Six years today – happy birthday Watipa!

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.

Celebrating another year of Watipa

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A poem by Aldo Sanga, Watipa Scholar 2016, Tanzania

Two zero one six,
A dream was envisioned,
WATIPA to be born in UK,
Today, we celebrate you, WATIPA.

A little girl dream-WATIPA,
True hope the meaning,
WATIPA reached Malawi,
Today, we celebrate you, WATIPA.

Two zero one six,
WATIPA launched scholarships,
Visioned youth for community,
Today, we celebrate you, WATIPA.

Youth as the agents,
The community to Change,
Visioned with community projects,
Today, we celebrate you, WATIPA.

Continue reading “Celebrating another year of Watipa”

Watipa turns 12, and 4, all in the same week…

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.

Watipa scholars supporting their community response to COVID-19

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.

Continue reading “Watipa scholars supporting their community response to COVID-19”

Hope for the future: Mariam Nassaka – graduate in Social Work and Social Administration, Uganda

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.

IMG-20191128-WA0045As 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”

Launched today: Study by Watipa scholars for UNAIDS and the PACT about the role of young people in community responses to HIV

Geneva, Switzerland. Hot off the press: Watipa, UNAIDS, and the PACT launch study today about the importance of youth participation in community responses to HIV. Watipa scholars were the researchers in this important project. Join the conversation and take part in the Facebook Live session that is happening now…

Ruben Pages Ramos, Youth Programmes Coordinator at UNAIDS, chats with Allen Kyendikuwa, sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate and Watipa Associate, about the results. Allen Kyendikuwa was one of the lead young researchers in the report launched today.

Continue reading “Launched today: Study by Watipa scholars for UNAIDS and the PACT about the role of young people in community responses to HIV”

Meet a graduating scholar: Kyendikuwa Francis, Uganda

3f3ede51-3576-42af-b8fc-b386dc3eeffdCongratulations Kyendikuwa Francis, a Watipa 2016 Scholar who is graduating with a Diploma in Hotels and Institutional Catering at Uganda’s Buganda Royal Institute.

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen?

I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was.

d31fc888-c275-4467-a731-cc60f33810b4“Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

All great thanks to Watipa #kyendikuwafrancis Uganda.

 

Meet a graduating scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda

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“I have the spirit of a go getter! I still want to be that outstanding female pharmacist that will be part of the change my continent needs to see.”

Meet Aisha Bukenya, a 2016 Watipa scholar, graduating Bachelor of Pharmacy from Kampala International University, Uganda. Congratulations Aisha – we are proud of you and your achievements!

Receiving the news that I was successful in my application to become a Watipa scholar was the most beautiful news I ever received. It was such pleasure knowing that I can sit down and concentrate on maximising my scores without having to worry about the tuition. I was able to do so much; words cannot explain my gratitude. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda”

2018: A year reviewed by Watipa Scholars

Every year, the Watipa scholars are asked to complete an online form to reflect on their experiences over the year. Here is a snapshot of what they said in 2018.

100% feel proud to be a Watipa scholar, and feel that the scholarship has boosted their confidence and improved the lives of people in their families.

Boom! This makes us very happy, and inspired to work even harder to bring the opportunity of a Watipa scholarship to more deserving young leaders….

Most proud of in 2018?

Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 20.33.53 Continue reading “2018: A year reviewed by Watipa Scholars”

Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Rose Aoko Omollo, Kenya

a35ba66f-869c-4410-9869-d4434d3888f5“To me the sky is not the limit, when you are surrounded by people who are thirsty for education… Everything is possible – you only need to believe in yourself and go after those goals.”

Meet Rose Omollo, who was awarded a Watipa scholarship in 2016 and is now graduating with a Bachelor of Community Health and Development from the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya. We are proud of you Rose – congratulations! May you continue to achieve your dreams and have a positive impact in your community.

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Rose Omollo, Watipa Scholar 2016 and graduate

The Watipa scholarship has impacted my life a great deal. I am proud to have come this far in my education. Through the mentorship programme that Watipa offers to us scholars, I have also been able to help others in my community.

Now that I am doing my last semester, I believe that I have been equipped with the authority and ability to deploy and change the community and myself as an individual. Like me before them, I hope to see girls in my community completing their education and advancing to higher levels. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Rose Aoko Omollo, Kenya”