In 1997, our founder Phil Wall visited a children’s home in Johannesburg, where he met a little girl called Zodwa. Her mother was a sex worker who was suffering from HIV/AIDS and was struggling to care for her. Phil and his wife Wendy went through the long and emotional process to adopt Zodwa but, at the last minute, her grandmother made contact and came forward to take her in.
Determined to do something to help other children in similar circumstances to Zodwa, Phil and Wendy committed to raising money to help transform the lives of orphans and other vulnerable and isolated children. They invested their savings, and created a unique fundraising challenge, giving people £10 notes and encouraging them to turn them into £100 for the cause, using their talents, passions, skills, networks and resources.
Their ‘1010 Challenge’ raised £2 million and led to the formation of WeSeeHope (previously HOPEHIV) in 2000. Our story began with entrepreneurship and it is still central to our work, along with innovation, sustainability and scalability. See how our journey progressed from here in the timeline below!
We are WeSeeHope. We enable children isolated by poverty to create a better future.
Phil Wall met Zodwa, a little girl affected by HIV/AIDS, which started our mission and began our story.
Phil and Wendy Wall’s 1010 Challenge encouraged people to turn £10 notes into £100 to help isolated and vulnerable children like Zodwa. They raised £2 million which enabled the start of our charity.
HOPEHIV (now WeSeeHope) was officially founded.
A reception was held at 11 Downing Street, hosted by Gordon and Sarah Brown, inviting influencers to support our cause.
Our project office opened in South Africa.
Our Social Entrepreneurs Project (SEP) was developed to engage school children with fundraising through social enterprise.
Our charitable income exceeded £1 million for the first time.
50,000 children were now directly supported by our projects every year.
Our project office moved to Tanzania, reflecting our expansion into Eastern Africa.
A new 1010 Challenge began in celebration of our 10th Birthday.
12 marathons were run in 12 days for HOPEHIV as part of the ‘12 in 12’ fundraising challenge.
We changed our name from HOPEHIV to WeSeeHope to better reflect our identity and work.
WeSeeHope Germany and Sweden were founded.
To date we have raised £15 million to support orphans and vulnerable children.
WeSeeHope USA will be founded.
By 2020 we aim to be supporting 150,000 children every single year!
On our 15th birthday, 10th October 2015, HOPEHIV became WeSeeHope.
We have big plans for growth, and we wanted our name to better reflect our identity, our cause and the potential we see in the young people we support.
Our Founders, Phil and Wendy Wall, share their journey and their hope for our new name in this short video:
Sharing the hope we see.
Our new brand video invites you to come with us on our new journey as WeSeeHope.
We would love you to join us in enabling children isolated by poverty to create a better future.
We know, given the opportunity, they have the potential to transform their own lives.
We see hope. Do you?