Happy Zero Discrimination Day!

There are not that many international days that I am particularly proud to be associated with… but it just so happens that two are within a week of each other: today, Zero Discrimination Day, and 8th March, International Women’s Day. Both are in my DNA.

I stand for Zero Discrimination.

Especially amid a world of bleak news (both fake and real), it feels strong and stabilising to remember the core principles that are so central to who we are. Having grown up (still growing up?!) supported and surrounded by open mindedness and principles of social justice, and continuing to work to reduce the harmful effects of stigma and discrimination specifically in relation to HIV, 1 March is a nexus of the personal and professional. In 2021, it is grounding to pause and mark such a day.

Principles of inclusion and celebrating diversity are equally at the heart of Watipa – our ways of working, and the scholars and projects supported through our programmes. We were founded by a group of international women, and continue to provide educational support to young leaders – the majority of whom are women.

I hope everyone can take a moment today to connect to the principle and pursuit of zero discrimination. It is so important and still so out of grasp for so many. We can do more to enable this to change. Here’s to hope for a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come.

~ Lucy Stackpool-Moore

International Human Rights Day – important, as ever, in 2020

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

From our homes to yours, we would like to wish the friends and family of Watipa a happy and inspirational International Human Rights day today!

As we near the end of 2020, we are reminded of just how important these fundamental principles and freedoms are. The United Nations has put together a collection to honour the day, including a focus on the women who contributed and shaped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Happy reading – happy day – and we salute the Watipa scholars who are leading small and large efforts to promote human rights in many different places around the world…

To the young leaders of today – we salute you!

Today, 12 August 2020, is International Youth Day. Just like many of these international days, it is a day to be mindful of certain issues that exist, thrive and need nurturing in equal measure throughout all 365 days of the year.

In small and large ways, Watipa scholars, their peers, and many young people are achieving great things within their communities. Today is a day to recognise and celebrate those efforts, and take solace in the prospect of better and brighter things in the future as the young leaders of today take their ideas, vision and new perspectives to an even greater scale in times to come.

COVID-19 has challenged us all this year, and has posed barriers for young people in many facets of life – pursuing studies and gaining work experience, accessing new skills and mentorship, engaging in civil and political debates virtually to name just a few. Continue reading “To the young leaders of today – we salute you!”

Watipa turns 12, and 4, all in the same week…

This has been a milestone week for Watipa. Now, even more than ever, it’s so important to celebrate small moments and take the time to celebrate the really important things in life.

The ‘real’ Watipa, our namesake who lives and is at school in the north of Malawi, turned 12. Happy birthday Watipa! She is looking forward to school starting up again in July, and she will be in Standard 8. Just a few days earlier, Watipa the organisation turned 4. Happy birthday Watipa! We raised a toast to the friends near and far, whose vision, camaraderie and hard work have enabled us to get this far…

We send best regards to all friends, family and supporters of Watipa and hope that you are well and doing as best as possible during these uncertain times.

Congratulations graduates – we’re proud of you, and we’re listening

This International Human Rights Day we are celebrating “Watipa style” by focussing on the number of graduates we have had in 2019 supported through our scholarship programme. Thirteen… and counting. This takes the total graduates since the start of the Watipa scholarship programme to more than 20, across 7 countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda), in just 3 years. These are real life examples of what it means to have the right to education.

We’re proud of our graduates, and they are proud to be Watipa scholars. Here’s what they said in their review of the programme this year. 

“Being on the Watipa scholarship programme gave me courage to do better, knowing that someone somewhere cares about my education as I care about it. This feeling made me proud .”

Naomi Nyasulu, Malawi, Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Continue reading “Congratulations graduates – we’re proud of you, and we’re listening”

Could you be Watipa’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees?

Are you passionate about education? Do you believe that young people have the ideas and solutions to develop and solve problems facing their communities? Do you have experience in charity governance in the UK? Do you have time, energy and vision to chair the Board of Trustees of Watipa? Are you willing to volunteer your time? Would you like to gain more experience with a dynamic, nimble, ethical, intelligent and worthwhile charity?

If you answered yes to these questions – or know someone inspirational who could – please get in touch. Watipa is looking for a dynamic, experienced, visionary and responsible person to join the Board of Trustee and take on the role of Chair.

Continue reading “Could you be Watipa’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees?”

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”

Early warning signs – the effects of the Mexico City Policy in Cambodia and Malawi

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We’re proud to have worked with Frontline AIDS and local partners on a study, launched today for International Women’s Day, about the effects of the Mexico City Policy (known as the “global gag rule” by its critics) in Cambodia and Malawi. 

Strict anti-abortion funding rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump are causing chaos and limiting access to vital HIV services, according to a study published by Frontline AIDS on International Women’s Day.

Funding cuts as a result of the Mexico City Policy, which prevents organisations receiving U.S. funds from providing or promoting abortion, have caused disruption to HIV programmes, created an environment of mistrust, confusion and isolation among civil society organisations, and compromised access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services for marginalised people. Continue reading “Early warning signs – the effects of the Mexico City Policy in Cambodia and Malawi”

A Right to Education – Introducing the 2018 Watipa Scholars

Congratulations to the 8 new Watipa scholars! Earlier this month, on International Human Rights Day, we had the great pleasure in awarding 8 new Watipa scholarships to seven young women and a young man from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. They join an esteemed group of peers who we are continuing to support again this year. Continue reading “A Right to Education – Introducing the 2018 Watipa Scholars”