Meet a graduating scholar: Kyendikuwa Francis, Uganda

3f3ede51-3576-42af-b8fc-b386dc3eeffdCongratulations Kyendikuwa Francis, a Watipa 2016 Scholar who is graduating with a Diploma in Hotels and Institutional Catering at Uganda’s Buganda Royal Institute.

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen?

I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was.

d31fc888-c275-4467-a731-cc60f33810b4“Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

All great thanks to Watipa #kyendikuwafrancis Uganda.

 

Meet a graduating scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda

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“I have the spirit of a go getter! I still want to be that outstanding female pharmacist that will be part of the change my continent needs to see.”

Meet Aisha Bukenya, a 2016 Watipa scholar, graduating Bachelor of Pharmacy from Kampala International University, Uganda. Congratulations Aisha – we are proud of you and your achievements!

Receiving the news that I was successful in my application to become a Watipa scholar was the most beautiful news I ever received. It was such pleasure knowing that I can sit down and concentrate on maximising my scores without having to worry about the tuition. I was able to do so much; words cannot explain my gratitude. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda”

Changing Perceptions: Reports launched from Positive Voices, the national survey of people living with HIV

Today is the official launch of the Positive Voices Changing Perceptions reports, with results from a community-led project guided by participants in the national Positive Voices survey.

Positive Voices is one of the largest representative surveys of people living with HIV to date in the world, with over 4,400 participants. The survey asks about health and wellbeing, medications, experiences with healthcare, met and unmet needs, sex and relationships, lifestyle issues and financial security.

The Changing Perceptions reports bring the survey data to life by aligning statistics with personal stories and experiences of people living with HIV in order to challenge attitudes and change perceptions about HIV. This is why it is titled “changing perceptions.”  Continue reading “Changing Perceptions: Reports launched from Positive Voices, the national survey of people living with HIV”

2018: A year reviewed by Watipa Scholars

Every year, the Watipa scholars are asked to complete an online form to reflect on their experiences over the year. Here is a snapshot of what they said in 2018.

100% feel proud to be a Watipa scholar, and feel that the scholarship has boosted their confidence and improved the lives of people in their families.

Boom! This makes us very happy, and inspired to work even harder to bring the opportunity of a Watipa scholarship to more deserving young leaders….

Most proud of in 2018?

Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 20.33.53 Continue reading “2018: A year reviewed by Watipa Scholars”

Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Rose Aoko Omollo, Kenya

a35ba66f-869c-4410-9869-d4434d3888f5“To me the sky is not the limit, when you are surrounded by people who are thirsty for education… Everything is possible – you only need to believe in yourself and go after those goals.”

Meet Rose Omollo, who was awarded a Watipa scholarship in 2016 and is now graduating with a Bachelor of Community Health and Development from the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya. We are proud of you Rose – congratulations! May you continue to achieve your dreams and have a positive impact in your community.

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Rose Omollo, Watipa Scholar 2016 and graduate

The Watipa scholarship has impacted my life a great deal. I am proud to have come this far in my education. Through the mentorship programme that Watipa offers to us scholars, I have also been able to help others in my community.

Now that I am doing my last semester, I believe that I have been equipped with the authority and ability to deploy and change the community and myself as an individual. Like me before them, I hope to see girls in my community completing their education and advancing to higher levels. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Rose Aoko Omollo, Kenya”

Meet Sabitri Pathak: Watipa Scholar 2016, Kathmandu School of Law

When Sabitri applied for a Watipa scholarship back in October 2016, she wrote that her biggest dream was to create change in society through law and justice.  She was awarded one of the scholarships donated in loving memory of Claire Lee (Gaston-Parry). Claire was generous soul who loved to travel, had a commitment to education and to helping others. She was an Australian trained lawyer, loving wife, mother, sister, daughter, and a dear friend who sadly left us too soon in 2013. 

In 2018, after completing 2 years of a 5 year Bachelor of Laws degree, Sabitri remains as determined as ever. Here she writes about her progress this year, how the scholarship has had an impact in her life, and her hopes for the future.

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Sabitri Pathak, Watipa Scholar 2016

My ultimate objective in life is to become a lawyer and help create equality in society and support women’s empowerment. This has been my objective since the start. I don’t think it will ever change. I can change its form but not its purpose.

I grew up seeing inequality on the basis of caste, gender, class. I myself have been a victim of discrimination. Our society still practices customs and holds values that discriminate against women and some communities. I have never liked this. I have always wanted to change this. Women and some people do not get access to legal services which I don’t think is fair. This is the reason I chose to become a lawyer. I want to give free legal aid to people so that their voices are heard. Continue reading “Meet Sabitri Pathak: Watipa Scholar 2016, Kathmandu School of Law”

Paying it forward: Watipa scholar launches scholarship program in Malawi

PHOTO-2018-06-23-16-15-34My name is Prudence Chavula. I am a Public Administration student at The University of Malawi, Chancellor College.  From childhood, I have always been passionate about community work. Growing up, I have been through a lot myself hence the desire to contribute towards the positive regeneration of my community.

After sitting for my secondary education in 2014, I started volunteering with various organizations that operate within my community.  On the 10th of January in 2015, I started my own initiative called “Go Fund A Girl Child” with an aim of transforming my society through education. Go Fund A Girl Child advocates for girl child education and women empowerment at large. This transformation is brought about by fighting against child marriages, influencing policy and attitude changes relating to girl child education, bringing back school drop outs to school and assist rural vulnerable and orphaned girls to remain in school.

Being a Watipa scholar acts as a motivation to do more for my community. For the initiative to grow I need to have a sound financial source which I can only get once I am done with my education and become independent. Watipa came through for me when I had completely lost hope.  Continue reading “Paying it forward: Watipa scholar launches scholarship program in Malawi”

Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Julia Brenda Omondi, Kenya

133e2184-57a1-4c04-9281-449671678a37“Having a degree in Psychology will open a new window of job opportunities for me of which I am ready and willing to take advantage of.”

Meet Julia Omondi, a 2016 Watipa scholar, who is graduating this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Counselling) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Congratulations Julia – your hard work has paid off!

I am very proud of how far I have come. Looking back, I started out without a steady means of getting school fees, and my grades were really affected. However, since Watipa started supporting me by paying my school fees, my grades improved. In addition, being a Watipa scholar has given me the opportunity to be a part of an international group of scholars like myself, which is always a motivation. I find myself challenged by how much other young people in different countries are doing for their communities. Plus, some conversations we have on different topics such as climate change and human sexuality also make you see things in a different light. This enables one to learn. Seeing other scholars graduate has also been motivating. Being a part of the Watipa committee that makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees has been amazing.

Sometimes, standing before the young women I reach out to, I cannot ignore the fact that some, if not most of them, view me as a role model. So sometimes I share my personal story with them. For example, in August this year I was giving a group of sponsored students a talk. The high school students had not been performing well and I used my experience with Watipa to encourage them. I shared with them that there should be gradual improvement in their grades now that they no-longer endure the burden of unpaid school fees. I used myself as an example. I am proud of the opportunities I have received to support adolescent girls and young women in the community. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Julia Brenda Omondi, Kenya”

Keep talking mental health

Guest blog by Rose Omollo, a Watipa Scholar in Kenya, for World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2018.

As a mental health advocate I have joined a group of other mental health advocates online to raise awareness and write blogs for sharing with those who are affected and those suffering from it as well.

Mental health is a vital aspect of human life, and as the World Health Organisation says, ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity.’ This phrase implies that when we are not mentally stable then it means we are not healthy. When we talk of mental illness in the African context, our community understanding is often judgmental and seen as ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’. Continue reading “Keep talking mental health”