Our story

Our founding partners


Our Story

In 2014, a small group of entrepreneurs came together with the goal of doing the most good in the world. What started as a group of volunteers looking to strengthen their local community evolved into a movement to empower communities across the globe. That’s where we discovered we could have the greatest impact.    

The Sonder Project started working globally to promote education through a partnership with buildOn. We focused our efforts in Burkina Faso, establishing our first field office in 2017. Inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we expanded our efforts to include sustainable projects that empower communities through clean water, food security and education. In 2020, we expanded to the country of Malawi in Southeastern Africa.

Today, The Sonder Project has staff in all of the countries where we work. Our staff, in turn, partners directly with communities to identify essential resources that are lacking.  Once we partner with a community, we seek to remain partners as long as development needs exist.



Sonder is defined as “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Whether a character is the main protagonist, or simply an extra in the background, their story is equally powerful and meaningful. This concept reflects our core values, our global vision, and our belief in the potential of others. It is the ‘sonder’ project to bring out the stories of those who live in the margins, and to ensure that they are given an equal opportunity to pursue happy and meaningful lives. It isn’t just for the main character to live happily ever after! The incorporation of a thumbprint in our logo reaffirms the unique quality and intrinsic value of every individual – especially those living in impoverished communities. It reflects the mark used by many members in our partner communities who are illiterate to affirm their commitment to our initiatives. Symbolically, it also marks the first step taken toward empowerment.