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UK Charity No. 1091792


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 to Maria.

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 - period.

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?

The trustees 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 help Maria?

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 to investigate.

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?

Please address 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 :)

Please 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 us here

© 2005 Children of Bahia