Our story

Saturday 27th of August 2016 was the first time Isabelle van Empel and Casper Goldman shared their views on children’s rights. They decided they wanted to take concrete action to help disadvantaged children. The country was going to be Indonesia, the cause was going to be education. Half a year later, on Tuesday 18th of April 2017, the Van Empel Goldman Foundation was officially established. The goal is to increase opportunities for disadvantaged children and increase their life standard. In our first years, we will primarily focus on increasing opportunities through investing in quality education, as the foundation grows we wish to broaden our focus to increasing their life standards by investing in healthcare and nutrition.

A few days after the establishment Isabelle, Casper and board member Sander Goldman had their first foundation-travel to Indonesia. The purpose of this travel was to visit schools and projects and to decide which one we will support. Besides visiting 5 schools and projects we have met educational specialists working with World Vision Indonesia and met with a diplomat of the Dutch Embassy. After the journey we decided to support Sekolah Master Indonesia, a school for street children in Depok. You can read our travel log here.

Isabelle at Sekolah Master Indonesia

Why was the country going to be Indonesia?

Indonesia is a country where poverty amongst children still is a relevant problem. In 2013 11,4% of the population lived in extreme poverty and another 28 million Indonesians lived with less than IDR 293.000 (roughly €20) a month. Children are heavily impacted by these poverty rates and action must be taken. There are, however, many other countries with similar or even worse poverty rates. We have chosen Indonesia because of our strong local network.

The Goldman family has had a three-generations long family friendship with the Indonesian Suyoto family. The Suyoto family was enthusiastic when first being introduced to the foundation. Today, Anja Wollan, daughter of Bagawanti Suyoto is secretary director to the board. In addition, Anggraeni Suyoto, her husband Otto Sidharta, and Gayatri Suyoto are board members to the local foundation ‘Yayasan Trisula Mulya Bhakti’, which is used to properly distribute the funds. Moreover, Dimas Suyoto, son of Anggraeni Suyoto and Rayi Suyoto, son of Gayatri Suyoto, are youth ambassadors.

From left to right: Casper Goldman, Anggraeni Suyoto, Dimas Suyoto,

Isabelle van Empel, Gayatri Suyoto, Sander Goldman

Why was the cause going to be education?

In order to eradicate poverty amongst children we need to invest in opportunities. A part of our goal is to increase opportunities for underprivileged children. We strongly believe that the key to opportunities, the key to a better future is education. Therefore, we are committed to increasing the quality of education by providing schools and projects with materials such as, tables, chairs, whiteboards and books. The schools and projects we support are schools that offer education to the underprivileged, in many cases children that would not get an education otherwise. In addition, we contract youth ambassadors and volunteers to teach English, because speaking a world language opens doors.

Isabelle and Casper visiting a school (Pesantren Budaya Indonesia).