Big dreams to change the world – happy International Youth Day!

AIDS2018 - Watipa 2Young people are the leaders of today – and of tomorrow. We know that at Watipa, and here is another example in the context of the global response to HIV.

On this International Youth Day, we are calling for meaningful, frequent, and wide engagement of adolescent girls and young women in the strategic development, planning, and delivery of programmes and services aimed at serving them… in lots of areas, including the response to HIV. Continue reading “Big dreams to change the world – happy International Youth Day!”

Young people: Leaders of today, and tomorrow!

“Being a Watipa scholar, acts as a motivation to do more for my community.”

Prudence Chavula, Watipa Scholar, Malawi

Here at Watipa, it is our view that everyone should have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents. It is not only in the future when societies will benefit from the ideas, creativity, wisdom and leadership of young people; societies around the world will also benefit today. But we need collectively need to listen, learn, enable and let young people take space and lead. Continue reading “Young people: Leaders of today, and tomorrow!”

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”

From engineering student to Member of Parliament! The ambitions of a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, Malawi

IMG_20180329_081018“To be an engineer has been my dream since primary school.”

I am Comfort Menard Mkalira, 22 years old. I am studying electronics and telecommunications engineering at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic. I am in year one of my five-year study program.

To be an engineer has been my dream since primary school. With the expertise I get as an electronics and telecommunications engineer, I would like to improve the network system in my community, and Malawi as my beloved country. Continue reading “From engineering student to Member of Parliament! The ambitions of a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, 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”

Meet a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, Malawi

IMG_20171223_171220Hello my name is Comfort Menard Mkalira from Malawi. I am 22 years old and I am currently studying mining engineering at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic. As a Malawian citizen I have great hopes for the future, especially, in developing my community as well as my country at large.

Upon completion of my bachelor degree programme at the University of Malawi, I would like to establish an organization in my community called ‘Reach out and Touch’. The aim of this organization will be to encourage the youths, especially girls, to remain in school. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, Malawi”

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”

The gift of – and the right to – education

Education is a human right; it should not be a privilege. Young people can be the change they want to see in the world. It’s just that in many developing countries, young leaders do not always have the means to continue with their education and reach their full potential.

Today, Watipa joins thousands of others around the world in the celebration of Human Rights, as we stand strong in our commitment to making education more accessible to young leaders in developing countries.

Continue reading “The gift of – and the right to – education”