Long walks in parks, forests and woodlands are a perfect backdrop for thinking… This time of year is stunning in the Northern hemisphere. The leaves have changed colour and light up the scene with tinges of yellow, gold, orange, red. It literally feels like you are walking through a painting. The ground is dusted with fallen leaves, a carpet of colours that mirror patterns of leaves, holding tight, on branches of trees above.
I am lucky to live just a short walk from one of the largest oak trees in London, which stands grand and tall in the middle of Hampstead Heath. It is a huge escape within the city of London, where the tranquil woodlands and fields seem like a world away from the day-to-day bustle of the city just near by.
As we have been reviewing and shortlisting the applicants for the first Watipa scholarships, these trees have been a regular backdrop for clarifying my thoughts about the selection process and our hopes for what we can achieve within our limited resources. In each footstep I have been carrying the weight of the hopes and dreams of the applicants.
The colours on the trees and the beauty of that big old oak tree has reminded me of a quotation from the 19th Century American poet, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, who reminded us that “the creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
We have big plans for Watipa. We have shortlisted a strong and worthy group of candidates for the first scholarships. Their determination, vision and success will in turn help us build a strong foundation on which we can build. The shortlist is under final review and will then be agreed with the founders of Watipa and the newly established Advisory Board.
We are excited about the first scholars, and we are looking forward to how we will grow next year.
Watch this space – and join us then to congratulate the scholars, and celebrate the oak trees of the future. The announcement of the inaugural Watipa scholarship recipients will take place on 10th December 2016, International Human Rights Day.