10 December is an important day for Watipa – and for the world. It is a mark of remembrance of universal human rights, including the right to education, for everyone, everywhere. It was on this day in 2016 that we announced the very first Watipa scholarships. We have come a long way since then.
Today, 8 years later, we are proud to present the latest in the Watipa podcast series – A Story for Life – with Emmanuel Boateng Duah, one of the original Watipa scholars and graduate of Development Studies, in Ghana. We are proud of all that Boateng continues to achieve. He is a bright shining star for the future of his community.
”No matter what anyone tells you, education has value. It has the ability to improve your life and career, and it gives you the knowledge to become a better, more informed, citizen. Through education, you gain a voice in the world.”
Emmanuel Boateng Duah, Watipa graduate, Ghana
In the podcast, you can Boateng offer a skill to share with other Watipa scholars and alumni – he feels that communications is essential to help all Watipa scholars to achieve their goals. He talks about learning in life always to be humble and truthful. In education, he suggests that we all should not be afraid to unlearn everything we have ever learnt and to forge our own paths. His advice for Watipa scholars is to network with peers to build connections.
We are also delighted to announce today that a new round of Watipa scholarships will be offered in Malawi in 2023. The applications will open shortly, and the programme will be administered in partnership with Mwatipasa.
Listen to the second episode of ‘a story for everything’, the latest Watipa podcast released today.
In this episode, listen to the wise advice from Peter Taylor, one of the founding trustees of Watipa and the Director of Research of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.
“Education is a process of empowerment through knowledge that leads to growth, change and transformation. It’s not just about receiving knowledges but it’s an enlightening experience.”
Skill to share? Participation.
Most important thing ever learned? Importance of relationships. Take care of people and take care of yourself.
Advice for Watipa scholars? Just do it, you always learn something.
Peter, inspired by Maya Angelou, also explains how people do not remember what you say but how you made them feel.
Peter Taylor is a musician, agriculturalist, educationalist and researcher. He has lived and worked in Botswana, Vietnam, Canada and the United Kingdom. Previously Peter was Director, Strategic Development, at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada where he was responsible for leading IDRC’s strategic planning processes.
Education is an eye opener and it is also a mind opener.
Watipa Scholar 2017, Uganda
Today, to mark the 6th anniversary of when Watipa was first registered as an entity – a social enterprise – in England and Wales, we launch a new component to our mentorship programme: Stories for Life: The Watipa Podcast. It’s freely available on Spotify or Anchor.
Our first guest is Allen Kyendikuwa from Uganda, who is a founding Trustee of Watipa and leading advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is a role model to many, and in the podcast shares insights from her own educational journey, advice for people just starting out in their studies, and a glimpse of her own passion and appreciation for education.
Education is the best investment.
Watipa Scholar 2016, Kenya
Looking back over the last six years, Watipa has sought to advance the education of marginalized young people under the age of 25 living in developing countries, in such a way that they are better able to identify and help meet the needs of their communities. To date, 51 young leaders have been supported through scholarships and living stipends in 9 countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia), who intend to apply their education to ‘pay it forward’ and give back to their communities.
Education is like giving someone the knowledge of how to fish, but not giving them the fish. Watipa is giving someone the means to go to the fishing lesson.
Watipa Scholar 2016, Malawi
As of May 2022, 34 Watipa scholars have graduated in fields including medicine, fisheries, veterinary science, communications, development studies, engineering, and public administration. Watipa is both a social enterprise and a charity. The profits from the social consultancy business directly benefit the education of young leaders.
Our achievements show that positive social change is stronger and more enduring when different sectors and stakeholders align towards a common goal. The Board of Trustees of Watipa includes world leading educationalists, university leaders, private sector executives, activists and Watipa scholars. This governance structure reflects our shared belief that positive social change can be best achieved when different sectors work and learn together and include meaningful direct community involvement in decision making.
We are proud of the Watipa scholars. We share in their hopes for better opportunities for their communities. And we are grateful for the hard work, vision and contribution from the extended Watipa family who keep things running on a day-to-day basis.
To the women of Watipa – and the partners, parents, friends and communities that support us – we salute you!
Proudly founded by a diverse group of women in 2016, Watipa sustains a commitment to enabling leadership from young women in diverse settings around the world. Every year, the majority of the scholars are support are women. Watipa is an inclusive organisation, and we value and respect the diversity of women and women’s leadership.
On this day, when perhaps the world seems a little unhinged, take a moment to
think about the women who inspire you;
show gratitude to the women who matter the most to you; and
offer guidance to a woman in your circle who needs help right now.
We can all make a difference.
Today we honour those who do – in big and small ways – everyday in pursuit of gender equity and in demonstrating the power of women’s leadership.
The real Watipa – our inspiration – is growing into a young leader, and this year has received a scholarship to attend a Girls’ Secondary School in the Northern Region of Malawi.
Meet Watipa Kumwenda, Watipa Scholar 2022
My name is Watipa Kumwenda. I am following the footsteps of those that have benefited from Watipa scholarships before me. Many have been talking about Watipa at seven (7) years. Yes, that Watipa is me. I am very proud to be one of the many to benefit from Watipa Scholarship. I am really grateful for the opportunity.
The real Watipa is really growing to another level. I am in the Secondary School today. This is my first year, first term in the secondary school here at my Secondary School. I do not want to end at Secondary School level. I am focused to go beyond the skies. I look forward to becoming a champion in my community and help many to take education seriously in their life.
It was long time back in 2016, and this is now 2022 and I am in form one. It is now my time to thank Watipa for taking me up. I do not take this for granted. My parents do not have the capacity to pay for my secondary education. I cannot talk of tertiary education now, but I will do in just four years to come. Time flies. I am really humbled. I promise to do my best and work very hard in class so that I become a star and become a role model to many in my community.
Yes, I am the very same Watipa, the little seven years old girl then, on the Watipa website! My hope continues to grow. I am really focused with hope. The sky is no limit for me. I shall strive to go beyond the sky!
I can’t believe it’s been five years already. Here’s to many more years WATIPA Community! 2021 is just another year which gives us another great reason to celebrate the power of HOPE in our life.
Look what HOPE can do just in a period of few years. I congratulate WATIPA:
Management of successful scholarships
Launch of MWATIPASA (sister’s organization of WATIPA) in Malawi
Mentorship for scholars and graduates
Support for scholars and graduates who intends to ‘pay it forward’ in their respective communities. This ensure that we (scholars and graduates) remain inspiring agents of change.
While celebrating the 5th year of WATIPA, I would like to share the following tips/lessons [Inspired by WATIPA] with my fellow youth who have various ambitions towards making world a better place for living. Let’s honor the power of HOPE.
First, never give up on yourself.
Dear youth, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, don’t crawl up and hide. Just HOPE that, tomorrow must be greater than today.Let’s face the storm, willing to seek for guidance from the people; life is all about people (‘maisha ni watu’-Swahili). There are people out there who believes in you and are ready to help in one way or another. Stay focused, full of hope that there’s better tomorrow if not tomorrow, things will work someday. There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or HOPE. Just HOPE and be confident!
Second, life is all about people (‘maisha ni watu’-Swahili).
Everything in this world exists in relationship to everything else. Dear youth, you need others as they need you. Establishing trust in any relationship is very important. With people comes opportunities, knowledge, experience and connection among other things. WATIPA enriched us with all these and more. We (scholars and graduates) learned the significance of working with people and not against them.
Third, honor the power of generosity.
WATIPA taught us the significance of ‘pay-it-forward’. WATIPA believed in us, supported us and here we are; scholars, graduates and of course, ambassadors representing the power of HOPE in our respective nations. Well, I’ve learned that, when you help others, they help you in return in unexpected ways. By making a difference in our educational career and lives, WATIPA sowed a seed that will bear fruits for the betterment pf all people in our communities. Whenever possible, help. The world needs you!
Fourth, live a life of purpose.
Dear youth, who do you think you are? Well, you’re a human being crafted in the image of God! What’s your purpose for your existence in this world? When WATIPA launched these scholarships in 2016, one of the key criteria for selection and award was, ‘be someone who is willing to pay back to your community.’ Purpose is passionate and thus we scholars were supposed to listen to that voice speaking to us from within. We, WATIPA scholars and graduates; are proudly committed to our various purposes of impacts in our communities.
Fifth, happy WATIPA 5th anniversary!
I would like to present my warmest congratulations for every progress WATIPA has made so far, to the WATIPA board of Directors, Trustees, scholars and graduates, donors and well-wishers and the whole WATIPA Community.
HOPE is seeing the light through all the darkness! WATIPA is HOPE!
11 June 2016. Now that seems like a lifetime ago, especially after the upheavals since 2020.
11 June 2016 was the first official registration of Watipa, as a social enterprise, with Companies House in the UK. The following year, the registration with the Charities Commission followed.
What has Watipa achieved?
We are immensely proud that to date Watipa has awarded 123 scholarships to young leaders in 9 low and middle income countries who intend to apply their education to give back to their communities. As of 2021, 23 Watipa scholars have graduated in fields including medicine, fisheries, veterinary science, communications, development studies, engineering and public administration.
Communities in Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa will all benefit further from the vision, leadership and determination of Watipa scholars.
Who inspires us?
Watipa scholars and our generous donors in equal measure.
2020 was a year of great challenges and learning opportunities, as well as stimulating profound reflection – for every institution and individual alike. COVID-19 triggered a moment in time that has demanded innovation, leadership and lateral thinking in response to the pressing immediate concerns raised by the pandemic. For Watipa, the charitable activities in relation to the awarding of scholarships and mentorship support for the scholars remained unchanged. This is remarkable – and only possible, because of the even more remarkable unwavering support of our donors, and the commitment and dedication of Watipa scholars to continuing their studies during these challenging times.
Even though most of the scholars faced uncertainty about their studies during 2020, as educational institutions were closed and access to the necessary technology, data and bandwidth for online learning was challenging or unreliable, we celebrate the achievements of 12 young leaders who graduate in this cycle.
One of the inaugural Watipa scholars has just shared this quotation, which is the perfect summary of our five years so far:
We will be profiling our recent graduates over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some good and inspiring news.
To all the friends, supporters, volunteers and scholars of Watipa – we salute you, and thank you for your generosity and vision to improve our world. Today you also share in our 5th birthday celebrations!
There are not that many international days that I am particularly proud to be associated with… but it just so happens that two are within a week of each other: today, Zero Discrimination Day, and 8th March, International Women’s Day. Both are in my DNA.
I stand for Zero Discrimination.
Especially amid a world of bleak news (both fake and real), it feels strong and stabilising to remember the core principles that are so central to who we are. Having grown up (still growing up?!) supported and surrounded by open mindedness and principles of social justice, and continuing to work to reduce the harmful effects of stigma and discrimination specifically in relation to HIV, 1 March is a nexus of the personal and professional. In 2021, it is grounding to pause and mark such a day.
Principles of inclusion and celebrating diversity are equally at the heart of Watipa – our ways of working, and the scholars and projects supported through our programmes. We were founded by a group of international women, and continue to provide educational support to young leaders – the majority of whom are women.
I hope everyone can take a moment today to connect to the principle and pursuit of zero discrimination. It is so important and still so out of grasp for so many. We can do more to enable this to change. Here’s to hope for a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come.
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
From our homes to yours, we would like to wish the friends and family of Watipa a happy and inspirational International Human Rights day today!
As we near the end of 2020, we are reminded of just how important these fundamental principles and freedoms are. The United Nations has put together a collection to honour the day, including a focus on the women who contributed and shaped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Happy reading – happy day – and we salute the Watipa scholars who are leading small and large efforts to promote human rights in many different places around the world…
Today, 12 August 2020, is International Youth Day. Just like many of these international days, it is a day to be mindful of certain issues that exist, thrive and need nurturing in equal measure throughout all 365 days of the year.
In small and large ways, Watipa scholars, their peers, and many young people are achieving great things within their communities. Today is a day to recognise and celebrate those efforts, and take solace in the prospect of better and brighter things in the future as the young leaders of today take their ideas, vision and new perspectives to an even greater scale in times to come.