WAND is an independent charity that addresses the problems facing women in isolated and excluded communities through drop-in sessions, outreach services and networking events. WAND was set up to work predominantly with female asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in 2005 but have since extended to all corners of the community.

Since 2005, WAND UK has supported women across sexual health, including HIV prevention, computer literacy, mental health and well-being and domestic violence. A more comprehensive overview of our 4 core service areas follows: Health and well-being, parenting, women’s issues, adult learning and skills.

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WAND’s vision is a World at peace, free from discrimination and oppression where every person enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A world where and where individual dignity is respected, and all human suffering and hardship is acknowledged with humility and compassion. A world where people seek to understand each other and chose to see the positive in difference. A world where difference is not only respected, but valued and where different cultures can work together in collaboration to build on each others strengths, and overcome collective hardships and difficulties.


In pursuit of our vision, our mission is to Empower Women to overcome the daily hardships they are faced with and make a difference to become agents of positive change in the following ways:

  • Educate and empower women to become Agents for their own change
  • Identify and reach isolated and excluded women.
  • Assist disadvantaged and excluded women, and hence their communities, in accessing essential services.
  • Carry out information and support activities in cooperation with Women’s organisations, Organisations, Black Asian Minority Ethnic Refugee women (BAMER) Organisations, Local Government, NGOs, Religious and local community groups and popular organisations.
  • Support women with no recourse to public funds by providing them with information regarding services, and referring them to relevant organisations.
  • Inform the public about the causes of need and inequality as well as to mobilise popular and political will and power to change them.
  • Safeguard the rights and well-being of isolated and excluded women.
  • Support and enhance refugee service standards.
  • Work to prevent violations against this groups and to seek justice and accountability for violations against them.
  • Raise awareness and understanding through the media.
  • Build coalitions and partnerships.
  • Mobilize people to act.

In doing this we hope to positively impact the lives of women, and create a wave of positive change that grows from individuals, into families, communities and society at large.


WAND is committed to a philosophy of equality and fairness. We believe that every human being has the right to dignity, respected, and freedom from oppression, fear and unfair discrimination. We believe that by addressing problems within excluded communities, we can empower these groups to contribute to a world of peace, equality and justice where gross cultural misconceptions and unfair discrimination is no longer a reality, a world where empathy and compassion replace exclusion and resentment. There no place for unfair discrimination. Every community and culture has suffered its own trauma. There is a need to understand this, and a need to move away from exclusive protectionism at the expense of the most vulnerable. We have a duty and obligation to care for those in need, irrespective of race, gender, religion or political opinion. We have an obligation to listen to the voices of the marginalized and ensure that their right to participate and contribute to society is respected. Women need to be empowered to become fully actualized agents in their own lives and their own development. We must continuously seek to empower and liberate people and support them in their struggle for self-respect and self-confidence. In support of our core activities and in light of limited resources and certain common objectives WAND is involved with other groups.


WAND emerged in response to the following problems:

  • Asylum seekers, refugees and migrant women face the same hardships as most women – varying degrees of gender and ethnic discrimination.
  • Ethnic minority women are amongst the poorest and most socially excluded people in the UK. Yet very little is known about their lives, or how to lift them out of poverty. Mainstream approaches simply do not see these women or their needs.
  • Employment problems are often based on the assumption that this group ‘lacked education’ and are incapable of completing certain jobs. As a result, they have often felt that they had not been given due recognition, been overlooked for promotion and lacked autonomy.
  • The poverty experienced by women and by people from ethnic minorities is usually considered in isolation, with crucial interactions ignored.
  • Poverty extends to more than a third of Black women and almost two thirds of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women.
  • Many Black Asian Minority Ethnic Refugee women (BAMER) communities’ lack of awareness on HIV/sexual health issues and services available.
  • For ethnic minority women, gender inequalities are complicated by inequalities they face on the basis of race and ethnicity. While not at all an homogeneous group, it is clear that ethnic minority women share experiences of discrimination and disadvantage.
  • Exclusion shows at every level of society.

The Women’s Association for Networking and Development is a London wide charity. WAND is committed to meeting the needs of women and their families with a special interest in serving the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. WAND also aims to establish relationships with organisations that have similar aims and interests by building partnerships for development. WAND was established in 2004 by a group of women who, through their own experienced, identified a need within the refugee community to focus resources on reaching out to women and engaging in issues specifically pertinent to this group.


  1. To identify and reach out to women in need of assistance.
  2. To provide information and referrals to women in need.
  3. To support female empowerment through cultural and educational projects and activities.
  4. To encourage collaboration between Black Asian Minority Ethnic Refugee women (BAMER) organisations and groups to ensure our communites’ needs are met.
  5. To support other Black Asian Minority Ethnic Refugee women (BAMER) and women focused organisations when possible.