The founders and board members
The Arpana Foundation was founded by the Dutch couple Bert Schade and Arpana Landheer. Bert has a financial background, Arpana is a psychologist. For many years they travelled through Africa, intrigued by the natural history of the continent. They knew little about its people.
“By visiting the many National Parks we discovered that in striving to preserve nature the needs of the population were in most cases disregarded. Often, people were displaced from their land to give the land back to wildlife and as such the people were removed from their natural food supplies. From that moment on their hunting was called poaching and hunting became the privileged activity for well-paying tourists. The indigenous people received little in return. This arrangement gives the people many reasons to oppose nature conservation and causes major problems for all concerned. It seemed to us that the conservation of wildlife and nature can’t be successful without care for its people.”
This view changed the goal of Bert and Arpana’s journeys.
“After our retirement we hoped to be able to join the many people who dedicate their life to the conservation of nature and to the people of Africa. Our search began with studying and visiting projects and organisations in Africa. Finally, because we were facing a change of life, nearing our retirement, we decided that it was best for us to establish a private foundation to run its own small projects. We realised that we also had to seek co-operation with other organisations with similar objectives and greater knowledge, and were lucky to find friends with special areas of expertise willing to support us.”
In addition to Bert and Arpana, the board of the Arpana Foundation consists of experts in the fields of medicine, nature conservation, and public relations.
- Dr. E.D. Wolff, paediatrician / nephrologist;
- Dr. H. Poerbodipoero, General Practitioner;
- Mr. R.C.A.M Kuulkers, adviser to WWF and expert in public relations.
The Arpana Foundation is an independent international organisation whose aim is the protection and development of children in combination with the conservation of nature. The core of the work is to care for, support and protect children who are victims of disasters or diseases and those in mental distress. We offer them a clean, safe and caring environment and try to stimulate awareness of the nature in which they live and on which they depend.
The aid offered is characterized by its diversity and is carried out without discrimination. The Foundation contributes towards and promotes education and child development. It also encourages and supports scientific research with similar objectives. The Foundation supports other project-related foundations and local organizations and initiatives. The Foundation works as much as possible with volunteers and chooses to support small or individual projects.
“It is well known that there are many children around the world who suffer from extreme conditions of all kinds, mostly due to poverty. We do not have to add dramatic images ourselves. At the same time the large difference in wealth among the inhabitants of the world is also a well known fact. As individuals many of us want to share this wealth and it brings great joy to do so if somewhere, even if only to one individual, we have brought some relief. This is how we also feel about our work.”