Founding member and director
Building Bridges was an educational and social project based in Vienna. In the summer of 2015, moved by the stories of young unaccompanied refugees, Maria gathered a group of artists and founded Building Bridges.
Over two years, Maria organized over 150 dancing, music and body percussion workshops, as well as concerts for and with young refugees.
Thanks to the donations of the audience from the launch concert at the Vienna Konzerthaus and several broadcast appearances, Building Bridges was able to accompany over 30 young refugees through their first years in Vienna.
Through the workshops they found friends, on stage they learned self-confidence, and the participation in a long-term educational project helped them obtain Austrian asylum. Building Bridges reached outside the Austrian borders to Germany and the U.S., being featured in a book and a documentary. Mansour and Nawed, two of the boys from Building Bridges, expressed in interviews that the biggest reward was to be able to take on the role of “giving” by stepping on stage, showing their ideas, talents and emotions, being seen as individuals.