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.

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”

A different type of ball: Reducing teenage pregnancies through soccer

IMG_8212One of the best things about being a lady in Uganda is that you are the in charge of a home; as an adolescent you are trained to have a high sense of responsibility and critical decision making skills. A typical day is to wake up and prepare for school, and prepare the little ones (young brothers, sisters, cousins) as well. After school is a routine of house chores and home work.

Raising a lady in Africa also includes tackling gender biases that are seconded by the myths and misconceptions surrounding areas of sexual reproductive health. Take for instance that a girl cannot shake hands with other people during menstruation or that a girl cannot ride a bike or play soccer because it may affect her virginity.

Having spent time at three Grassroot Soccer centers over the last few weeks, my view has completely widened on how sport and gender can bring about gender equity and influence mindsets to reduce the transmission rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses as well as unintended pregnancies amongst adolescent girls and young women. Continue reading “A different type of ball: Reducing teenage pregnancies through soccer”