Children of Bahia Frequently Asked Questions
Can I visit
Maria in Salvador?
Yes, Maria loves
visitors! Please see the visiting
Salvador section of our web site.
Do you have
a volunteer programme?
No, at present
we do not have a volunteer programme.
You are however
welcome to visit Maria while you are in Salvador (see visiting
Salvador). We hope to offer volunteer places when the
new orphanage opens later this year but we will post
information on the web site if we do. If however
you live in Salvador and can offer regular or specialist
assistance we would love to hear from you.
What if something
happens to Maria?
We are currently
in the process of setting up a local NGO with a local board
of trustees. We are also working hard to open a new fully
staffed orphanage. These two entities will also be designed
to carry on Maria's work should (God Forbid) anything happen
How much of
the money donated is spent on Maria & the children?
In the last year
the only expenses that have been taken from donations have
been a bit of printing (sub £50) and phone calls to
Brazil (again sub £50 and we use e-mail now which
is free :). Other than that the only "administration"
expenses are to pay Ana in Salvador. Ana is vital in helping
Maria at the current refuge and she is also is working like
a trojan to set up the new NGO and orphanage.
We hired Ana
after beating our heads against rules and regulations for
almost two years. In the two months since Ana joined the
team the whole project has picked up at a pace we could
only have dreamt of a year ago.
So - to answer
the question - last year less than 1% of the money donated
was spent here in the UK - and that was spent on promotional
materials and telephone calls. We the trustees take no income,
do not charge expenses, do not charge to run the web site
or for any other involvement and we NEVER take any money
to travel to Brazil. The money is for Maria and the children
We will post
our full accounts shortly but they are scrutanised by the
Charities Commission and you can rest assured we spend no
money without very careful consideration.
Who Runs Children of Bahia?
of the charity are:
Iain & Kirsty
Beveridge and Paul & Ann Harley (Kirsty's Parents)
If anything happens to us then Paul and Ann would take over
and new trustees would be appointed (you have to plan for
worst case scenario).
We met Maria
almost three years ago on a trip to Salvador and as we drove
away we knew we had to do something to help these people.
We were never quite the same after meeting Maria, you think
you are doing good and helping, and then you meet someone
completely selfless who has dedicated their life to saving
children in real need, and you feel pretty humble :
Are you a
properly registered charity?
Yes, Children of Bahia is a fully registered UK charity (charity
Number 1091792) and we are regulated by and accountable
to the Charities Commission. For more information please
visit their web site at http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk
How can I
Please see the how to help section
of our web site.
Can I send
things to Maria?
You are welcome
to send things to Maria - but be warned - Customs in Salvador
are, shall we say, difficult :)
Also - because
Maria herself is not an official charity she will have to
pay customs duty on anything that they get hold of or decide
We are opening
a local NGO and they will be able to receive parcels on
Maria's behalf soon (hopefully import duty exempt) - check
back for more details after about June (2005) when hopefully
the NGO will be set up.
You can find
Maria's address if you would like to write to her on the
visiting Salvador page, but she
will need to get someone to read it to her. Alternatively
feel free to write to her at our address and we will ask
Ana to convey your messages.
How can I
make a donation?
Please see the Make a donation
section of our web site
Can I write
to Ana direct or meet whith her when I am in Salvador?
any correspondence in the first instance to us here. Ana's
time is valuable and she is extremely busy at the moment
both rennovating the existing refuge and organising the
new NGO and orphanage.
You are welcome
to meet with Ana if there is a clear purpose to it - for
example you live in Salvador and wish to help in some way
or maybe wish to introduce Ana to a local contact, or of
course if you wish to make a donation :)
Why is Donna
Maria also known as just Maria?
When we first
visited Maria Alberto told us Maria's full name - Donna
Maria Davina Rodrigues -
but said we could call her Maria. Also Children of Bahia
is a bit shorter that Friends of Donna Maria. Everyone we
know calls her Maria, but on the video Jeremy Irons refers
to her as Donna Maria (which is correct) - anyway - you
see what we mean :)
note - if you wish to discuss a fund raising idea or event
we would be delighted to hear from you and will offer what
support we can - email