Founding Members

The founding members of Free Your Mind are Sanne Haanraads, Alpha Kamara and Simone Bonfrer. Both Sanne and Simone are Art Therapy graduates from the Netherlands (Europe) who have implemented their knowledge about Art Therapy into this organization. Alpha is born and raised in Sierra Leone and dedicated to help the youth in his country. Together they want to contribute to the post war rebuild of Sierra Leone.
 

Sanne HaanraadsSanne Haanraads
"Why become one of the thousands of aid workers/counselors in Holland when I know that in some countries one listening ear is not even available?

This is my drive!! I think the expression above explains my motivation of starting Free Your Mind in one sentence. In the past three years I have seen what a difference it can bring when I put a little of my effort, knowledge and energy together to help others. It is not only rewarding for others, it also brings a big smile on my face.

My name is Sanne Haanraads and I was born on the second of May 1985 in the Netherlands. I had a fairly normal childhood with parents who were supporting me with all I wanted to do. In the year 2003 I started my higher education to become a Social Worker. In 2007 I graduated and after that I directly started my bachelor Art Therapy, which I completed in 2010.

I do not like sitting still and I do like exploring new things, That's how I ended up in Sierra Leone in my final year. In Sierra Leone I did my final research and met a lot of friendly and dedicated people. I noticed that they all were willing and dedicated to develop themselves and their country. Despite the lack of materials or knowledge they were strong and positive. This is one of the reason for me to keep going.

When I came back from my four months in Sierra Leone I did some more background research about Sierra Leone and Art therapy as a tool for youths with a history of war. I did this together with Simone Bonfrer. We wrote a module of 13 classes and named it 'Free Your Mind'.

After my graduation I noticed that my Sierra Leone adventure was not finished yet. I applied for the Albert Schweitzer Award 2010 with Free Your Mind and we were the fortunate winners. This prize made it possible for me to return forten months to Sierra Leone and develop Free Your Mind. 2011 brought I lot of changes. Together with Alpha Kamara I registred the organization in Sierra Leone and we found an office and centre for the organization. A lot of youths became part and the organization was growing. 

Now I am back in the Netherlands, but the adventure is still going on. I am advizing the staff of Free Your Mind in Sierra Leone and help them with developing projects and sponsor applications."

 


Alpha KamaraAlpha Kamara
Alpha Kamara is not only a founding member of Free Your Mind he is also the Country Director at this moment. For more information about him you can click here.

 





Simone BonfrerSimone Bonfrer
I was born on 25 of June 1985 and as a child I enjoyed playing with wood and timber, building things from different materials and to make several creative items. Now, many years later, this has not changed much.

During my secondary education I had a special interest in theatre technology. This interest made that I continued my education in this area. I started and finished the school for set construction. I liked working in the background.

I think traveling is fantastic... a different culture... a different nature. I would love to see the whole world, but there is a small problem. I am very attached of being at home. I like traveling for several days or even weeks, but then I want to return home again. No long journeys for me.

In 2007 I contineud my education and started studying art therapy. There I met Sanne. Together we studied and we discovered that we had a lot of things in common, but there were also some differences. Sanne often stands in the picture and for her it is not a problem to stay away from home a long time. Like stated above: this is not my cup of tea.

What started as a final research has grown to a real operational project. I was fortunate to see the FYM staff members and the FYM youths in Freetown in 2011. It was great to see how everything was developing and growing. It was amazing to see that this final research has resulted in to a place where youths are coming every day, where they learn valuable things and develop themselves.

It is an honor to be a small part of all this... on the background.


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