WONDER was established as a charity in 2012, with a drive to empowering women and their communities through education.
The Women’s Network for Development and Educational Resources (WONDER) started from the belief that there was a more inclusive way to transform the lives of women around the world.
In the early 2000s a group of London students, hailing from across the world, realised that many people trying to reduce the number of women and girls living in poverty didn’t see them as we saw them. To us, these women, and those working hard to help them, were our friends and community. We wanted their voices to be heard and their expertise recognised by funders, donors and policymakers, so WONDER was born.
By 2009 our work started to become more focussed. All still volunteers, we starting working with education projects whilst we continued our work and studies. Encouraged by our family and friends, we took the leap to formalise our work, and in 2012 were registered as a charity, the WONDER Foundation.
Our goals and values remain the same, and our organisation has developed. Many of us – the early volunteers – are still involved in our work as trustees, staff, volunteers and advisors. They offer us expertise on the ground in the countries where we work and help us to identify new partners to work with. Our trustees represent the four continents where we have projects.
This dream of giving women the chance to raise their aspirations and the tools to achieve them has seen us work with 30 partners and reach over 80,000 women. The strong relationships and friendships we develop with our partners, and the ongoing dialogue that we have with them, make our work responsive, impactful and far-reaching.
The strong relationships and friendships we develop with our partners, and the ongoing dialogue that we have with them, make our work responsive, impactful and far-reaching.
Through our ongoing dialogues with our local partners, listening to them and learning from their experience, we came to understand that mentoring and personal support was fundamental. Through engaging diasporas in the UK, we are building international communities to invest in transforming their countries.
We never set out simply to educate women and girls, but to give them the tools to be leaders in their own lives, just as we wish to be. Time and again, these strong relationships and community roots have allowed us to multiply our impact as a small charity, responding quickly to new needs and opportunities.
Through COVID, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and political instability we have continued to support our partners. Equipping young women and girls with education and agency is the best way to invest in their long-term ability to respond to these and future challenges. Please join us in this work.
Meet our local partners
We currently work with 27 women-led local organisations (partners) globally who have a proven track record of helping developing communities through education. We rely on their expertise to respond to local needs and solutions in order to establish sustainable projects.