1st January, 2022
We are absolutely delighted and very proud to announce that our founders, Phil and Wendy Wall, have both been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for their services to our work with vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.
They have been recognised for starting our organisation which has now impacted the lives of over 675,000 children and 90,000 parents and guardians, and for being consistent and faithful trustees, donors and voluntary fundraisers over the last 21 years.
Founded in 2000, we exist to create sustainable change for vulnerable children in Southern and Eastern Africa through community-led education, child rights and economic empowerment programmes. At the time, due to the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the region, millions of children were being orphaned and made vulnerable as a result.
During a visit to South Africa in 1997, Phil met a toddler called Zodwa who was HIV+ and had been abandoned. Having failed in their attempt to adopt her but deeply moved and inspired by their experience, Phil and Wendy decided to take a unique approach to help other children like Zodwa.
They took their personal savings and gave people £10, challenging them to turn it into £100 using only their talents, passions and networks to do so. Phil and Wendy’s 1010 Challenge raised over £2m and led to our formation!
On receiving news of the award, Wendy said: “We both feel a bit overwhelmed and humbled for being recognised in this way. After the adoption failed, we made a personal commitment to try and invest in as many young lives as possible like little Zodwa, and we have just tried ever since to keep that promise.”
Working across Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, we deliver our transformational programmes in partnership with local NGOs and community-based organisations.
So far, together with our US and German voluntary offices, we have raised over £25m and worked with 106 partners to deliver programmes in over 2,000 communities.
Our CEO, Mark Glen, said: “This honour represents Phil and Wendy’s dedication and commitment to our work and is absolutely fitting for the couple who started it all. We have grown and progressed dramatically since then, but our core focus remains the same; to help vulnerable children develop skills to build a sustainable future. We are incredibly proud of Phil and Wendy and wish a huge congratulations to them both.”
Olympian and long-term WeSeeHope Patron, Jonathan Edwards CBE, commented: “What a truly remarkable achievement. I have known Phil and Wendy since before they started WeSeeHope and have seen how they have devoted themselves to its cause from day one. Their passion and enthusiasm is as alive today as it was then, and they should be very proud of what they and the organisation have accomplished.”