“Expect the Unexpected”

Maria was born in Angola but she was raised and still lives in Belgium. Maria is a nurse, she has over 10 years experience in healthcare, she is a certified wound care nurse and works in a private hospital in Brussels. She is also a mentor to a few African students because she believes that everybody is capable of realizing their dreams if they really want to. Maria is a UN Empower Women Global Champion for Change 2016-2017 and she is also a guest writer for Risingafrica.org. Maria Pedro Miala's mentor is Susana Frazao Pinheiro.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story! 

A: I was born in Angola, but I grew up in Belgium and although I left Angola a long time ago... I still want to improve the health care in Angola. I am a nurse and I worked in the hospital for 10 years, now I am more moving into innovative health care, telehealth nursing with the help of technology which is why I am following now a course as a web developer and also to develop applications.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: My view of the world today is that as the years go on, we are going backwards...with that I mean our mentality, our social interactions between humans, etc... There is more violence against women (the statistics of raping are increasing), more racism (even though we are in 2017) and people isolate themselves more than before and real personal social interactions are very hard for some people who prefer to only have contact with other human beings behind the computer. I define the concept of a better world first of all by treating each other as human beings and stop dehumanising each other.

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: Wow, there are so many challenges... But some of the key challenges are:

1. Equality between men and women,

2. Stop violence against women

3. Job creations in the future for all the young people,

4. A good health insurance and access to a good health system for everybody,

5. Tackling poverty

Q: As a woman what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: Balancing the family life with a highly demanding job, I believe that the standard of the family seen by the society was both parents have to work full time is quasi-impossible and does not help to educate and up bring our children in a better world. First of all, to have a better society we need better human beings, so we need to pay attention to the next generation we are bringing into this world. How do we do this? By giving them more quality time with their parents so we have to design or reinvent a better work-family balance.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: The role of a mentor is important to me because this is how we carry on the message, this is how we carry on our legacy to the next generation. I do mentor some African students and giving them more insights about life, giving them direction so that they do the right thing makes me feel fulfilled.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: "Expect the unexpected", life does not always go as we planned.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: My little brother: Wilson Miala project: JUVAS in Angola (United Young People Against Poverty) this organisation is a group of young people who give food to children who live in the streets, they see children in hospitals to help them feel a little better and once a year they organise a charity to feed all of the children of their neighbourhood in poverty and those children receive all day a very healthy cooked meal from them.

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: You can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed" - Misty Copeland

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.  

A: "Preparation is the key".