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?”

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”

Raising the Bar – International Women in Engineering Day

fullsizeoutput_3907fullsizeoutput_38c5Engineering is one of the most diverse and creative professions where young women can have a lot of impact. Two remarkable young women in our team are breaking new ground in engineering and showing the women can make a real impact in providing solutions to everyday challenges through engineering while also challenging gender stereotypes in each of their countries.

Meet Rachel Nyasulu, a Watipa scholar who is four years into a five-year Civil Engineering BSc at the University of Malawi. And meet Dr Sam Mudie, who is the Watipa Outreach Officer, and who gained an Industrial Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Reading in 2017. Continue reading “Raising the Bar – International Women in Engineering Day”

Boats for women: Equity, the right to vote, and the sport of rowing

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Design of the commemorative t-shirt at Henley Women’s Regatta celebrating 100 years of “votes” for women

Today saw more than 1,800 athletes take to the water in an idyllic setting about 37 miles to the west of London, as part of the Henley Women’s Regatta. For most female rowers in the UK, and around the world, this is one of the most prestigious and exciting events in the rowing calendar.

Women’s rowing has come a long way in the last 100 years. For most of its history, rowing has been a male dominated sport. Rowing has been around for a very long time, and can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians.

In more recent history, modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced to the early 10th century in London, in the UK, when races were held between professional watermen on the River Thames. The first Henley Women’s Regatta was held in 30 years ago in 1988. In the first regatta, there were 109 entries requiring 97 races, with predominantly British crews with a few from Ireland and one from the Netherlands. Today, there are 441 entries from over 1,800 competitors requiring 285 races and 17 time trials. A lot has changed in the last 30 years in women’s rowing…. but we have still not crossed the finish line in achieving gender equity in our sport. Continue reading “Boats for women: Equity, the right to vote, and the sport of rowing”

100 years since women’s suffrage in the UK: taking stock and not being complacent

IMG_4685On June the 10th, tens of thousands of women took to the streets in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to mark 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the vote in the UK. Green, white and violet colours of the suffragette movement were proudly on display.

It was a day of celebration and respect, honouring the efforts of 100 years before us to bring about the change. It was also a day where women taking part wanted to make their voices heard now about some of the enduring injustices of gender inequality. Continue reading “100 years since women’s suffrage in the UK: taking stock and not being complacent”

International Women’s Day – celebrating initiatives around the world to end gender inequality

IMG_3378According to a recent study by the British Council, gender equality still exists worldwide. To be honest this is something that most people notice – if paying attention with a critical eye – as we walk through life every single day.

Gender inequality exists worldwide, as summarised in the British Council report:

  • In politics, where only 23% of members of parliament are women;
  • In work, where 50% of women compared to 75% of men are in formal work;
  • In pay, where on average women earn 24% less than men;
  • In entrepreneurship, where there are only 10 countries where as many women as men start their own businesses; and
  • In society, where 1 in 3 women experience sex or gender based violence.

Continue reading “International Women’s Day – celebrating initiatives around the world to end gender inequality”

Meet a scholar: Prudence Chavula, Malawi

“This is just the beginning – I won’t rest until my community is fully developed in terms of education, health and empowerment.”

Prudence has recently started her second year of study in Public Administration at the University of Malawi, with the current semester focussing on different strands of psychology, “very important for a person who is into community work”.

That is something of an understatement – over the past year Prudence has shown her dedication to her community in many different ways including; training over 1500 women and girls to make reusable sanitary pads, fundraising for 40 school uniforms and 450 shoes, mentoring girls in 6 local secondary schools and supporting 20 girls back to school who had dropped out due to poverty or early marriage.

Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Prudence Chavula, Malawi”

Meet a Watipa Advisor: Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma

Meet Sakhile Sifelani-Nagoma, one of the 5 advisors giving their time to help Watipa develop and steer an intelligent and effective course in our contribution to community development.  Watch this short film to hear what Sakhile has to say about Watipa and our vision….

Continue reading “Meet a Watipa Advisor: Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma”

Meet a scholar: Prudence Chavula, Malawi

IMG_8157My name is Prudence Chavula and I come from Malawi. Growing up in a community that doesn’t support girls education has taught me to value education as the only thing that can empower and transform a female’s life. 

I consider myself an agent of change, committed to the regeneration of my community and addressing the needs of my community. I am passionate about promoting education for all, especially among women and to reduce inequalities, prevent HIV transmission, end child marriages and reduce unplanned pregnancies. With that in mind, I do a number of philanthropic activities in my community. 

Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Prudence Chavula, Malawi”

Women’s business

 

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies. It unquestionably improves the quality of life for women, men, families and communities in every society.

The private sector is a key partner in efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. This includes social enterprises, small and medium businesses, as well as large corporations. But how or what is the role of women as leaders within this space? Continue reading “Women’s business”