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”

Keep talking mental health

Guest blog by Rose Omollo, a Watipa Scholar in Kenya, for World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2018.

As a mental health advocate I have joined a group of other mental health advocates online to raise awareness and write blogs for sharing with those who are affected and those suffering from it as well.

Mental health is a vital aspect of human life, and as the World Health Organisation says, ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity.’ This phrase implies that when we are not mentally stable then it means we are not healthy. When we talk of mental illness in the African context, our community understanding is often judgmental and seen as ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’. Continue reading “Keep talking mental health”

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”