Silent Work Foundation Netherlands

Silent Work is an African-Dutch organization. We work for the forgotten children of Africa. We believe that every child, every human, has the right to live an independent and healthy life. In addition to peace, safety, care, food and shelter, communication is the first condition for this. That is why Silent Work not only supports basic services such as water, agriculture, health care, education, and employment. But also education for the Deaf and other children with disabilities. We help both small-scale and large-scale local initiatives. Silent Work Foundation is independent and not bound to a specific philosophy of life.

Wiljo Woodi Oosterom and Demba Abou Ba are founders of respectively Silent Work Netherlands and Silent Work West Africa. Together they build up contacts with people in the areas where the local population asks for support. Together they maintain these cooperative relationships. The Dutch foundation tries to collect the funds that are needed to realize the projects. All project applications are checked against the foundation’s statutory objective.

Only a minimal amount is spent on office costs. The foundation reports annually on the activities. The board members volunteer for Silent Work.

Silent Work West-Africa

Silent Work West Africa is officially recognized in Mauritania and registered as a non-profit organization. This way for example, access to the ministries is easier and obtaining permits for building and water drilling.

We are also exempt from certain taxes and we can give advice to the government. Permission for working with ‘foreign’ Africans is possible. The board and members consist entirely of Africans from the areas where we work. Together with our working method, this ensures that we find access where other (Western) organizations are often kept out.

This foundation is the cooperation partner of Silent Work Netherlands. The employees of Silent Work West Africa organize village meetings, establish contacts with the ministries, examine the ideas for new projects that residents bring in and test these for feasibility and expertise. They monitor quality from the start to the completion and sustainable continuation of the project.

Silent Work Netherlands Board

The foundations’s Board of Directors:

  • Wiljo Woodi Oosterom, chairperson
  • Yvette Boonstra-van Veen, secretary
  • Kenneth Kruydenhof, treasurer
  • Margreet de Boer-Kwakman, member



Demba Abou Ba

Mauritanian by origin. Works and lives in the Netherlands for four months of the year. He participates in identifying and preparation of the projects in Senegal and Mauritania. He supervises the projects together with Wiljo Woodi and provides mediation in case of problems.

Wiljo Woodi Oosterom

Went to Africa after the death of her husband. She feels a deep connection with especially the West African part of the continent. Her ties with many people in Senegal, Mauritania and other African countries have led to sustainable projects in all sorts of areas, with ‘forgotten children’ always being central. See the page about Wiljo Woodi Oosterom for more details.

Team members in Africa

Abdou Djibba

Contact person for projects in Senegal and Mauritania. He regularly visits the projects, reports, carries out financial transactions, purchases materials for projects, keeps in touch with other Silent Work people about progress and problems. When Wiljo Woodi resides in Africa, he interpretes at meetings for projects in African languages (a.o. Wolof and Jola).

Amadou Ditjani Guissee

Adviser and coordinator of the large water projects in the Futa region in Mauritania. He maintains contact with the village committees about the management of the water facilities, is responsible for the finances and reports. He also maintains contact with local and regional authorities.

Samba Sow

Coordinator of other water projects in Mauritania.

Souleman Sy

Contact person for the (ex-) slave-villages in the Sahara. He regularly visits the projects, researches applications and supervises people in need of medical care and reports.

Cheickh Sangott

Director of Maison des Sourds, a vocational training for deaf young people. In addition, he coordinates contacts with the seven schools for deaf children in Mauritania and the two schools for deaf children in Senegal. Is information coordinator for parents of deaf children.

Hamidou N’Gam

Coordinator and financial manager of Silent Work projects for the deaf. Psychology teacher for the training of teachers in deaf education. Psychology teacher of medical students.

Codou Diop

Manages an ICT center for students, girls and women in Sokone (Senegal). She is also an advocate for better, equal conditions for women.

Ousman Bojang

Manages an ICT center in Touba Couta (Senegal) and a boutique with art and craft products manufactured in various African countries. In addition, he maintains Silent Work’s computer network in West-Africa.

Sokhna Ba

President of the women’s association of Pulli Fulbe and Tjiiënt (Senegal). She is founder and supervisor of the activity center in the Fass Boye region.

Eugene Murenzi

Catholic priest in Mushubati (Rwanda) and founder of Komera, the family houses and classrooms started by Silent Work for a learning / work project for deaf and / or mentally handicapped children. Acts as an interpreter for Wiljo Woodi (French, English, Kinyarwanda).

John Paul Rutakisha

Catholic priest in Busasamana (Rwanda) and participated in projects in the Gisenyi Rwanda region. He now also acts as an interpreter for Wiljo Woodi.


There is a growing number of employees in Mauritania and Senegal working for projects of Silent Work in the field of hydrology, agriculture, special education and in construction.

Silent Work are also all others involved

Without these people and organizations Silent Work would not be who she is and can not do what she does.