The dream started 17 years ago when I, as a new graduate, joined the Modern Montessori School as a counselor and special education department. I found out early on that if I were to become an effective counselor to my students, and if I were to make a difference in their quality of life, I should offer them a multi-disciplinary program on all levels.
Working with my students and members of my team made me realize the large amount of quality work required to integrate our special needs students into the school and the society at large, to help them face the challenges of life, to identify their strengths and recognize their weaknesses, and to make other students appreciate and understand their dissimilarities and support their” special needs” in order to include them as builders, not a burden to society. Furthermore, these children needed psychological support because of the challenges they face in their day to day life, which was integrated into the services offered by the school.
To help me further understand our social structure and cultural stigmatization, I jumped at the opportunity to join a newly established center for psychological and educational consultations and training. I worked at Al Murad center for seven years, which in itself was an insightful experience. During that time, with an MA in Clinical Psychology and another in Special Education, I was able to offer a multi-disciplinary service.
My 17 years in the field of psychological consultation and working in special needs education at the Modern Montessori School and Al Murad Center exposed me to a wide spectrum of human conditions and triggered a deep sense for need of change within me, and helped me realize the needs of our society as a whole. Working with this sector of people made me more persistent and gave me hope for the future, helped me realize my own dream, and guided me towards establishing a center that can provide a new approach in dealing with the challenges that so many people in our society face day in day out, whether psychological, educational, or social. I felt an urge and a will to make a difference for the betterment of my society, its people, children, men and women.
I promised myself that the Maria Den Braven center shall make a difference in the lives of the people of Jordan and the region. I promised myself to put together the most capable team of professionals who have impacted the lives of many people and shared my dream throughout my career. I promised myself to make a difference.
During the course of my career, I am indebted to those people who were behind me all the way, mentioning but a few, Mrs. Randa Al Hassan, the Modern Montessori School Principal, my professors and partners at Al Murad Center Dr. Tayseer Shawash and Dr. Fawzi Toaimeh, my lifelong colleagues at the school and at the center, my patients and my family, who have impacted my life and made me believe that everything is possible.
Maria Den Braven, my husbands’ late mother, challenged her Dutch upbringing and set out at an early age to serve humanity as a nurse in many corners of the world. Her desire and passion to make a difference in the lives of all the people she came across in the world inspired me to name the center after her, and apply her creed in life: “The will to make a difference”.