I just love an inspiring story and this was one of the most inspirational and passion-filled and stories I’ve ever heard! This is @mariadaconceicao7 , the founder of Maria Cristina Foundation.
After visiting the slums of Dhaka while on a 24-hour break as a part of her job with the Emirates Airline in 2005, Maria decided she wanted to change the children’s lives. She cancelled her next vacation plans and instead spent two weeks in the slums starting what grew to become the Maria Cristina Foundation.
Maria Cristina foundation has been in operation now for 10 years and provided education to over 600 children. It has always been a struggle to fund the foundation. “In the early days there seemed to be an abundance of money in Dubai, but when the recession came, donations and funding disappeared almost overnight,” Maria noted. Maria then had to take desperate measures to get attention, raise awareness and make public appeals for help.
Listen to what all she accomplished because she was DETERMINED to provide for the children she made a commitment to: in 2010 Maria summited Mount Kilimanjaro, but this didn’t get enough attention. In 2011 she made a successful trek to the North Pole and walked a marathon on each of the 7 emirates in the UAE in 7 days. In 2013 she became the first Portuguese woman to summit Mount Everest and since then has ran 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents in 6 weeks, 7 ultra marathons in 7 days and 7 marathons on 7 continents in 11 days and learned to swim before SWIMMING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. The woman holds 8 Guinness World Records.
Maria didn’t have any athletic inclination before embarking on these challenges. Many, including personal trainers, advised her not to attempt such ambitious feats. She still decided to push forward out of desperation to raise awareness and funds, but she also hopes that her efforts give a positive message to the children in the slums. She said she wants the children to realize that despite the expectations of people or society, you can achieve much more.