Maria CristinaFoundation Battling Poverty One Mountain at a Time
Dubai-UAE: 16 July2012– Maria Conceicao, Founder of the Maria Cristina Foundation has been on arelentless quest to combat the universal disease of poverty since 2005. In2012, her efforts propelled her to conquer numerous mountain peaks to improvethe living standards of impoverished slum dwellers in Bangladesh.
The Foundationoperates under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan BinMubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for theUAE, who has personally given the Foundation relentless support over the pasttwo years. In addition, Maria now has the support of a dedicated team ofvolunteers that has been put in place to assist her in achieving theFoundation’s vision and goals, whilst moving forward to the next level.
Maria tirelessly and successfully scaled to the top of four mountainsin 2012 that include: the Annapurna Circuit (5,400m), Renjo La (5,388m), Cho La(5,380m) and Kongma La (5,535m) all located in Nepal. Furthermore, Mariaattempted to climb Island Peak (6,189m) in Nepal and Denali (6,149m) in Alaska,but was unable to reach the top of these mountains due to unforgiving and fatalweather conditions, all in an effort to raise awareness and support to help theFoundation slowly eradicate the world of poverty.
After successfully completing dangerous challenges such as trekking tothe North Pole, participating in a 7 days 7 marathons challenge across the 7Emirates and climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus, Marianow has her sights set on conquering Mount Everest, which she intends to climbin 2013.
The Maria Cristina Foundation has succeeded in assisting the underprivilegedpeople of Bangladesh improve their lives through education and securing jobs inDubai, UAE. To date, the Foundation has helped 20 less fortunate individualssecure employment at world renowned establishments in Dubai that include:Emirates Airlines, Le Meridien Hotel, Dulsco, Royal Mirage, Sadia and Rotana.Of these 20, eight individuals alone have been brought to Dubai this year.Additionally, they have five Bangladeshi children placed in Dubai Schools whoare studying extremely hard as they are highly motivated and really want toexcel and achieve.
Maria’s passion for being a devoted humanitarian has earned hernumerous awards from globally renowned organizations. Her most recent accoladesinclude ‘The Most Inspiring Woman of 2012’ and the ‘Great Special Mention Awardfor Child Welfare 2012’ awarded to her by Kraft Foods and Petrochemrespectively.
Maria Conceicao, Founder of the Maria Cristina Foundation, said: “2012has been extremely challenging both physically and emotionally. We are glad tohave such incredible organizations help us in our fight against poverty, andmore assistance is always welcome. Currently over 650 lives have beenpositively impacted by the Maria Cristina Foundation’s efforts in Bangladeshand Dubai.
“GEMS Education witnessed first-hand the potential of the Bangladeshi childrenwe brought to study in Dubai. Their academic skills consistently improved andfull scholarships were awarded to all four children. The Foundation is nowplanning to bring more children from Bangladesh to continue their education inDubai and we would really appreciate if schools in the spirit of Ramadan canemulate GEMS’ generosity and provide scholarships for these talented children.
“We also needhost families to provide shelter, food and a nurturing environment for each ofthe children. We strongly urge charitable families during this holy month of Ramadanto open their doors and hearts and provide a warm home for each of these fourchildren from the Maria Cristina Foundation, and contribute in our fightagainst poverty.”
Bilkis Akther, one of the four children currently studying in a GEMSschool in Dubai, has performed extremely well this past year. She was selected to travel to Thailand toparticipate in the World Scholar’s Cup in June. Bilkis had a successful trip that hasenriched her educational experience and has opened her eyes to a world ofopportunities.
The Maria Cristina Foundationis a non-profit organization that provides free quality education tounderprivileged communities, train disadvantaged individuals to compete forbetter jobs by giving them greater access to employment opportunities whilstexpanding the Foundation’s global reach.
To support the Maria Cristina Foundation, please visit www.mariachristinafoundation.org