In April 2005, Maria had a service flight from Dubai to Dhaka, Bangladesh spending 24 hours in the city. The trip was the first time Maria had ever witnessed poverty at a large scale and it touched her deeply. There were many ways to help, but short-term help was not what she had in mind. In May 2005, the month of her birthday, Maria decided to make a radical change in her lifestyle. She sold all her possessions, clothing and superfluous ornaments that were in her apartment, cashed all her bank savings out, asked friends and colleagues to donate everything they did not need, requested help from others and left for Dhaka with all the things she gathered together with her money to start something that would contribute to relieve the people of that horror.
Maria had realized early on that a low-level quality of education was not sufficient enough for the children to be equipped with the skills to compete in the harsh, competitive inner-city environments they face every day. A huge factor that hinders the slum dwellers is the deep-rooted social barriers caused by their local culture that prevents them from moving forward in life. By empowering women and children through high quality education, we introduce them to a world of endless opportunities. We enhance their lives and expose them to the world outside of the slums through the programs we have established in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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