News let’s meet : Saskia Caspari

My name is Saskia and after one year of ad-hoc involvement in one of Niketan’s projects I joined as board member in December 2022.

I was born and raised in Germany, but I would almost consider myself Dutch by now as I have been living in the Netherlands for ten years. When I first had contact with Niketan in the end of 2021, I was immediately impressed by the team’s passion and commitment to make a real difference for the young generation in Bangladesh. Niketan’s core values resonate with me, and I enthusiastically share the vision of a world in which children with a disability are accepted and make their own decisions. I too believe that anyone should be able to create their own future. That is why it has been clear to me from the beginning that I wish to support Niketan in any way I can.

My background

I work in the Structured Finance team of FMO (Dutch entrepreneurial development bank). Here, I specialize in supporting microlending to financially underserved groups such as young and female entrepreneurs. The geographical scope of the programme is broad. I learned that when facing a particular issue in a certain country, I can often use previous learnings from other regional contexts and apply them to the new country. I hope to be able to apply some of my insights from my work at FMO to Niketan’s projects in Bangladesh.

Before I joined FMO, I worked in a quantitative finance role at the Dutch asset manager and mortgage lender MUNT Hypotheken. One of the many things I learned during my time at MUNT is the value of a holistic mindset: My team and I didn’t only deliver a data management solution, financial models, or a certain (mortgage) product insights – it was the consideration of all aspects related to the mortgage portfolio that really created value for our investors. While Niketan operates in a completely different context, I strongly recognize the same holistic mindset in the organization: It is not enough to only provide a care or education package for a child. Niketan’s ambition is achieving sustainable improvement of the quality of life for children in Bangladesh, for which is necessary to also include parents, teachers, and other groups in the children’s environment.

volunteer work

Next to my roles at Niketan and FMO, I am a voluntary Young People Coach at Stadslink, a local foundation in The Hague, where I support young people in identifying and realizing their dreams. Much like the projects at Niketan, Stadslink focusses on young people’s ambitions, as opposed to the obstacles they might face. I think that the emphasis on what young people can do instead of what they cannot do is what mostly drew me to both Stadslink and Niketan.

I am looking forward to utilizing my analytics & finance background in combination with my experience in the development sector to try to make a meaningful contribution for Niketan – and with that hopefully a difference for young people in Bangladesh.

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