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        Dryad Global analyst Casper Goldman is based between London and Soest in Holland. As part of his role at Dryad Global he focuses on the complexities of the West Africa region. But there's something Casper failed to mention when he joined the Dryad Global team . . .

        Four years ago, Casper Goldman established a charity to support underprivileged children at a school in Indonesia. In this interview, he explains all . . . 

        What is the Van Empel Goldman Foundation?

        The Van Empel Goldman Foundation is a charity dedicated to improving the living standards of underprivileged children in Indonesia and broadening their opportunities. The foundation does this through supporting small scale educational projects. Donations support a range of educational themes such as English language development, sustainability awareness, developing skills for the job market, renovating infrastructure, and facilitating the transition to a hybrid education model (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The foundation's projects span Indonesia and are located in Jakarta, Central Java, and Lombok.

        VAN EMPEL GOLDMAN FOUNDATION 1

        How did the foundation come to fruition?

        The foundation was founded by myself and Isabelle van Empel in 2017, to realise a personal goal of taking concrete action to help disadvantaged children. To reach this goal they partnered with the Suyoto family - building on a three-generation friendship between the Suyoto family and the Goldman family to establish the local organisation: Yayasan Trisula. Following the establishment of the charity we travelled to Indonesia to enhance our understanding of the aid environment and select the first project to support. Funding was subsequently secured by appealing to personal networks and organising a Christmas market in our home towns, which raised over €9.000.

        Why Indonesia?

        Almost 10% of the Indonesian population still live under the national poverty line of $25 a month. The adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed an additional 1.63 million Indonesians. Investments in education are therefore key in lifting future generations out of poverty. 

        How did you integrate the foundation with existing aid infrastructure in the country?

        Whilst we established our own local organisation and have directly supported a range of existing projects that had not received funding from other (foreign) aid organisations we have also worked with existing charities and organisations with shared views and goals. Most recently the foundation joined forces with Laut Biru Project to support students in Lombok through their transition to hybrid education. The foundation has been mindful to work closely with local aid organisations who have invaluable knowledge of the community and its needs and who are well equipped to monitor and implement projects.

        As an analyst at Dryad Global, does exposure to maritime crime and security incidents around the world inspire you to establish other foundations?

        My work as an analyst with Dryad Global has exposed me to a range of socio-economic issues that have caught my attention and need more awareness on the global development agenda. For example, endemic poverty is a key driver of maritime crime and security incidents across West Africa. Other issues revolve around the living conditions of seafarers: for example, during the global pandemic, their mental health has suffered significantly from drastically reduced shore leave. Additionally, IUU (Illegal, Underreported and Unregulated) fishing often involves labour exploitation of fisherman.

        VAN EMPEL GOLDMAN FOUNDATION 2

        The foundation has now been running for almost 5 years? What have you achieved?

        In the past years we have contributed towards creating opportunities for underprivileged children by investing over €20.000 in 9 projects. A notable project is Happy English, a Sunday-school which teaches  English to children who are living a slum in North-Jakarta (Penjaringan). We have donated 100 folding tables, 2 cupboards and 8 whiteboards, as well as emergency COVID-19 relief in the form of bags with masks, hand sanitizer, soap, and independent (WHO) information about COVID-19. Another relevant project is our 'education in a bag' initiative in Lombok, where we provided 70 students with a bag that includes national curriculum materials as well as interactive educational materials, to support their transition to hybrid education.

        What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?

        We are continuously expanding our scope and it is our ambition to impact the lives of as many children as possible. In the next 5 years our main goal will be to minimise the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the life standards and opportunities of underprivileged children. We hope to expand to more Indonesian islands, incorporate more technology into our projects, and reach even more underprivileged students. Themes we will focus on are English language, skill development, renovating facilities and sustainability.

        How can people get involved?

        People can get involved by donating on this page where you can donate directly using 18 different currencies or find our bank details for direct transfers. Alternatively, you can support us by volunteering, in-kind donations (e.g. offering professional services), or collaborations.

        Find out more: https://www.vanempelgoldmanfoundation.nl/