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”

Water = life. Essential for development.

Main waterway surrounding Elias' university
The main waterway near the Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya, where Elias studies.

I am Elias Mwangi, in my 5thyear of study towards a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya.

Elias at home
Elias Mwagi, Watipa Scholar, at home in Kenya

To get involved with World Water Week 2018 (26 – 31 August, 2018), I found out some facts on water and human development in my country. I am yet to specialise in my field of study, however I am interested in a water related project. Continue reading “Water = life. Essential for development.”

Meet a scholar: Manny Duah, Ghana

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This photo of me was taken in Jumo village, one of the communities where I have worked.

“When I received the acceptance of a scholarship from Watipa, I was able to not only pay my fees in full but to also perform well in my academics; I have peace now.”

My name is Emmanuel Boateng Duah. I’m from Ghana, the western part of Africa, and I am studying a Bachelors in Integrated Development Studies. I am about to begin my third year of study at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana.

When I was younger, I was a program manager for an organization called Teach on the Beach. The organization provided disadvantaged children with learning opportunities such as after school programs. Working with the organization sponsored me through high school. Here I grew passion for helping others and enjoyed developing ideas to solve situations. I decided to choose integrated development studies because it will help me develop and find solutions to the problems society and communities encounter.

After school I am going to be a community developer. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Manny Duah, Ghana”

Coffee anyone?

We’re thrilled to announce that Watipa has been awarded a Scoping and Business Development grant from the DICE Fund of the British Council. We will be developing “Equal Grounds” – an exciting social enterprise and community development project involving coffee – with Rumah Cemara in Bandung, Indonesia. The DICE Fund is part of a wider two year programme, set up to tackle entrenched issues of unemployment and unequal economic growth in five emerging economies (Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt and Brazil) and the UK.

Equal Grounds will cultivate social entrepreneurship and creative communication with disadvantaged young people in Bandung to develop their employability skills, boost local and ethical coffee production, and stimulate the local job market. We will be looking at all stages of coffee production from seed to bean to mouth. Or in other words, a holistic approach that will look at growing, farming, producing, marketing, serving and drinking coffee. Continue reading “Coffee anyone?”

Meet a scholar: Dalitso Mawina, Malawi

Dalitso“Since I was a young girl I have always dreamt of being a nurse!”

Meet Dalitso Mawina, a 2017 Watipa scholar, studying Nursing and Midwifery course at St Luke’s College of Nursing And Midwifery in Likwenu, Malawi.

I am Dalitso Mawina. I am 23 years old and currently awaiting my results to proceed to level 2 of my Nursing and Midwifery course at St Luke’s College of Nursing and Midwifery in Likwenu, Malawi.

Since I was a young girl I have always dreamt of being a nurse. My motivation for choosing my career was to save people’s lives in my community, as well as my country, Malawi. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Dalitso Mawina, Malawi”

Big dreams to change the world – happy International Youth Day!

AIDS2018 - Watipa 2Young people are the leaders of today – and of tomorrow. We know that at Watipa, and here is another example in the context of the global response to HIV.

On this International Youth Day, we are calling for meaningful, frequent, and wide engagement of adolescent girls and young women in the strategic development, planning, and delivery of programmes and services aimed at serving them… in lots of areas, including the response to HIV. Continue reading “Big dreams to change the world – happy International Youth Day!”

Young people: Leaders of today, and tomorrow!

“Being a Watipa scholar, acts as a motivation to do more for my community.”

Prudence Chavula, Watipa Scholar, Malawi

Here at Watipa, it is our view that everyone should have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents. It is not only in the future when societies will benefit from the ideas, creativity, wisdom and leadership of young people; societies around the world will also benefit today. But we need collectively need to listen, learn, enable and let young people take space and lead. Continue reading “Young people: Leaders of today, and tomorrow!”