Lift off! Mwatipasa is launched.

IMG_0833.jpgLast night in Lilongwe Malawi, we celebrated the launch of Mwatipasa. Mwatipasa is a new youth development organisation in Malawi, and is the ‘sister’ of Watipa.

Watipa is proud of our origins in Malawi – with our name from the North of the country, and with 14 of the inaugural scholars and 2 of the founding members being Malawian – we already have a strong foundation here. The name ‘Watipa’ is from the North, in Tumbuka, and literally means ‘has been provided for.’ ‘Mwatipasa’ is the plural version.

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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.

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We’re thrilled to be part of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme

CambridgeSocialVenturesRGBWatipa is thrilled to be part of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme, part of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Watipa has been selected as one of 11 social ventures starting the programme in September 2017. The programme will offer us a fantastic mentorship opportunities for Watipa to learn and grow as a social venture – a business that has social impact at the heart of its vision and way of working. Continue reading “We’re thrilled to be part of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme”

Watipa strategy: A meeting like no other!

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Being creative. Opening our minds. Thinking clearly. What better than to have a Watipa strategic planning meeting on a boat on a Friday afternoon?

Last week we tried it, and held a “meeting like no other” on a narrow boat on the Regent’s Canal in central London. It was a little bubble of tranquility, as we floated there with trees and water surrounding us, just slightly beneath the bustle of the big city nearby.

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HIV Science: IAS 2017

thumb_logo_2It’s been an extraordinary week for HIV science. An extraordinary week for the HIV response. The 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) in Paris has come to an end, with nearly 8,000 researchers, advocates, policy makers, funders and community leaders from more than 140 countries.

Here’s a quick summary of the headlines from the conference, according to the International AIDS Society…

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Meet a scholar: Emmanuel Duah, Ghana

Meet Emmanuel Duah, Watipa scholar from Ghana. Manny is studying a diploma of integrated community development at the University for Development Studies in Ghana. Manny was awarded a Watipa scholarship in 2016.

Manny is the winner of the Watipa film competition, June 2017.

Hands Up for Supper & for Syria

FullSizeRenderDelicious food, even tastier because eating it supports a good cause! Last night 46 lucky Londoners enjoyed fine Syrian dining, cooked by Ruth Quinlan (Head Chef) and a team of hard working volunteers. Treated to the setting of the atmospheric and trendy E5 Bakehouse in Hackney, east London, those fortunate enough to get a ticket were treated to a feast of delicacies as part of a Syrian Supper Club.

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Happy Birthday Watipa

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Today is one year since Watipa Community Interest Company was officially registered in the UK. So we have celebrated the day with a chocolate cake…. and the launch of our YouTube channel, that profiles 5 of the first Watipa scholars.

Watch, enjoy, eat some cake and celebrate with us in your part of the world today!