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 10 Downing Street, hosted by Gordon and Sarah Brown, inviting influencers to support our cause.
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 from South Africa, reflecting our expansion into Eastern Africa.
A new 1010 Challenge began in celebration of our 10th Birthday.
HOPEHIV was awarded a Radio 4 fundraising appeal to increase support for our projects.
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, our work and the potential we see in the young people we support. WeSeeHope Germany and Sweden were founded.
WeSeeHope USA was founded.