Friday 1st December
As the year draws to a close, we are sad to announce that long-term leader and CEO of WeSeeHope, Mark Glen, will be stepping down from his role in 2024.
Under Mark’s 18 years of leadership, WeSeeHope has raised over £23m and impacted the lives of over 500,000 children and young people across Southern and Eastern Africa.
“It was a heartbreaking decision to leave this wonderful organisation and a role that has, in many ways, defined my adult life and self-understanding,” he explains.
Mark became involved with WeSeeHope (then known as HopeHIV) in 2000 as one of our first Trustees and then Chair of the Board in 2003. His passion and commitment for our cause grew and, in September 2005, he left the commercial world to take on the role of CEO.
As Mark travelled extensively, working closely with our team and in-country partners – in particular our Africa Director, Oswald – he forged a clear direction for WeSeeHope with the development of programmes that foster self-reliance, resilience and transformational change at a community level.
The many highlights of Mark’s leadership have included the launch of our community banking initiative, the Village Investors Programme (VIP) in 2014, and of the Child Headed Households Programme in 2018.
“Over the last 18 years, I’ve taken 109 trips to the countries and communities in which we work. The journey has been profoundly challenging and richly rewarding.
“The key for me has been the development of meaningful and trusting relationships between WeSeeHope, our local partners and the inspiring communities who take responsibility for the children we exist to serve.
“I have seen first hand, again and again and again, the courage, resilience and determination of thousands of children, as they grasped new skills and new opportunities which transformed their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
“My partnership with Oswald has been at the heart of all WeSeeHope has achieved during my tenure. Not only have I learned so much from his knowledge and experience, but his exceptional judgement and exemplary character have changed me as a person.”
Mark’s time as CEO has also been marked by our rich relationships with our supporters, without whom we could have achieved nothing. Key achievements include:
- Nurturing a strong network of corporate partners who make up over 40% of our annual income.
- Initiating and developing our Ambassador Programme, which has become an invaluable extension to the work of the WeSeeHope team.
- Developing the concept of learning trips to the countries and communities where we work, allowing supporters to build a first-hand understanding of the challenges and successes of our work with vulnerable children.
- Working in partnership with long-term WeSeeHope supporter, Qlik.org, to demonstrate our impact through clear and understandable data on a live and interactive dashboard on our website.
Alastair Mills, Chair of WeSeeHope, reflects: “Mark, in many people’s eyes, is synonymous with WeSeeHope. Understated and easy-going but single-mindedly determined and passionate about reaching the most vulnerable children, under his leadership the charity has flourished. Indeed I think his legacy will lie in the approach which he champions – sustainable solutions, not short-term fixes.”
Mark will remain in his role until his replacement is found and has settled into life at WeSeeHope. “It’s not goodbye just yet, and there will be time to reflect on the huge privilege it has been to lead WeSeeHope,” he concludes. “I have really enjoyed getting to know so many of you who make our work possible, some of you over many years. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this incredible organisation and for the children and young people we exist to support.”