Our Program

The WEP Leadership Academy

WEP provides NGO partners the Leadership Academy – a holistic, mentor-supported, culturally aligned certificate curriculum consisting of academic, life and career preparation courses, workshops, field trips and skill-building activities. The Academies are lively, safe places where within a spirited sisterhood of peers, young women develop confidence, expand their understanding of the world to enter professional or entrepreneurial careers. This vision-expanding program culminates, in introductions to training programs, colleges and courses – many on WEP scholarship, and an invitation to the Alumnae Sisterhood, to mentor new students and continued connection with their peers.



The Sisterhood follows through to the Alumnae Sisterhood.

WEP Center Activities

Students enroll in Foundation, Skills and Exploration, Entrepreneurship and 21st Century Certificates.

I Am a Leader

My Foundation Certificate: health, nutrition, hygiene, financial literacy, rights, gender, the environment and Ripple Effect.

My Skills Certificate: computer, communication, and specialized skills.

I Am a Leader Activities

My Exploration Certificate: field trips, workshops or calls with women in 11 different career fields.

My Next Steps: scholarships to colleges or vocational and training programs.

“My favorite part of the Leadership Academy is the life skills workshops to help our students make informed decisions, communicate effectively and [become self-reliant]. It imparts soft skills relating to emotional and social intelligence to cope in a competitive world.”

A. Vijayalakshmi, Sudar Center Director

“Academy journals teach life skills, taught neither at college nor home. These journals fill the important gaps in their understanding of the world around them.  The self confidence, skills, and self-worth they develop at WEP – one cannot put a price tag on it.”

Esther Subhashini, Hyderabad Center Director

“In our first year in Madurai, we noticed girls crying about their mother’s illness, a loan shark’s visit, or marriage pressure. We began the Leadership Academy for young women gain their voice to make decisions and choose how they wish to participate.”

Zoë Timms, Founding Director

Our Students

WEP students are young women, ages 15-24, from semi-urban and urban communities. They come to WEP lacking confidence, skills, and the ability to express themselves. Unaware of their potential and opportunities, they are at great risk of entering early marriages and low-wage employment. In spite of these pressures, they have the ambition and grit to join the Sisterhood, explore careers, and gain the skills to pursue them.

Hi I am Vasantha, I am 24 and live in a remote village. I dropped out of my 2nd year of intermediate because of pressure from my family. My parents are older, my older sisters were married off at a young age. My brother is handicapped and can’t work. I had to work to support the family. I insisted that I go back to college and I succeeded. I worked at an Institute for the deaf and did a 2yr diploma in Hyderabad. I now have a job as a teacher. I travel 3 hours to school and teach 1st class to the 7th classes and am paid 6000/- Rs. Much of my salary goes to bus fare but I can’t afford hostel fees. I want to study sign language and a P.G in Political Science. I have still withstood the pressure to get married.

Esther Subhashini, the Director of the Ushassu WEP Center Ushassu, wrote:” This girl is the spirit of Ushassu.”

My name is Lalitha. I have completed the Basic Computer class at WEP Sudar and am studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Business), at a Madurai college. I hope to be an accountant. I appreciate the exposure to new things that WEP has allowed me. I have visited the court house and the YMCA deaf school, both of which I would not have been able to do without WEP.

I am close with my family. My mother works as a helper and my father is a security guard at a hospital. I know that women’s education is vital to get a good position in society.

MeetT. Patham Priya
My name is T. Patham Priya, I’m an engineering student, currently studying Electronics and Communications Engineering at the Sethu Institute of Technology. I have 1 more year until graduation! Through English classes at WEP’s Sudar programs, I now feel comfortable about finding a job after graduation, as I must work right away – my father deceased, and my mother makes very little. I want to work to support my younger brother’s education, and help my family leave the “poor state”. Sudar is a place where I can vent about these problems. There are people to talk to, and friends I can share everything with. My favorite workshop at WEP is the “Life Skills” workshop, as it allows us to find solutions to real world problems.

Our Alumnae

WEP alumnae are deeply inspiring and a rich source of knowledge and advice. Alumnae are invited to become Academy mentors, a paid position, to lead program activities.

My name is Mahalakshmi and I completed by final year B.A.English and B. Ed at a college in Madurai. My father drives an auto driver and does not take care of our family. My mother is illiterate, and despite this, and not even knowing how to count money, started a small snack shop at a bus stand. After college hours, I helped my mother in her business. Now I teach the 6th standard at a school in Madurai.
I successfully completed my BDS Degree with lots of struggle and support from helping hands. Now I am practicing in a private clinic at Koodal Nagar. I like one beautiful proverb is that “A friend in deed is a friend in need” likewise Sudar has given me lots of support when I was in need. Sudar equip me in a very well manner especially reading habit & communication skills. I always proud to being a part of the WEP-Sudar family. I would like to convey my gratitude to every legends of Sudar Foundation for doing such a great job.
My name is Tamilarasi. I just graduated with my BA degree from Madurai Kamaraj College. The workshops are extremely helpful. I loved the one conducted by Aravind Eye Hospital. I now have a clear idea about job opportunities for my perspective future at a hospital. I work part time in a medical shop, while I apply for jobs. My dream for the future is to eventually get my BL, a law degree. I also love leading the workshops at Sudar- which has helped me improve my leadership skills. I enjoy the uplifting atmosphere of Sudar, the fun drama workshops, and games that we play together.

Current Partners

Directed by A. Vijayalakshmi

Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Directed by Esther Subhashini

Hyderabad, Telangana

Directed by P.V. Sandhya

Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh

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