Who are we

Founder and Proprietor: Dr Abdulai Daniel Sesay (ABD).

Dr. ABD was born and raised in a small village near Yele, in the center of Sierra Leone.
After secondary school he started working in Masanga Leprosy Hospital as lab aide. There he was noticed for his intelligence and commitment. He was send to Malawi for studies. In Malawi he did a course called medical assistant.

After graduating he returned to Masanga and worked for a short period with the American doctors there. But soon after he returned the civil war broke out, so the expat had to leave. ABD was left in charge of Masanga Hospital. Due to several attacks and destruction by the rebels he was forces to  leave Masanga. For some time he had worked in Lungi, but later returned to Makeni, were he started City Garden Clinic (see also history of City Garden Clinic).

Together with Harold Pheiffer he realized the dream of building Magbenteh Community Hospital in 2006.
He continued to also work on City Garden Clinic. In 2012 he was elected as member of parliament for the Yele area.

Medical Superintendent: Erdi Huizenga.

Erdi is born and raised in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Already at a young age she developed the dream of becoming a doctor to serve people in areas where there are just few doctors.

Erdi went Medicine at the Free University in Amsterdam. After finishing her medicine study she worked at the cardiac surgery department of the university Hospital of the Free University, before starting her training for tropical doctor. In the Netherlands, the training for tropical doctor is unique and consist of gaining practical skills at a surgical department and at a obstetric/gynaecology department in a Dutch Hospital followed by a theoretical course at the KIT (Royal Tropical Institute).

As qualified tropical doctor Erdi worked on behalf of Coraid in Mua Mission Hospital in Malawi for 3 years. There she was running a 130-bed hospital together with a Malawian management team.

Back in the Netherlands Erdi worked for about one year, mainly as a doctor in the emergency department. But the work as tropical doctor drew her back to Africa, this time to Sierra Leone. For two year she has been the medical superintendent of Magbenteh Community Hospital in Makeni, then for a few months covering a maternity leave in Masanga Hospital. In 2012 February she started in Yele to set up Lion heart Medical Center in Yele, Sierra Leone. Starting with 5 employees and a small out patient clinic only, it grew into a 70-bed general hospital with adult medical and surgical care, paediatric care, a maternity and an isolation/long stay ward. During the Ebola, the hospital was hit and Erdi and her colleague were evacuated, but she soon returned to continue to fight Ebola and render medical care in the midst of this terrible outbreak.

In October 2018 Erdi transferred to City Garden Clinic, in Makeni, with the aim to improve the running of this hospital.

With her love for people, medicine and improvisation she has gained quite a lot of experience in providing health care in low resource settings, but also in managing health care in low resource settings. Due to her being in Sierra Leone permanent since October 2009, she has the task within the board to make sure the projects of Smarter Hospital are well implemented and feedback is given.

On the evening of the 14th of January of 2020 , we had to let go our very beloved, brave and tough co-founder Dr. Erdi Huizenga. She died in peace and we are intensely sad. Here some information about her farewell ceremony, her life and her background.

Facility Manager: Ruurd van Rooijen

Ruurd van Rooijen was born in 1951 in The Hague. In 1969 he joined the Royal Netherlands Navy for a career which turned out to last for almost 40 years. After being commissioned officer, the first 20 years he served with the Submarine Service and commanded two submarines.

After transferring to the regular navy he alternated between wall and sea going jobs. In that period he took command of three frigates and his last seagoing job was in command of a large naval supply vessel.

He also served in a peace keeping mission in Sudan and his last job in the navy was Deputy Head of the Netherlands Coastguard in the Caribbean. After leaving the navy he joined the Lion Heart Foundation and went to Sierra Leone in April 2009. He was general manager of the Magbenteh Community Hospital in Makeni, in-country advisor for Lion Heart and since 2014 facility manager and country director in the Lion Heart Medical Centre in Yele were he took part in the fight against Ebola. During that period he also was project manager of the Smarter Hospital School Renovation Project in Yele.

In January 2018 he started work as facility manager in the City Garden Clinic, Makeni and as project manager for Footprint Mission Sierra Leone, completing the construction of a child care centre in Yele for Ebola orphans.

HR/Admin manager Joseph Lowo Conteh.

Joseph Lowo Conteh is a born Sierra Leonean who narrowly escaped being crippled by Polio at age 3, but now left with a left limping leg. With little opportunities and limited resources offered by his peasant farmer parents, Joseph went through his ladder of education and obtained a Diploma at Uganda Martyrs University in Business Administration and Management. He further graduated at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK), where he obtained a B.Sc degree in Business Administration and Management and was honored as the “Best Student” for that year.

Joseph has vast knowledge and experience in various fields as he had worked with NEBCO Mining Company as Administrative Officer/Purchase Officer from 1990 – 1993. He worked as Hospital Cashier at Masanga Leprosy Hospital from 1993 – 1997 when the Rebel war intensified and the hospital attacked and vandalized. During that stressful moment, Joseph gained employment with Action Contre La Faim (a French International Relief Organization) that was engaged in the treatment of Malnutrition. He worked there from 1997 – 2005 and climbed many promotional ladders: Home visitor, Registrar, Therapeutic Feeding Centre (TFC) Supervisor and Nutrition Program Counterpart/Manager.

From 2005 – May 2006, at the close of the war, disarmament and integration, Joseph integrated the Nutrition program of Action Contre La Faim to Magbenteh Community hospital and served there as TFC Supervisor and Administrative Officer.

In Pursuance of further experience in Business, Joseph joined Salone Micro-finance Trust Ltd to empower low income business people in Sierra Leone. From June 2006 – 2018 he serve in the capacities of Finance Assistant, Finance Officer and Senior Finance Officer.

With all the workload, Joseph was able to manage his time to support the dream and vision of Dr. A.B. Sesay, the proprietor of City Garden Clinic in Makeni. He is the co-founder of Foot Print Mission Sierra Leone. He is a member of the team of City Garden Clinic in building it to a high level. He serves as HR/Admin Manager as a part term worker.