maria cristina foundation
Established in 2010, The Maria Cristina Foundation is an organisation based in Dubai providing premium class secondary education to slum-dwellers’ children. The founder, Maria also believes in trying to break the cycle of poverty by giving their parents marketable skills. We shouldn’t lose sight of the true potential of the slum-dwellers and all those living in extreme poverty. We need to undertake a more challenging task in creating links that could control events that lead towards poverty. This task cannot be achieved by the traditional approach; it requires a more active initiative and vision to build a project that addresses the problems at their roots.
Many people living in rural Bangladesh see the capital as an opportunity to earn money and change the future for their children. For most, the reality is rather different. With no education or skills, they cannot compete in the job market and end up in squalid little rooms held together with pieces of metal, wood and straw, surrounded by mosquitos and cockroaches. They eke out their existence with odd days of labouring work, perhaps driving rickshaws, doing shifts at the garment factories or working as housemaids for a pittance that does not even cover their living costs. Therefore they use their children to work at early age .
We carry no magic wand to change the slum dwellers, but we carry the winds of change, challenging them to think on their own and realize that change is possible. The lack of hope reduces them to robotic states, where no goals are considered. Instead they follow orders or old patterns without even thinking — it becomes the norm.