Board members

Board members

Stichting Njokuti, situated at Gorinchem in Holland, was founded in 2002, and is an initiative of a number of enthusiastic health workers with extensive working experience in developing countries.


Jos van Bemmel – chairman
Jos worked as tropical doctor in St. Elisabeth Hospital in Mukumu in West-Kenya between 1983 and 1987. He has been visiting Africa regularly. Since 1988 he is a general practitioner in a health centre in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. 

Pasfoto_Frank_Wijngaard_1Frank Wijngaard – treasurer
Frank is a financial controller. With his wife and three children he lived and worked in Guinea Bissau (West-Africa) from 1992 to 1998, in several business-economic positions. From 1998 to 2002 he worked in Monduli, Tanzania, as a financial management advisor to the nation-wide ‘District Rural Development programme’. After his return to the Netherlands he worked in several financial positions in health care and the province of North-Holland. Since 2019 he is senior business controler of Magenta Zorg in the Netherlands.

Robert-JanRobert-Jan de Gardeyn – secretary
Robert-Jan worked from 1985 to 1988 as tropical doctor for Memisa in Sengerema Hospital in Northern Tanzania. From 1989 until 2017 he was a general practitioner in a duo-practice in Sleeuwijk, the Netherlands. Since he is secretary of the board of Njokuti he visited Unganda and Tanzania several times, together with the chairman Jos. 


RonaRona Snoek – adviser
Rona has been working as a physiotherapist. She lived and worked between 1992 and 1998 with her family in Guinea Bissau (West-Africa). In 1998 she had to leave the country due to a civil war. Between 1998 and 2002 she worked in Tanzania for “Huduma ya Walemavu”, the Rehabilitation Centre for children in Monduli. Since her return to the Netherlands she works as a caremanager in an organisation for people with intellectual and / or physical disabilities. 

KarinKarin van Bemmel – advisor
Karin was born in Kenya. She is a cultural anthropologist/ psychologist and has done research in the Netherlands, Guatemala and Kenya. In 2010, she spent several months in Tanzania to evaluate the achievements of Njokuti Foundation.  At the moment she is busy performing  a doctoral research in Uganda.

Artsen werkzaam voor Njokuti

HarryHarry de Vries – orthopedic surgeon
Harry worked as tropical doctor for Memisa in Kenya from 1983 till 1987.  Since 1994 he works as orthopedic surgeon in the Beatrix Hospital in Gorinchem. In 1998 Harry and his colleagues were requested to participate in the orthopaedic support for the Rehabilitation Centre in Monduli. This support is ongoing since 1999: the surgeons work twice a year for the disabled children in Northern Tanzania.

gwen_liuGwen Liu – general surgeon
Gwen first visited Tanzania in 2007 with Harry de Vries. Since then she and Harry have made several return visits. Their cooperation as general and orthopedic surgeons results in a greater diversity of treatment options. Gwen Lui has worked at the Beatrix hospital in Gorinchem between august 1996 and august 2009. She now works as an observer in several hospitals including the Haven hospital in Rotterdam.

Frank_Wijffels_5Frank Wijffels – orthopedic surgeon
Frank Wijffels, an orthopedic surgeon since 1994 at the Groene Hart Hospital (Green Heart Hospital) in Gouda, at first visited Northen Tanzania and Kenya a few times with his friend and colleague Harry de Vries. Through this he fell in love with orthopedic medicine in the tropics,  especially for children with congenital and acquired disorders of the musculoskeletal system. He has been the initiator to visit Tanzania four times a year, not only to perform operations but also to enable postoperative check-ups and preparations for future visits.

RonRon Onstenk – orthopedic surgeon
Ron Onstenk, orthopedic surgeon.  During his medical training he came into contact with the tropics through a leprosy research in South Sulawesi and Indonesia. After that he has always had the desire to support orthopedics in Asia or Africa. Working in Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda as well, he is grateful for the opportunities offered by Njokuti Foundation, which enables him to visit the hospitals in Tanzania and to support local doctors in the orthopedic field.

Rick_Scholtens_pasfoto1Rick Scholtens – plastic surgeon
Rick Scholten worked as a tropical doctor in Alupe Hospital at the border of Kenya and Uganda and in West Kenya also for the Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control. After returning to the Netherlands, he followed a training as a plastic surgeon and settled in the Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda. The infection with the Africa virus was treated with frequent visits to Interplast and Noma Foundation to Uganda, Burundi, Cameroun and northern Nigeria. The collaboration between orthopedic and plastic surgeons provides a very meaningful added value

Rene_van_den_Wijngaard_verkleindRene van den Wijngaard – orthopedic surgeon
Rene van den Wijngaard is an orthopedic surgeon since 2006. Immediately after completing his specialization he has worked as ‘a fellow’ in Australia for two years. Back in the Netherlands he took office in the Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda, where he came into contact with Njokuti Foundation. In 2012 he visited the various projects in Tanzania for the second time with great pleasure and satisfaction. The partnership of the surgeons of Groene Hart Hospital makes the continuation of  orthopedic care easier as well as the  coordination of  post control tests and the planning of future operations.  d.

Peer2Peer Poelmann – orthopedic surgeon
Peer Poelmann is an orthopedic surgeon working in the Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda since 1998. Besides the general orthopedic practice he is specialized in paediatric orthopedics (children). He received his orthopedic training in Amsterdam, at the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG). He has always had the desire to work in developing countries to help improve paediatric orthopedic care and was very pleased that he could go to Tanzania on behalf of the Njokuti foundation. He has been in Tanzania two times now and the next one is in the near future. The continuity that the orthopedic surgeons of the “Groene Hart Hospital” are offering ensures that the follow-up of the Tanzanian patients is becoming increasingly effective.

Margot Lemmen – plastic surgeon

She worked from 1996 till 2022 in the Amphia Hospital in Breda. During her training in the surgical department in the St Franciscus Gasthuis (hospital) in Rotterdam she met Harry de Vries (1989).  She completed her plastic surgery training in Dijkzigt. She has a special interest in hand- and reconstructive surgery.Her first visit to Africa was during her medical training in Lesotho, she was sent by the university of Nijmegen for 4 months in 1985. With great pleasure she accompanied Harry de Vries last April ’22 during a mission to Uganda, where she performed operations on patients with schisis and burns. She would like to get more experience with this in Africa.

anton-burgerAnton Burgers – orthopedic surgeon.
Anton Burgers is an orthopedic surgeon who has a long experience in working in developing countries.
In 1974 he worked in India, in 1978 in Surinam and from 1981 to 1985 in Mwambani District Hospital in Tanzania.
Since 1992 he is working in the TweeSteden Ziekenhuis in Tilburg. He is specialized in children orthopedics, rheumatoid artritis surgery, traumatology and upper extremity surgery. He got to know the Njokuti program via the surgeons of the “Groene Hart Hospital”. He felt attracted by the provided continuity in the orthopedic care, in the selected hospitals in Tanzania and Uganda. In November 2016 he had his first workingvisit in Tanzania.

Wouter JurgensWouter Jurgens – Plastisch chirurg

Wouter is sinds 2016 gevestigd als plastisch chirurg in het Groene Hart Ziekenhuis te Gouda. Zijn speciale interesse gaat uit naar de reconstructieve chirurgie. Regelmatig werkt hij hierin samen met de orthopeden. Zo kwam hij in aanraking met Stichting Njokuti. “Ik was mezelf al een tijdje aan het oriënteren op mogelijkheden om op medische missie naar een ontwikkelingsland te gaan. Al tijdens mijn studie ben ik op meerdere missies geweest naar Ghana, Tanzania en Laos. Het Afrika virus is erg besmettelijk, maar gelukkig niet gevaarlijk! Met Stichting  Njokuti hoop ik dat er nog vele mooie missies mogen volgen.”