75 years on – the right to education remains elusive for many

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The human right to education remains just as important for everyone in 2023 as it did in 1948 – yet sadly it still remains out of reach for many.

Watipa is thrilled to award another round of scholarships today, to students in Malawi studying at Mzuzu University and the Malawi University of Science and Technology. This year all scholarship recipients are women, pursuing their dreams and education in chemistry, international relations, computer science, education, mathematics, microbiology, food science, and chemical engineering.

We congratulate the new scholars, and warmly welcome them to the Watipa family. Happy human rights day – let us all do something today that will help another person realise their human rights.

For further information about Human Rights day and the 75th anniversary celebrations, see the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and their Human Rights 75 Initiative.

Seven years – from acorns to saplings

This week, Watipa celebrated our 7th birthday. It has been a week for reflection and gratitude for all the hard work and ingredients that have gotten us to where we are today. One day, there will be oak trees.

I still remember from the early days in 2016, listening at a seminar where the presenter said that most small and medium enterprises do not last more than two years. The proportion was even higher for those with female founders who often face additional responsibilities pulling attention and human and capital resources away from the demands of starting, running and growing a social enterprise. 

Well, we’re still here. And that is down to the spirit, grit, commitment, shared vision, dedication and hard work of an enormous number of people:

  • The Watipa scholars and graduates, who have held their dreams tight and completed their studies despite personal and societal obstacles. 
  • The trustees, who generously give their time at weekends and across time zones, to guide keep Watipa on a visionary and stable path. 
  • The volunteers, who have improved our planning, budgeting, communications and administrative processes over the years by donating their time. 
  • The consultants in the social enterprise, who support the vision of Watipa and contribute a portion of their profits to sustain the scholarship program. 
  • The founding Samajikas and advisors, who shared energy and excitement about the vision that was taking shape.
  • The donors and supporters, who generously give resources to support our youth development program.

And, we have big dreams for the future. New scholarships will be awarded in 2023, and we have new business registrations in Australia to facilitate our operations around the world. 

We have always said that giant oak trees grow from small acorns. Time will tell, and some of those acorns have already become saplings…. 

To the Watipa family in South Africa, we stand with you in solidarity today in marking Youth Day. For as long as time, young people have shone a light on injustice and held hopes for a brighter future. Watipa hopes to continue to enable those lights to shine.

Watipa – enabling youth development and local leadership for more equal societies, just development, and better health for all.