Maria Karra

Founder of Emfasis Foundation

Holder of the French Faculty degree from Athens, and with post-graduate studies in Europe, she commenced her international career as a Director of Sales & Marketing for Hilton International holding similar positions in Italy, Malta, France and England between 1990-2000.

In 2000, she led a number of high profile awareness events as a volunteer for the Al Noor training centre for children with special needs. Consequently, the centre gained a lot of support and to date provides all individuals with special needs , regardless of background, professional training to realize their potential for social integration.

Next stop is Malaysia, where she takes a break from the corporate world and focusses on worthy causes. With the support of the Royal family and under the auspices of Tengku Zeyhan, the sister of the Sultan of Selangor, Maria drives an awareness & fundraising campaign for a day care centre for children with special needs in Kuala Lumpur. As a result, the Centre acquired its own premises for 100 children, regardless of background. Maria received a special mention and continues to be a board member of the Special Children Society of Ampang.

In Singapore, she was involved in various non-profits such as CARING FOR CAMBODIA, PISTORIO FOUNDATION, KAIS KIDS ORPHANAGE CAMBODIA. In 2008, she initiates a scholarship programme for the children of the female prisoners in BAAN LUNG PITAK prison centre, in Phuket, Thailand. Until today, 16 children are part of the scholarship fund. At the same time, she was co-ordinating fundraising initiatives for the orphans of the non-profit BALI Kids in Indonesia.

As of 2010 and in view of Greece’s dire socioeconomic crisis, she started collecting impressions and personal testimonials during her regular visits to Athens.

As a result, in April 2013, she founded the non-profit organization EMFASIS, to address the holistic needs of all vulnerable and socially excluded groups in need of social, psychological & family support using the principles of Social Street Working as its main way of approach and identification of such groups. Emfasis relies entirely on private and individual funding.