The initiators of the project are Cynthia Clottey and Katharina von Ballestrem, who have both been engaged in the humanitarian sector since the 1990s
Cynthia Clotty was born in London in 1964. Her father was French and her mother Ghanaian and she grew up in Canada, France as well as several Middle Eastern countries before settling in Berlin at the age of twenty. After studying to be a translator in French and English she decided to become a flight attendant and has been working in a responsible position for Condor for the past ten years. She lives with her son Sean in Wilmersdorf, Berlin.
Katharina von Ballestrem was born in 1970 and grew up in Munich. She left Germany to work in Spain and the Dominican Republic as a tour guide. She then returned to Berlin to work in the hotel industry, having originally trained as a Hotel Manager. After this she decided to become a flight attendant for Condor. She has also studied economics, graduating in 2001.
After getting know one other, these two resourceful women realised that they had both independently been engaged in the humanitarian sector and decided to join forces. Their first big project, which was in Mombassa, Kenya, was called ‘MJIWA SALAMA’- Place of Peace. It was here that they discovered the main difficulty of their task, namely how to finance the logistics of applying aid, e.g. the provision of air safe packaging or dealing with freight charges etc.
Luckily the Sage club proved very supportive in response to these problems, allowing collection boxes in the club and even providing storage space to donated goods. The goodwill spread, as many of the club’s friends and guests began to support the project too. What followed was a very close collaboration between the club and the project not only for ‘MJIWA SALAMA’ but also for the next project, a children’s’ hospital in Joal, Senegal.
On of the managers of the Sage club, Jan Schroeder, visited Senegal in April 2003 resulting in his determination to continue and intensify the collaboration. In the coming summer these three initiators were joined by two more friends, Heike Gerlach and Dimitra Thomas, as well as the Photographer Peer Schröder from Hardcopy Press and Ken Schluchtmann, Director of the Photo Agency ‘diephotodesigner.de’. Together they drew up the plan to ‘ adopt’ a hospital in Warang, located two hours from Dakar by car.
In the autumn of 2003, the non-profit making association “SAGE HOSPTIAL e.V.” was founded.