Zainab Turay (Founder)

The idea to start a Foundation for pregnant teenagers, started with a little hat. Meanwhile I have known Gea Wildeman for more than 10 years. And I like telling stories about Sierra Leone, since it is my country of origin. In the Hospital where Gea worked there was a paediatrician who started a project and requested the staff of the hospital to knit baby hats/caps for newborn babies at a hospital in Zambia. Gea together with her girlfriends knitted 100+ hats which she gave me to take them to Sierra Leone. I did that and made a short video to show her how grateful they were.

 On her 70th birthday Gea asked all guests to give clothes, diapers and other supplies for the babies in Sierra Leone instead of presents for herself. The day I handed these goods to all the people involved, I was so moved to see how grateful and happy they were, I decided to do more for them.

Upon my return to Netherlands, I told Gea of my plans and asked her if she wanted to cooperate with me on the implementation. Of course she said "Yes" and this was the beginning of the Foundation Mabel's Cottage.

Board Members The Netherlands

Gea Wildeman (President)

I have known Zainab Turay for more than 10 years. Her boyfriend and my husband were colleagues. Through her I have heard a lot about Sierra Leone.

Two years ago she asked me to help her with setting up a foundation to provide pregnant teens a temporary shelter in a house in Freetown, which she had inherited from her mother. We want these young women preparing for an independent existence for themselves and their child. It would be our duty to financially support this via donations and funds  

 So we started together.

Gieny Rigtering

From its creation in May 2014, I was involved in the Foundation Mabel's Cottage. Soon I accepted the position of a Secretary.

I have always worked in the youth services, mainly focused on teenagers who had a difficult childhood.

Since my retirement I have been working for 8 years in the Wereldwinkel (Soest). Here, too, with the objective that by the work of parents, they are able to have the children to follow a school education and live a better life.

I therefore commit myself to help the pregnant teens in Mabel's Cottage to help these girls/women building a better future for themselves and their baby.

Ariene Chardon (Financial Secretary)

For years I had a dream a to live for few months in a third world country, in which not everything goes flawlessly and not as organised as in Netherlands. By rolling up the sleeves, I too wanted to experience a little bit how the people live there. My work in my youth services practice so far prevented that.

When I was asked to be part of the Board for young pregnant girls in Sierra Leone, I considered also my dream to come within reach, while at the same time, I could do something useful for youth in this African country. 

 Through my work with children and young people and my financial experience as independent entrepreneur, I think I can contribute, especially because I am retired and have more time available to focus on this country and the possibilities of future-oriented support from the Netherlands.

Wim Bary (secretary)

I am Wim Bary. I am an independent entrepreneur-advisor; for more than 20 years.I advise (starting) entrepreneurs establishing their business, developing their strategy, carrying out the market research and structure the financing for their companies. I carry out my profession as an independent entrepreneur but also as member of a team or hired by institutions: BID, PUM, SEVA, SPARK, Utrechtse Ondernemers Academie, etc..

Meanwhile I advised over 50 entrepreneurs to start their companies in the Netherlands or outside the Netherlands and advised other entrepreneurs to further develop their business.

Since 4 years I am also advising transmigrate-entrepreneurs who want to start a business in their country of origin and connect this with their European business activities. 

I also have experience with corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. I help the entrepreneurs to set up their business in a profitable way contributing to sustainable economic development with which he/she can differentiate him/herself in the market

I also provide training and workshops in the field of: business planning, strategy, market research, internal organisation and financing both in the Netherlands and abroad in various countries. I was invited by Rabobank Foundation to give a course on Rural Finance for international students jointly with FAO as part of the yearly “Boulder Microfinance Training Program” in Turino Italy.

I participated in a number of management co-operation programs and twinning programs, providing sustainable technical assistance and advisory services, to various companies and institutions. So far I carried out 26 advisory missions in 13 developing and transition countries, advising on embedding new lines of business in the organisation and the development and introduction of new products and services.

I have been involved as independent advisor in the implementation of Diasporafunds for some countries in Africa to finance interesting SMEs with crowd funding from the Diaspora together with local financial institutions.

Now retired I would like to continue to work for entrepreneurs. I still find it exciting to help people with an objective for their life to realise their plans.  


Board Members Sierra Leone

  • Andrew Mensah (National Overseer)
  • Micheal Zainab Saffa (President)
  • Mohamed Yansaneh(Corporate treasurer)
  • Joseph Kanu (Secretary and Matron)
  • Ernest Conteh (Project Manager)
  • Isha Turay (Matron)


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