One 2 Think is an association in the field of education founded in 2018 by Ben Zuccone and myself, Nadira Maleq, in Geneva, Switzerland. It is apolitical, non-religious and independent.
I was born in Switzerland and my parents are from Bangladeshi descent, thus Bengali is my mother tongue and I was raised within the Bangladeshi culture. As a child, I traveled to Bangladesh often to visit my family. At an early age, I understood the discrepancies between the living conditions in Switzerland and Bangladesh, particularly how fortunate I was to have access to quality education and quality healthcare.
To reach my relatives’ place in Dhaka, we had to cross a street in a very deprived and poor neighborhood. I remember crossing that street by car and feeling very bad about people’s living conditions.
From our building, we could notice the struggle of children and I was heartbroken when watching street children begging instead of going to school. I wanted to do something to improve their situation.
I also remember two domestic helpers who were my age, about 10 years old, that were working for my relatives. I could not understand why they had to work for us instead of going to school. I could not understand why they stayed here with us and without their own family. I considered them as my friends, although I was told not to because we were too different. I never forgot these domestic helpers.
I grew up in Geneva and the international cooperation environment and it became obvious that I wanted to dedicate myself to support children in my country of origin.
Nadira Maleq worked in different organizations in Geneva, Asia and Africa, after studying International Relations in Switzerland and Globalization and Development Studies in the Netherlands. Her experience in the field of human rights and education as well as her personal experience made her realize that education is key for vulnerable boys and girls. After gaining experience in project management and research, she decided to found One 2 Think in order to empower boys, girls and adolescents in Bangladesh.
She also teaches in special needs education and works as a French-English-Bengali interpreter, which allows her to meet newly arrived Bangladeshis in Switzerland. She is currently enrolled at the University of Geneva to gain a greater expertise in the area of primary school education, particularly cross-cutting skills and didactics.
Ben Zuccone is an entrepreneur who set up a media production company called Gimmemusic as well as a music school, Gimmemusic School, in Switzerland. After studying Business Administration in Geneva, he developed an interest in social entrepreneurship while managing projects for a startup incubator.
Born in the Philippines, Ben Zuccone is well aware of the various challenges faced by emerging Asian countries, especially by children and adolescents, and decided that he wanted to utilize his skills in the field of education. Today, he leads the communication strategy of One 2 Think by taking advantage of his experience in business management and media creation.