Erika van Oyen – founder
I am a French Immersion teacher with international roots that connect me to several continents. I have lived in North America, Asia and Oceania, have taught in North America, Asia and Africa, and my family comes from Europe. One day I will either live or teach in South America and I will visit Antarctica. I have travelled to Uganda every year since 2008 to support Ugandans in educational programs. I believe in the innate and fundamental goodness of humanity and that everyone deserves compassion. It is my responsibility to serve others and ISEE Solutions is my way of serving those who want to implement solutions in their community. I try to live my life with GRACE: Gratitude, Respect, Altruism, Compassion, Empathy, and I invite you to do the same.
Corey Mazurat – Vice President/tech guy
I suggested “Erika’s Crazy Idea” as the name for this charity, but no one else agreed.
For as long as I’ve known Erika (which is 27 years (!) and counting), she has been a passionate defender of the underdog, the under-appreciated and the under-represented. She was always the first to pitch in and the last to go home whenever work needed to be done. I’ve heard her say it a hundred times — Make a positive difference in one life, just one, and you’ve made a difference in the world and in your own life, too. It’s not at all surprising that she’s a brilliant teacher.
She’s also utterly fearless when it comes to new adventures and somehow she managed to convince me — her rather-less-than-adventurous-thank-you-very-much husband — to join her on this journey.
As VP I sign cheques, pretend I have a say in things, and sometimes get to bang a gavel. As tech guy, I am responsible for the website (and all that entails), photography, videography, and any other technical minutiae.
Andrew Echel – Director of Projects – Uganda
I am Ugandan by nationality and have a bachelor degree of International Business Management. A few years ago (about 5 years now) I met Erika van Oyen as she asked me if I wanted to join her to do something that she was thinking about. She came to live in Uganda for a year in 2013-2014 to set it all up and I am glad that she called me up to take on a few roles here and there. Well to be a part of ISEE is like what John F. Kennedy said, “…My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I am no American but to me being a part of ISEE Solutions Society gives me the satisfaction that I am creating an impact on my society.
ISEE has given me an opportunity to live a life with meaning. Looking at the smiles of some of these women each day gives me courage and a sense that tomorrow will be better. In a small sense we are transforming Uganda, I want to be a part of that team. I am privileged to serve and be under such wonderful leadership.