Watipa scholarship program expands to celebrate International Human Rights Day

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Watipa continues its quest in making education a human right and is pleased to announce on International Human Rights Day its largest ever intake of scholars since 2016.

Thanks to the generosity of public donations and the funds raised from the social enterprise, we are thrilled to announce we have awarded 8 scholarships  to 7 young women and one young man, all under the age of 25, and including one secondary school student. Our 2018 scholars are based in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia.

Continue reading “Watipa scholarship program expands to celebrate International Human Rights Day”

Family Connection

Watipa is thrilled to have received a generous donation in support of the youth development programme. Caloola is a philanthropy fund set up to honour the values and memory of Gamma (grandma) and Gampa (grandpa), two grandparents at the helm of a family committed to social justice.

Gamma and Gampa each grew up in in rural Australia, and Caloola was the name of the property where they raised their family. Due to family responsibilities, neither of them completed their schooling. However they each held strong beliefs about the value of education, and throughout their lives they made significant contributions to their own community.

A few years ago, Gampa passed away while on safari in Botswana. He died peacefully of natural causes, and the family describes it as a wonderful death. Gamma is still living in Australia, and her son and daughter are now managing the family’s affairs.

When considering how to allocate Caloola’s philanthropy funds, Watipa was put forward and we were thrilled to hear that the family wanted to support the scholarships and youth development program. It seems that in a number of ways, there is a strong connection between the vision and mission of Watipa and the values of the family. They like that we are an innovative social enterprise with a focus on international Community Development. They also like the connection with Africa, with the link to Gampa, and the hope that the donation really can make a huge difference.

Watipa plans to set up in Australia one day, and we look forward to working more closely with Caloola and the spirit of generosity and social conscience that is so strong across the whole family. What a wonderful legacy for Gamma and Gampa.

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”

Meet Sabitri Pathak: Watipa Scholar 2016, Kathmandu School of Law

When Sabitri applied for a Watipa scholarship back in October 2016, she wrote that her biggest dream was to create change in society through law and justice.  She was awarded one of the scholarships donated in loving memory of Claire Lee (Gaston-Parry). Claire was generous soul who loved to travel, had a commitment to education and to helping others. She was an Australian trained lawyer, loving wife, mother, sister, daughter, and a dear friend who sadly left us too soon in 2013. 

In 2018, after completing 2 years of a 5 year Bachelor of Laws degree, Sabitri remains as determined as ever. Here she writes about her progress this year, how the scholarship has had an impact in her life, and her hopes for the future.

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Sabitri Pathak, Watipa Scholar 2016

My ultimate objective in life is to become a lawyer and help create equality in society and support women’s empowerment. This has been my objective since the start. I don’t think it will ever change. I can change its form but not its purpose.

I grew up seeing inequality on the basis of caste, gender, class. I myself have been a victim of discrimination. Our society still practices customs and holds values that discriminate against women and some communities. I have never liked this. I have always wanted to change this. Women and some people do not get access to legal services which I don’t think is fair. This is the reason I chose to become a lawyer. I want to give free legal aid to people so that their voices are heard. Continue reading “Meet Sabitri Pathak: Watipa Scholar 2016, Kathmandu School of Law”

Paying it forward: Watipa scholar launches scholarship program in Malawi

PHOTO-2018-06-23-16-15-34My name is Prudence Chavula. I am a Public Administration student at The University of Malawi, Chancellor College.  From childhood, I have always been passionate about community work. Growing up, I have been through a lot myself hence the desire to contribute towards the positive regeneration of my community.

After sitting for my secondary education in 2014, I started volunteering with various organizations that operate within my community.  On the 10th of January in 2015, I started my own initiative called “Go Fund A Girl Child” with an aim of transforming my society through education. Go Fund A Girl Child advocates for girl child education and women empowerment at large. This transformation is brought about by fighting against child marriages, influencing policy and attitude changes relating to girl child education, bringing back school drop outs to school and assist rural vulnerable and orphaned girls to remain in school.

Being a Watipa scholar acts as a motivation to do more for my community. For the initiative to grow I need to have a sound financial source which I can only get once I am done with my education and become independent. Watipa came through for me when I had completely lost hope.  Continue reading “Paying it forward: Watipa scholar launches scholarship program in Malawi”

Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Julia Brenda Omondi, Kenya

133e2184-57a1-4c04-9281-449671678a37“Having a degree in Psychology will open a new window of job opportunities for me of which I am ready and willing to take advantage of.”

Meet Julia Omondi, a 2016 Watipa scholar, who is graduating this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Counselling) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Congratulations Julia – your hard work has paid off!

I am very proud of how far I have come. Looking back, I started out without a steady means of getting school fees, and my grades were really affected. However, since Watipa started supporting me by paying my school fees, my grades improved. In addition, being a Watipa scholar has given me the opportunity to be a part of an international group of scholars like myself, which is always a motivation. I find myself challenged by how much other young people in different countries are doing for their communities. Plus, some conversations we have on different topics such as climate change and human sexuality also make you see things in a different light. This enables one to learn. Seeing other scholars graduate has also been motivating. Being a part of the Watipa committee that makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees has been amazing.

Sometimes, standing before the young women I reach out to, I cannot ignore the fact that some, if not most of them, view me as a role model. So sometimes I share my personal story with them. For example, in August this year I was giving a group of sponsored students a talk. The high school students had not been performing well and I used my experience with Watipa to encourage them. I shared with them that there should be gradual improvement in their grades now that they no-longer endure the burden of unpaid school fees. I used myself as an example. I am proud of the opportunities I have received to support adolescent girls and young women in the community. Continue reading “Meet a graduating scholar: Congratulations Julia Brenda Omondi, Kenya”

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?”