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About Us

/About Us
About Us2018-01-10T23:10:47+00:00

84% of rural Ugandans live in poverty

But numbers only tell part of that story. They don’t tell you extreme poverty makes people to do extreme things. Right now, if a single woman is living in the Ugandan slums, it’s safe to say she’s either been raped or traded sex for goods or services.

When you have no money, the only thing you have to trade is sex. Even with the threat of STDs and pregnancy, these women have to take that risk anyway. If they don’t, they’ll go without necessary medication, education and food. And since most men refuse to use contraceptives, two-thirds of Ugandan women experience unwanted pregnancies.

They’re forced to carry these children to term, then make the impossible choice to give them up (at best) or discard them on the side of the road so she and her existing children don’t starve.

Numbers don’t tell you about the unthinkable decisions these women make every day.

Our goal is to give these women and children a fighting chance.

To empower them so they don’t have to make such extreme choices. To send them to school and surround them with loving, positive support. To propel them into adulthood with the skills to thrive and contribute.

To do that, we had to think about the problem in new ways. While most charitable organizations provide resources to those in need, they do so with limited accountability, creating a cycle of dependency. At WANDO, we empower families by helping them help themselves.

PROGRAMS WE OFFER:

Vocational Training

We teach women how to make beads from 100% recycled paper, then string them into jewelry. We connect them to the global market, helping them generate a living wage.

To support these budding entrepreneurs, you can subscribe to a monthly bead package and share or sell them to friends and family. We’ll forward the money you earn to the maker.

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Primary School

We offer a free Primary School (Preschool–7th grade) to 300+ children in the slum community of Njeru, Uganda—only a 10 minute walk from our orphanage.

Children receive free education, two healthy meals a day, support from loving teachers and an education that lifts them out of the cycle of poverty—all while staying with their families.

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A Loving Home

Our Babies Home is a place where homeless and orphaned children can grow into socially, developmentally and physically healthy adults.

Our unique structure pairs no more than 5 children with a foster mother, who gives love and care to each child. Our children are provided with 3 healthy meals a day, a clean home, access to medical facilities, a good education with an amazing staff.

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A LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER

“I’ll never forget my first friendships in Uganda.”

After my husband visited Uganda in 2010, I couldn’t get his stories out of my head…

The children abandoned after birth—left at police stations, on the side of roads or thrown in Dumpsters. The single mothers with 4-5 children, forced into prostitution just to keep food on the table. Every day he’d send pictures and introduce me to these women over Skype. At first, he was our middleman: “Tell Mama Clare I said hi!” I’d say. Or “Give the kids a hug from me!”

But soon I was making friends all on my own. I’d send updates, little notes and photographs, building friendships and helping where I could. Even from 10,000 miles away I felt connected to this community in a way I never imagined. Years later, I hopped on a plan and visited Uganda myself. When I got off the plane I was greeted by a sea of familiar faces. There were no strangers here. I was reunited with old friends. These friends needed more than a short-term donation of money or food. They needed CHANGE. The women needed to see doctors, to have access to contraceptives. The babies—including one I saw left at the bottom of a pit latrine—deserved to feel loved and safe, and to fall asleep with a belly full of warm food.

If only these women were given the tools to take care of themselves, they might never again be faced with the heartbreaking decision to abandon a child. Because in 2002, I too raised my children alone. I had no marketable skills and was terrified I wouldn’t be able to provide for my kids. During those years, our community rallied around us. We moved in with my aunt and uncle. My children’s school offered us a 50% scholarship, and a work trade for the remaining 50%. A friend helped me get a part-time job doing data entry, which I tackled after the kids went to bed. Those years were tough, but we made it. Turns out, it does really take a village.

Now that my own family is back on their feet, I desperately want to give the women of Uganda what our community gave me: Not a handout, but an opportunity.
There are over 2,000 women and children in the slum we serve. My husband and I can’t correspond with them all, but you can. So we created WANDO for our friends and family to pitch in, no matter how much time they can spare or where in the world they are. It’s never been about the masses or fixing the entire country. For us, it’s about one-on-one friendships—fellow humans offering a helping hand. That’s what really changes the world.

BECOME AN ADVOCATE

HAVE A FEW MINUTES?

Become a "Child Advocate” doesn’t require a check. Just take a few minutes to let a child 10,000 miles away you care.
BECOME AN ADVOCATE

Child Advocacy Program

  1. FREE TO JOIN
  2. AN OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER ONE-ON-ONE SUPPORT
  3. INSPIRED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Our Child Advocacy Program provides you with the opportunity to offer one-on-one support to a child in need… and it’s free to join. You’ll cultivate a meaningful relationship that can provide a child with the encouragement and comfort that they lack in their lives. And all it requires you to do is take 10 minutes out of your week to write a child a letter. So select a child, write a letter and change a life.

We built an entire social network that lets you directly interact with your Child Advocates. Know he has a big test coming up? Write a quick note of encouragement. Does she have an upcoming doctor’s appointment? Show her you care about her well-being. Communication and support—including photos, letters and words of encouragement—send a strong message to these forgotten children: You are important. You are remembered.

By becoming a Community Advocate, you not only cultivate a fulfilling relationship, but help him or her meet real needs, foster positive self-esteem and instill hope. No middle man. No admin costs.

Become a Child Advocate Today!

All You Have to Do is Select a Child, Write a Letter and Then Receive Your Free Gift!
And Who Knows? You Might Even Change a Life in the Process!

SELECT A CHILD

1 According to the 2011 AIDS Indicator Survey, “among respondents age[d] 15-49 who were sexually active in the preceding 12 months, 17 percent of women and 34 percent of men engaged in sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner. Of them, 29 percent of women and 38 percent of men reported using condoms at the most recent high-risk sex.”

Why Buy From Us

 

Hello From Michelle

 

What People Are Saying About Us…

“I have so many incredible stories of amazing things God has done on our trips. I could write books. Our Ugandan family, The students, the mommas, the babies, the teachers…they have my heart.”

– Chandra Alisa

“Wando does a great job of making everyone they work with feel like family. After seeing the way the organization works with the people we serve, the heart for the people they serve is evident.”

– David Talley

In my four trips to Uganda, I have be able to see many Wando’s plans come to fruition – and I am sure there are more to come! Their love for the students and their families always inspires me.”

-Jan Aldrich

“I went on a trip with Wando to Uganda in 2014. I believe God sent me there for my precious Amina. I fell in love with that little girl the first time she ran up to me and held my hand. It is amazing to see the transformation. She looks so good and seems so happy now! I am looking forward to the next time I can go.”
-Reina Rios

Meet Our Amazing Team Members:

 

JOIN THE FAMILY HERE AT WANDO!

Learn About Career Opportunities at Wando International and Join Us in Eliminating Poverty Around the World!

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