DUBAI: A race against time to find life-changing jobs for seven Dhaka shanty dwellers in Dubai has paid off with the help of determined volunteers who groomed and trained them.
Emirates airline hired six of the seven as wheel assistants and porters after Eid, while the seventh, Eman Ali, 48, who previously worked as a security guard in Dhaka, was on tenterhooks with just one day left on his visa on Monday. He heaved a sigh of relief when he got a break just in the nick of time.
“I was thinking that If I had to go back home empty-handed, I would be a failure for my children and my wife,” said the father of three.
However, late on Monday afternoon, Media One Hotel hired Ali as a steward. Ali told XPRESS: “No words are enough to express my gratitude and joy.”
The month-long visit visa of the group, who came to the UAE on July 30, was sponsored by the office of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Maria Cristina Foundation (MCF) founder Maria Cristina Conceicao, who brought the seven men to Dubai, thanked Shaikh Nahyan, Etihad and the new employers for their support.
Maria has helped around 600 children leave their slum life since her charity school project began in the Bangladeshi capital in 2005. “We’ve made every the effort to find job for all seven guys in entry-level positions. As usual, Dubai has proven to be a generous city,” said Maria, who has earlier brought students from the Dhaka slums on scholarships with Dubai’s Gems schools. MCF had previously placed 20 men trained in her Dhaka community school in Dubai jobs.
Maria funds the charity with her sponsored adventures and donations. She is currently training hard to climb Argentina’s Mt Aconcagua in December and Mt Everest in April 2013.
HACKERS HIT MARIA’S EMAIL
Maria has said her e-mail account was hacked earlier this week. “Scammers will try anything to sound legitimate so you’ll send them money. They’ll say I’ve just moved back to the UK, they’ll pose as MCF! Don’t believe it. Don’t send money to anyone under any circumstances.”