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!”

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 team member: Dr Sam Mudie

fullsizeoutput_3862Dr Sam Mudie joined the Watipa team on 1 June 2018. Welcome Sam!

“Working with such a collection of strong, hardworking and brilliant women is a privilege. I was intrigued by the diversity and range of backgrounds of these ladies, all working towards a shared ideology of a better planet, and the right to education for all… I am thrilled to be working with Watipa. The unique model of social enterprise, consulting and provision of education to those less fortunate, is fascinating. I can’t wait to put the skills and knowledge I have built up to great use with Watipa.”

Sam has recently joined the team as the Outreach Officer, where her chief responsibilities are managing the website content, blogs, newsletters and social media pages. Continue reading “Meet a team member: Dr Sam Mudie”

Meet a team member: Kristen de Graaf

Version 2Kristen de Graaf joined the Watipa team on 1 June 2018. Welcome Kristen!

Kristen joins us part-time as the new Executive Officer at Watipa. She is from Canada and has recently relocated to London. Having started her career as a registered nurse she moved to the public health and development sector and pursued a masters of reproductive and sexual health research to fulfill her passion to link health with policy, research and advocacy. Continue reading “Meet a team member: Kristen de Graaf”

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”

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”

“You’re only a good activist if you are alive and well”

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Outreach workers often face risks to their personal safety and security when providing much needed services to marginalised of hard-to-reach communities. They often do so on a voluntary basis or for a relatively small payment compared to international aid workers who operating in the same area. The potential threats and experiences of violence are particularly acute when the organisations are run by and for communities that are criminalised under the legal framework of a particular country. These communities are in need of important health and other essential services, just like everyone. In fact, may need more services given the vulnerabilities and risks they face in everyday life.  Continue reading ““You’re only a good activist if you are alive and well””

Stigma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder

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Reducing stigma and discrimination has been at the forefront of Jamaica’s national response to HIV for several years. One week ago today, in Kingston Jamaica, we presented some recommendations for how the capacity of healthcare workers could be improved so that stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with and vulnerable to HIV are reduced at point of care.

Stigma – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder. Change starts with each one of us, knowing and being honest about our beliefs, prejudices, and morals. A training to address stigma among healthcare workers for example must be transformative – to tap into personal beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours that are the drivers of stigma. In other words training must not be ‘business as usual’ and in fact have a ‘sparkle’ that can engage the hearts as well as the minds of participants.

Continue reading “Stigma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder”