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.
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”→
My 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.
“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”→
“When I received the acceptance of a scholarship from Watipa, I was able to not only pay my fees in full but to also perform well in my academics; I have peace now.”
My name is Emmanuel Boateng Duah. I’m from Ghana, the western part of Africa, and I am studying a Bachelors in Integrated Development Studies. I am about to begin my third year of study at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana.
When I was younger, I was a program manager for an organization called Teach on the Beach. The organization provided disadvantaged children with learning opportunities such as after school programs. Working with the organization sponsored me through high school. Here I grew passion for helping others and enjoyed developing ideas to solve situations. I decided to choose integrated development studies because it will help me develop and find solutions to the problems society and communities encounter.
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?”→
Engineering is one of the most diverse and creative professions where young women can have a lot of impact. Two remarkable young women in our team are breaking new ground in engineering and showing the women can make a real impact in providing solutions to everyday challenges through engineering while also challenging gender stereotypes in each of their countries.