Tondo Foundation was founded by Francesco Caruso in late 2016 and is one of the two successor foundations of the now dissolved Richard P. Haugland Foundation.
Francesco had been Dr. Richard P. Haugland (Dick)'s colleague and friend for over 10 years and after Dick’s passing in October 2016 he restructured the foundation in order to ensure and expand its long-term ability to address Dick’s charitable priorities:
Tondo Foundation: to support education, healthcare and innovative programs for marginalised children and youth across Asia and beyond.
Starfish Education Foundation: to support access to education for marginalized children living in Thailand, which had been Dick’s home since 2003, and improve the quality of education in Thailand and South East Asia building on and expanding the curricula he had developed over the years to foster creative thinking.
The name Tondo was chosen by Dick and Francesco while they were speaking about the communities that had had the strongest impact on him and where he thought his funds could have the greatest impact. Tondo is the most impoverished neighbourhood of Manila and its temporary housing area had a profound impact on Dick when he first visited it (see video here).
People who live in absolute poverty in communities like Tondo are often invisible to the world and their local societies. Tondo Foundation was created to enable children, youth and families to believe in and build better futures.
Additionally, Tondo also means ensō or change in Italian. Dick had always been interested in this Zen symbol for its meaning as the unfinished circle represents the beauty of imperfection and the strive toward perfection. This represents the spirit of Tondo Foundation and the person who made it possible.
Tondo Foundation will carry on and expand Dick's legacy by not only continuing to support the projects he loved so much, but also by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets so that we might be able to encourage the next “Dick Haugland” with the support they need to build their company and have a huge social impact in this world.