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.
This has been a milestone week for Watipa. Now, even more than ever, it’s so important to celebrate small moments and take the time to celebrate the really important things in life.
The ‘real’ Watipa, our namesake who lives and is at school in the north of Malawi, turned 12. Happy birthday Watipa! She is looking forward to school starting up again in July, and she will be in Standard 8. Just a few days earlier, Watipa the organisation turned 4. Happy birthday Watipa! We raised a toast to the friends near and far, whose vision, camaraderie and hard work have enabled us to get this far…
We send best regards to all friends, family and supporters of Watipa and hope that you are well and doing as best as possible during these uncertain times.
This is the third in a series that profiles the work and thought leadership of Watipa scholars in their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despina Gwaza is a Watipa scholar in Malawi, who recently finished secondary school and is starting at College in 2020. She has been actively supporting families in her local areas, Kalowa, Liuzi, Mukwachi and Kasuza, to know about COVID-19, have more regular access to soap and clean water.
“Our aim is to improve good sanitation… people need help.”
This is the second in a series that profiles the work and thought leadership of Watipa scholars in their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comfort Menard is studying Mining Engineering in Malawi and is looking forward to classes resuming. In the meantime, he has been mobilising his peers to share information, textbooks and soap to households in his community.
Just like many other countries in the world, Malawi is not spared from the Covid 19 pandemic. As of 1st June, 2020, according to ministry of health and population, Malawi has recorded 284 cases. Out of this, four have died, fourty six have recovered, and two hundred and thirty four still remain active cases.
Due to this pandemic people particularly in my community, Wowve, live in fear and feel hopeless, because their small businesses are now on stand still due to fear of contracting the virus. In order to join forces in contributing to the fight against the pandemic in my community, Wovwe.
This is the first in a series that profiles the work and thought leadership of Watipa scholars in their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read about the thoughts and reflections during COVID-19 in Uganda, from Mariam Nassaka, a Watipa scholar and graduate of Social Work and Administration in 2019.
“As advocates, we need to strive to identify common patterns that could possibly lead to cheaper, long-term and healthier solutions.”
What motivated me to write?
The rights of people mostly women and young people were at risk of violation therefore as an advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights for the most at risk of HIV, l had to come out and speak out their voice.
The zeal to fight COVID-19 in my community motivated me so much to write and suggest possible response interventions. I wanted to investigate on the perceptions of people in Uganda on COVID-19.
Here is the latest in a series of reflections from recent Watipa graduates – meet Mariam Nassaka, who graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration in Uganda.
As a recipient of the watipa 2016 Education scholarship, I want to thank you for awarding me this scholarship. I was very excited to learn that l have been selected as the winner of the scholarship. I am appreciative of your support of my education.
I am currently a bachelor’s degree holder in social work and social Administration at Uganda Christian University. I work with the community and I spend most of my time figuring out how best I can create a well enabling environment for the young people to achieve their dreams. I chose to focus on this because I am completely a change maker, passionate and an ambitious advocate for people’s rights and this has become a reality through the watipa scholarship. Continue reading “Hope for the future: Mariam Nassaka – graduate in Social Work and Social Administration, Uganda”→