf of The Dhaka Project.
In this day each child brought a donation for the project...
And they raised the wonderful sum of 1,535.50 Dirhams that will be a nice boost, one more come from the friends at Jebel Ali to The Dhaka Project.
Thank you so much to Jebel Ali Primary School, their students, teachers and staff involved in this event, on behalf of The Dhaka Project children.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Dear Sandra and Amanda,
You are an inspiration!
Thank you for introducing the Project to both the Knightsbridge Nursery and The English College to action the successful photo-selling fundraisers.
It is inspiring to see the children of Dubai coming forward to make a difference in the lives of the children of Dhaka.
As parents of such children, you must take special pride in their accomplishments.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Keep Smiling,

Maria Conceicao,
For The Dhaka Project.


Dear Fiona,
We are delighted by The English College's successful fundraising activity of selling school photographs to the student's parents and the school's staff. A brilliant initiative!
Thank you for your school's support for The Dhaka Project.
The funds raised, 1,000.00 Dirhams, go directly to the aid of underprivileged children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Just to illustrate, every $10 raised helps buy school uniform and shoes for a student in Dhaka.
We look forward to the support of The English College community in the new year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank You,
Maria Conceicao,
For The Dhaka Project.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Dear Zara,
We are delighted by the Knightsbridge Nursery's successful fundraising activity of selling school photographs to the student's parents and the school's staff. A brilliant initiative!
Thank you for your school's support for The Dhaka Project.
The funds raised, 500.00 Dirhams, will go directly to the aid of underprivileged children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Just to illustrate, every $10 raised helps buy school uniform and shoes for a student in Dhaka.
We look forward to the support of the Kinghtsbridge School community in the new year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank You,
Maria Conceicao,
For The Dhaka Project.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

THE DHAKA PROJECT SAYS THANKS... the following donors...
  • Paulo Fonte, Coimbra - Portugal, for his donation of 400.00 Euros recently transferred to the Austrian account, not being the first time this donor comes forward to help us with such a pretty amount.
  • Sharon D'Sousa, Dubai - UAE, donated 700.00 Dirhams towards the sponsorship of Annonya; added to the D'Sousa Family's support along the years.
  • Guy Brownlee, Dubai - UAE, delivered 4,150.00 Dirhams, fundraised through his ID Card sale initiative. Big part of this amount came from good hearted people who added donations when getting to know Guy's work on behalf of TDP.
  • Anonymous donor, donation of 300.00 Dirhams + 45,674.00 Taka.
  • Jana, - donated 2,000.00 Taka + a few Dirhams directly in the field to sponsor a child.
Without your help they would still be in the streets !
Summing all these donations we realize how they make a huge difference in the lives of these children.
Thank you very much to the donators above who gave us a helping hand towards breaking the cycle of poverty in Bangladesh, on behalf of our children !!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Today our team of volunteers in Dubai have run the first Flea Market Sale.
Talking about solidarity and support this was a wonderful day!
Some time before Solange had spent a whole night organizing the items to be taken to this new sales point.
It's all for them !
Cooperated in this sale :
  • Maria, Nurul and Herman from 6:30 AM, meaning that all had to get up very, very early .
  • Tanvir from 6:45 AM though having a flight to India, was there untill the latest hour before catching the flight at 1 PM .
  • Greshma and 3 friends from 9 AM, who drove from Abu Dhabi to help, who have been true jewels with their precious help .
  • Josh Last from 9 AM, working for "A Better Life" at TDP .
  • Josh's parents, Mr John Last and his wife from 9 AM .
All the participants have lent so much tender and enthusiasm working with much dedication and passion all day along!...
However it was a very difficult day, being a hard resistance test, a hard probation to all !
It rained so much for almost four hours, with lightenings, thunders, floods, that all of us got wet, being amazing to see all volunteers staying steady and helping,... when we get confronted with such a spirit of union we feel we can have faith in the human kindness !
The sales brought an income of 1,625.00 Dirhams. Not too bad for a first time on a day like this !!!
Mr. John Last and his wife went home to empty their car while the others kept selling and then they came back to help us take the donations not sold and mostly wet, back to our mezzanine. What golden hearts we've got with us, staying there completely wet in a helpful spirit !
Thank you so much to all from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of The Dhaka Project children !!!


Sharin Fitter and a friend of her Aileen Kelly have run a Christmas Sale 2 weeks ago at Sharin's Villa, towards The Dhaka Project kids .
Among several items sold there were some bracelets they have kindly handmade just for the sale.
The proceeds of these sales have been directed 100 % to The Dhaka Project.
Once again in a short period of time we express our gratitude to Sharin Fitter... and to Aileen Kelly for their dedication and involvement towards helping us and this cause .
THANKS A LOT on behalf of our kids !

Friday, December 5, 2008


The young Liam completed his 8th anniversary last week, and decided to donate his birthday presents to a charity, and after having been shown some charities by his mum Sharin Fitter, and having watched The Dhaka Project on-line video in our website he preferred to offer a donation to the Dhaka Project rather than unwrapping his presents .
Then they sent invitations to Liam's class in Kings Dubai and on the day of his party all arrived with envelopes and gave them to Liam.
The children were very proud of their contributions and Liam was really related to the on-line video and all really think they have made a difference to the lives of these people... and what a difference!
And it was a great success having Liam collected 2,500.00 Dirhams in his party on behalf of The Dhaka Project, but getting to know about this more children from Kings Dubai expressed their wish to contribute to The Dhaka Project.
We wish to congratulate and say thank you to Liam and his friends for their contribution and yet to Sharin for having a boy with such a golden heart, on behalf of our children cared by The Dhaka Project!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


As most times the tireless Solange (Family Piñeiro) served a dinner in her house to the volunteers who have been helping with her, so helping The Dhaka Project children under our care with their hard and dedicated work.
It's a traditional dish either in Portugal or in Brazil, that in this particular case must have been cooked according to the Brazilian rules ... :)
This special meal was prepared with ingredients kindly sent by Cristiana's mum from the north of Portugal last Summer, what means that the cotfish has been waiting,... until all have a bit of time to be together for a while what is always very difficult due to each one's work...
It was a thank you dinner for volunteers in Dubai! A family party to celebrate the results they have got through their donated time !!!
Thanks to Cristiana and her mum for providing this delicious cotfish !


Josh Last has composed a music for The Dhaka Project !
When our four kids and Jewel visited Dubai, they visited several schools; well, one of these schools was Dubai Gem School, and Mr. John Richard Last, Headmaster, told his son Joshua Last about the visit and about the work that Maria Conceicao has developed at The Dhaka Project thanks to the help of countless volunteers, sponsors and donors from Dubai and the world.
And it was the beginning! Josh visited the project's website and got the inspirational creation that resulted in this beautiful song called "A BETTER LIFE" that he offered as a donation for The Dhaka Project.
Moreover he has just released a music CD and feels more than happy to offer it to be used as fund raiser for the benefit of TDP.
The link for the video with this music is in his website directly linked ( where this and other of his songs can be enjoyed.
If you prefer listening to the music (smaller file) just click on this link and select A Better Life (Song for The Dhaka Project) ( .
We are touched by this unexpected gesture. Thank you to Josh Last, on behalf of the poorest slums kids under the care of The Dhaka Project !!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


A Special Season is arriving and once again there was Dubai British School organizing a campaign on behalf of the poor kids, ex-slum dwellers, now at The Dhaka Project.
It's the already very familiar Shoebox Event in which the students at DBS felt gladly motivated to present our kids with surprise shoeboxes containing all sorts of gifts, namely sweets, toiletries, stationary, clothes, toys, games... and what their imagination thought our kids would love.
Added to the Shoebox campaign, the involvement in Dubai British School extended to fund raising where Kim Gammage and the pupils collected a nice amount that they also donated to TDP; 2747 Dirhams !
Eileen McKeever and Kim Gammage appear as having been highly committed in this event, but we believe that most teachers if not all and all students at DBS have formed a massive team to help our kids once again.On behalf of our children we send a massive thank you to all in Dubai British School specially addressing to Eileen Mckeever, Kim Gammage and the students for their enthusiastic commitment to help the poorest !!!
And thank you to our volunteer Sharon who, once again drove alone to the other end of the city to collect this huge donation of items and deliver it at our mezzanine store !


We have good news ! Our donators are being so generous...! So generous that our store manager, Solange Piñeiro, spends most of her time working hard to get the store tidy and donations organized... many times till late in the night... and almost the same happens with other volunteers... so generous that our volunteers have already had to recurr to another store to keep and sort items.Not far behind we got a truck load delivered in our store already mentioned and more recently we got a huge load of boxes brought to us by Sharon that will be a very nice surprise and make the delights of our kids in Dhaka; soon we will be publishing the details in this blog.
All this kindness from donors and all the work of our volunteers deserved a long sheet describing their hard work!
And during last month, among all other tasks along the busy month, they have run a few Holiday garage sales, as follows:
  • 14th Nov - Solange Piñeiro and Nurul Islam sold items worth 890.00 Dirhams.
  • 21st Nov - Solange Piñeiro and Nurul Islam again have got sales worth 230.00 Dirhams.
  • 28th Nov - Nurul Islam run the garage sale alone having sold items worth of 1,880.00 Dirhams.
And Dubai volunteers are approaching new horizons to run more garage sales in local fairs that means more work on the shoulders of our volunteers but hopefully also means more income towards The Dhaka Project.Thanks to all countless donors who keep donationg to us.
And thanks to all volunteers involved namely Sharon for collecting a huge set of boxes and driving through Dubai to bring them to our store, Solange Piñeiro, Solange Fortuna and Nurul Islam for all the hard work and availability.
Thanks for the lovely and heartful dedication to our children !!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Expensive City Dhaka

The daily household expenses are rising in all over the world as well as in Dhaka due to increased food and fuel prices. With a salary of Tk. 3000 it’s pretty tough for a mother to make her child educated either in a Government School.

Hamida, a cleaner under The Dhaka Project, has a son who has grown enough to give his first Board Exam (S.S.C) which is equivalent to O-level. Unfortunately she couldn’t manage the money, Tk3000, to fill the form of her son.

All the staffs showed their generosity towards Hamida and contributed to raise money for her. The initiative was taken by Mr Shimul, our Operation’s Manager, acknowledged the matter first. We gave Dr. Zahid the respect to hand over the money to Hamida.

This is not the first time that The Dhaka Project family came forward to help one of the members to fight and live in this competitive world.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Polio Vaccine

The Bangladesh Government started the Annual Vaccine Session for Polio and after birth diseases. On 29th November at 12.00 pm we heard that the team of polio vaccine started to give vaccines to the kids of Gawair. Mr Polash Roy, the principle of the TDP School ran to the office to seek permission to take the kids to be vaccinated. Mr Polash with other teachers of Nursery and Pre-School escorted the kids.

Thanks to the Bangladesh Government.