Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2017
This description of María José Cabezudo's work was prepared when María José Cabezudo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2017.
María is working in a sustained and responsible manner in the recognition, defense and realization of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people with disabilities. Although their specific focus is on people with disabilities, their actions reach the population as a whole and are oriented towards making Paraguay a better place to live.

As President of the Saraki Foundation, María works by helping to detect social problems and providing real solutions. In this way, Saraki manages to work as a laboratory with the capacity to create, promote and spread ideas based on the inclusion, equality, and equity of people. These ideas arise in a cooperative way and different actors of society participate in its creation. The collaboration and articulated work in this creation is the key so that the implementation of the solutions can be sustainable in the time.

María implements an innovative vision when developing processes and actions so that people with disabilities have access to opportunities and resources, not only focusing on their needs but also their abilities. In this way, Saraki generates answers that help all people to develop and live freer, full, independent and productive lives. To reach maximum impact, Mary focuses on doing more and more with less. While most civil society organizations in Paraguay seek to grow in revenue, sustain their actions from within or grow in number of people rented within the staff, Saraki seeks to leave installed capacity in its beneficiaries and partner organizations.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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