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”

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”

I want to be one of the best nurse midwives in my community: Meet Chanju Mwase, Watipa scholar, Malawi

Chanju breastfeeding student“I am hoping to be one of the best nurse midwives in my community. I dream of opening an antenatal care clinic where pregnant women will be screened to rule out any pregnancy complications.”

I am Chanju Mwase, and I am in my third year of studying Nursing and Midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi.

There are a number of things that motivated me to study nursing and midwifery. One of the things is the desire that I have to help others. I feel passionate about nursing and midwifery being accessible to all people. I want to serve women and improve maternal and child health care. Being aware of the shortage of nurses and midwives in my country, I want to cover up that shortage. I also have an interest in maternal health.

I am happy to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week this week, 1-7thAugust 2018, along with the World Health Organisation. Continue reading “I want to be one of the best nurse midwives in my community: Meet Chanju Mwase, Watipa scholar, Malawi”

Meet a scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda

fullsizeoutput_3866.jpeg“I hope that one day I’ll be able to give back to my community through provision of world class healthcare.”

Meet Aisha Bukenya, a 2016 Watipa scholar, studying a Bachelor’s of Pharmacy at Kampala International University Western Campus. She has recently completed her exams for the year and is attending ward rounds as part of her program. 

I am Aisha Bukenya, and I am pursuing a bachelors degree in pharmacy in my final semester of study. I chose this path of study because the health system in my country and in Africa as a whole has always broken my heart. I feel that there is a lot more that we can do. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda”

Meet a scholar: Rose Omollo, Kenya

fullsizeoutput_384e“To me the sky is not the limit and I see a bright future ahead of me. I want to be the agent of those changes that I want to see in my community.”

Meet Rose Omollo, a 2016 Watipa scholar, studying Community Health and Development at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, in Kenya. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Rose Omollo, Kenya”

Meet a scholar: Daniel Torach, Uganda

IMG_20160101_073654 “In my country you have to be a job creator and not a job seeker”

My name is Daniel Torach. I am a male Ugandan aged 22 years. I live in a small town called Kyebando, which is a suburb of Kampala. I come from a family of three children and I am the eldest. I am pursuing a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and Installation at an institution in Kampala called YMCA Comprehensive institute.

I have always had a dream of being an electrical engineer because I am so passionate when it comes to electricity. I finally got the chance to pursue studies in electricity thanks to the scholarship, as it gave me a start. Watipa kickstarted my lost hopes into a living testimony – my high hopes of being an electrical engineer started to become a reality. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Daniel Torach, Uganda”

Meet a Vet: Pemphero Kachule from Malawi, Watipa scholar 2016

Pemphero Kachule from Malawi is completing a 4-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Like some of our other Watipa scholars, he was negatively affected by staff striking at his university earlier this year but nevertheless has been getting on with his studies and doing lots of community work. In this blog, Pemphero explains his study into rural smallholder farmers, how they generate funds for their children’s education and his work to help them raise their income… Continue reading “Meet a Vet: Pemphero Kachule from Malawi, Watipa scholar 2016”

Meet a scholar: Naomi Nyasulu, Malawi

“In 2018, I plan to go further with the knowledge gained in my studies to identify problems that fish farmers face here and the possible solutions.”

Two years into her BSC in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, Naomi is proud both of her academic success – passing all modules – and the community work she done with the Malawi Department of Fisheries to help farmers construct ponds, learn about and “be successful in fish farming”. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Naomi Nyasulu, Malawi”