The Birth of a Vision

A story of hope, family and social activism

The story beings with the late Dr. Abaineh Workie. Dr. Workie dedicated his life to raising his family and improving the lives of his fellow countrymen. As an activist, Dr. Workie fought for democracy, inclusion and cooperation. He conducted research in social psychology, wrote articles promoting democratic principles, and mobilized communities to develop roads, bridges, water supplies and other infrastructure.

In the last months of his life, Dr. Workie shared his vision for WISER with his family. He described a nonprofit organization that uses research, education and outreach to improve the lives of marginalized people. Although he knew he would not have enough time to create WISER himself, his faith and hope for the vision persisted.

Almost fifteen years later, his vision became a reality. His youngest daughter founded WISER to stop social exclusion by building inclusive communities and equitable access to resources. Watch the video below to learn more about Dr. Workie. His life represents WISER values. He is the original WISER Hero.

Our Hero

Dr. Abaineh Workie

Visionary. Activist. Professor. Husband. Father. WISER Hero.


WISER’s values serve as guiding lights. They define WISER and direct its course. They also frame the criteria for selecting WISER Heroes.

What makes a WISER Hero?

Dr. Abaineh Workie is the model WISER Hero. WISER Heroes have strong character. They lead by example. They walk the talk even when no one is looking. They sacrifice for others. They stand the test of time. Their lives show a commitment to democracy, compassion, courage, faith, service and excellence. WISER Heroes change the world. They build inclusive communities.

Do you know someone like that? Nominate a WISER Hero today.