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WONDER Blog

Learning to adapt and thrive during a crisis with our local partners

2020 has not gone in the direction any of us expected. With lockdowns continuing across the globe, life as we know it has been transformed beyond recognition and no one quite knows what the future may hold.

In India, our local partner Kamalini has been distributing masks to their community.

At WONDER, the onset of COVID-19 has not stopped us from continuing our work to empower women and girls across the globe. As jobs become increasingly unstable and many of our partners are thrown into financial difficulty, it is more important than ever that we can continue to support the women we work with, amongst the most vulnerable to the outbreak of this crisis.

COVID-19 provides us with both an opportunity and a challenge. It’s a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and think about the world we want to live in post COVID-19. But it also means our work needs to continue now more than ever, as we help our partners face the difficulties bought on by this global pandemic.

Helping women and girls realise their potential

Empowering women and girls is at the heart of everything we do at WONDER. We recognise the intrinsic dignity of every human and are invested in a future where women and girls are empowered to make informed life choices, access quality education, and where communities take ownership of their own development.

We work with women and girls across the globe, using a multi-faceted approach to female education and empowerment designed to improve wellbeing across families and communities. Founded as the Women’s Network for Development and Educational Resources, we partner with local projects around the world that primarily support women and girls.

Valuing our partners’ knowledge and expertise, participants take ownership of their own development opportunities. By tailoring our approach to place-specific needs and economies, we ensure that our programs provide women and girls with the best possible opportunities to become economically, socially and politically empowered.

We currently work with 24 women-led local organisations globally, providing financial and educational resources to our partners supporting them to respond to local needs and establish sustainable projects. From our partner FPTI in the Philippine’s, that provides vocational training for women entering the hospitality industry, to our partner ISSI, training nurses in the DRC, and the Baytree Centre in the UK, helping with migrant integration — our partners work to empower women in a diverse range of ways.

COVID-19 and our work with women and girls around the world

The onset of COVID-19 has drastically affected our work. With the future of industries like the hospitality and tourism industry uncertain, our partners are facing substantial difficulty in continuing their work. This is particularly true for our partner Tewa Training Centre operating in Kilifi, Kenya. Based in one of the poorest districts in Kenya, Tewa work to provide vocational training for women helping them to prepare for work in the hospitality industry.

In Kenya, 1.5 million people work in the hospitality and tourism industry, which represents 10% of the working population. The collapse of the industry has had a massive impact on the ability of individuals to access work opportunities.

Currently, we are working with Tewa Training Centre to adapt their approach, in preparation for a post COVID-19 world. By combining their current training with business skills courses and an increased mentoring programme, we are helping our partner prepare to work in a post COVID-19 world. Our main aim always being to ensure our projects are sustainable and beneficial to participants.

We are supporting our partners across the world — providing emergency food packages and financial support, laptops and devices for online learning as well as emotional support. We are both helping with the immediate ramifications of the pandemic as well as preparing for the future. Offering an invaluable lifeline to the women and girls who need it most.

COVID-19 reminds us of the importance of our work, as this global pandemic highlights global inequalities and those most vulnerable in society. How we work might be transformed, but our fundamental goals of helping to empower women and girls across the world have not changed.

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WONDER Foundation

WONDER Foundation

We are dedicated to empowering women and girls through quality education and access to good work.