Congratulations graduates – we’re proud of you, and we’re listening

This International Human Rights Day we are celebrating “Watipa style” by focussing on the number of graduates we have had in 2019 supported through our scholarship programme. Thirteen… and counting. This takes the total graduates since the start of the Watipa scholarship programme to more than 20, across 7 countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda), in just 3 years. These are real life examples of what it means to have the right to education.

We’re proud of our graduates, and they are proud to be Watipa scholars. Here’s what they said in their review of the programme this year. 

“Being on the Watipa scholarship programme gave me courage to do better, knowing that someone somewhere cares about my education as I care about it. This feeling made me proud .”

Naomi Nyasulu, Malawi, Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

“I got the Watipa scholarship back in 2017, a time when I not only faced financial crisis but also at the verge of dropping my studies due to lack of tuition fees. Two years later, I reflect how the scholarship positively impacted my academics. I became more focused on my studies, my grades became better… Together with my organization, we managed to reach out to the disadvantaged around the coastal region, mobilized more youth to support the orphaned, disabled & marginalized in my community. The scholarship gave me hope, and it was a dream come true. Thank you Watipa for playing a pivotal role in my life.”

Elias Mwagi, Kenya, Bachelor’s of Science Building & Civil Engineering, Technical University of Mombasa

“Having been awarded a bachelor’s degree at the end is a very big achievement in my life, l concentrated on my books; three years down the road with no retake or missed paper #proud. I managed to balance studies and my community work at the same time.”

Mariam Nassaka, Uganda, Bachelor’s in Social Work and Social Administration, Uganda Christian University

“I am so proud of many things regarding the Watipa Scholarship Programme. I will summarize them in three: One, being selected to be one of the scholarship beneficiaries. Having Watipa pay my tuition fees has been a huge financial relief. My grades drastically improved after Watipa began to sponsor me. Two, I am proud to be part of a team or family of scholars who bare the same ambitions. It has been motivating to go through my academic journey with other scholars. Finally, the community development aspect has always been the best part. Seeing my peers strive to play a part in community development or environmental protection has always been very inspiring. It always challenges me to do more as a youth. In closing, I also got to represent the scholars in the Board of Trustees this year. This has been a very insightful process. Plus, I am always proud to be apart of institutions that advocate for involvement of young people and actually do it. “

Julia Omondi, Kenya, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Counselling), University of Nairobi

“Watipa scholarship has helped me to improve my grades, because I have been having peace of mind, knowing my tuition fees are paid. This has helped me to work hard and pass extremely well.”

Rachel Nyasulu, Malawi, Bachelors in Civil Engineering, University of Malawi, The Polytechnic

“First I’m proud to be the first and only awarded scholar by Watipa from Tanzania. It’s an honor. Through Watipa Scholarship I was able to make my dream come true_to pursue my first degree. Watipa scholarship was HOPE to me in the last point when I was about to drop from college since I was not listed in the government sponsorship. Watipa scholarship has helped me to extend my bond with people from different countries like Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Ghana, Malawi, United Kingdom among others through which I was able to get new ideas, inspiration and connections. Watipa scholarship taught me a sense of cooperation, working with community and I’m proud that I was able to sow that seed for many I have reached. Watipa has been and is still a great HOPE to me! “

Aldo Sanga, Tanzania, Bachelor of Art with Education, Mkwawa University College of Education 

“I am very grateful and proud for being a Watipa scholar and most happiest to see myself getting my degree with a distinction. I am also glad and proud of myself for being the only girl who made it with a distinction in our cohort. Many thanks to Watipa scholarship program for helping me to achieve my dream, it’s one of the greatest achievements I have ever had in my life. “

Lydia Pakira, Malawi, Bachelors of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Over the next 12 months, we will featuring more in-depth interviews and reflections from the Watipa graduates. One of the recurring themes we have heard through feedback from the scholars is that we could enhance the experience by developing a mentorship programme. Well, we hear you and we’re listening. 

That means that this year, instead of opening up the opportunity for new Watipa scholarships to be awarded, we are instead focussing on channelling our fundraising efforts on creating opportunities to build a mentorship programme – and to build in some support for graduates to help with the transition and start up of new ventures after completing their studies. 

Please consider donating to support Watipa scholarships and the brand new mentorship programme – to be launched in 2020.

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