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”

From engineering student to Member of Parliament! The ambitions of a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, Malawi

IMG_20180329_081018“To be an engineer has been my dream since primary school.”

I am Comfort Menard Mkalira, 22 years old. I am studying electronics and telecommunications engineering at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic. I am in year one of my five-year study program.

To be an engineer has been my dream since primary school. With the expertise I get as an electronics and telecommunications engineer, I would like to improve the network system in my community, and Malawi as my beloved country. Continue reading “From engineering student to Member of Parliament! The ambitions of a scholar: Comfort Menard Mkalira, Malawi”

Raising the Bar – International Women in Engineering Day

fullsizeoutput_3907fullsizeoutput_38c5Engineering 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.

Meet Rachel Nyasulu, a Watipa scholar who is four years into a five-year Civil Engineering BSc at the University of Malawi. And meet Dr Sam Mudie, who is the Watipa Outreach Officer, and who gained an Industrial Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Reading in 2017. Continue reading “Raising the Bar – International Women in Engineering Day”

Boats for women: Equity, the right to vote, and the sport of rowing

fullsizeoutput_38a9
Design of the commemorative t-shirt at Henley Women’s Regatta celebrating 100 years of “votes” for women

Today saw more than 1,800 athletes take to the water in an idyllic setting about 37 miles to the west of London, as part of the Henley Women’s Regatta. For most female rowers in the UK, and around the world, this is one of the most prestigious and exciting events in the rowing calendar.

Women’s rowing has come a long way in the last 100 years. For most of its history, rowing has been a male dominated sport. Rowing has been around for a very long time, and can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians.

In more recent history, modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced to the early 10th century in London, in the UK, when races were held between professional watermen on the River Thames. The first Henley Women’s Regatta was held in 30 years ago in 1988. In the first regatta, there were 109 entries requiring 97 races, with predominantly British crews with a few from Ireland and one from the Netherlands. Today, there are 441 entries from over 1,800 competitors requiring 285 races and 17 time trials. A lot has changed in the last 30 years in women’s rowing…. but we have still not crossed the finish line in achieving gender equity in our sport. Continue reading “Boats for women: Equity, the right to vote, and the sport of rowing”

Meet a biotechnician: Watipa scholar from South Africa

“I would like to use my education to find affordable medicine so that the people with minimal socio-economic resources in my community can afford to be healthy.”

I am a 2017 Watipa scholar, and an undergraduate studying Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

I’m very fascinated by cells, how they function and the human body. After doing research on what path of study I should follow I came across a very interesting field of study : biotechnology. A course of science that uses living systems to produce medicine, products, etc that help to make people and animals lives better. And this is what I want to one day, to help the world.

The more I learn at university the more I gain insight about science and the developing world. And by this I can educate the young and old in my community, especially young people who do drugs and alcohol, to help them live a healthy lifestyle. My studies will help me to teach the children and grown-ups alike in my community about diseases, how to prevent them from getting infected, how these diseases can be treated, and how to keep people healthy.

I want to be successful at university and study diligently to hone my understanding on cells and the human body. I hope that one day, when I get my degree in Biotechnology, to pursue a career as an immunologist. I would like to work alongside the brightest minds in microbiology and virology to learn from them and help contribute to find cures for deadly diseases – I want to focus on finding cures for diseases that affect millions of people globally and thousands in my community.

I want to help save babies, children, and adults who have been dealt a bad hand in life and are unable to defend themselves against brutal sicknesses by finding affordable medicine so that the people with minimal socio-economic resources in my community can afford to be healthy. This is what I hope to one day be able to give back to my community. I also dream that one day I will create a novel drug that will cure HIV.

 Watipa scholar and young man aged 20, South Africa

100 years since women’s suffrage in the UK: taking stock and not being complacent

IMG_4685On June the 10th, tens of thousands of women took to the streets in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London to mark 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the vote in the UK. Green, white and violet colours of the suffragette movement were proudly on display.

It was a day of celebration and respect, honouring the efforts of 100 years before us to bring about the change. It was also a day where women taking part wanted to make their voices heard now about some of the enduring injustices of gender inequality. Continue reading “100 years since women’s suffrage in the UK: taking stock and not being complacent”

Meet a scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda

fullsizeoutput_3866.jpeg“I hope that one day I’ll be able to give back to my community through provision of world class healthcare.”

Meet Aisha Bukenya, a 2016 Watipa scholar, studying a Bachelor’s of Pharmacy at Kampala International University Western Campus. She has recently completed her exams for the year and is attending ward rounds as part of her program. 

I am Aisha Bukenya, and I am pursuing a bachelors degree in pharmacy in my final semester of study. I chose this path of study because the health system in my country and in Africa as a whole has always broken my heart. I feel that there is a lot more that we can do. Continue reading “Meet a scholar: Aisha Bukenya, Uganda”

Medical Outreach Mission: #MOM’s the word for community care of the elderly in Lilongwe, Malawi

fullsizeoutput_386d“We don’t have to be rich to help someone out here.  My hope is that more people will be inspired to do the same for their community.”

Josephine Kondowe, Watipa Scholar, Malawi

Malawi has less than one physician for every 54,000 citizens and has a healthcare budget of only $77 per person per year.  The country also faces great challenges in terms of the response to diseases such as HIV, Malaria and tuberculosis, as well as ongoing concerns relating to nutrition and food insecurity.

As the name itself hints, Medical Outreach Mission (MOM) is an organisation that works through the Church to care and provide for people in need, particularly the sick and the elderly.

We reach out to people in their most difficult and challenging times to let them know that they are not alone, and that they are loved. So, it if happens that they are sick and can’t afford some medication, we buy the medication for them. If they don’t have clothes, we gather clothes for them. If they have no food, then we help them with that as well! The help we provide may not be long-term but at least with the little we do we change peoples mind and hearts.

With our actions we tell them that love exists. We know that for us to share the will of God, we don’t have to always carry our bibles, we can simple carry love.

On April 14th, we help our word by reaching out to twelve elderly people at Kauma village in Lilongwe, Malawi. There we gave away vital items such as soap tablets, over a kilogram of sugar, a further kilogram of salt, candles and match sticks. At this initial visit we unfortunately didn’t have enough information on their medical records in order to buy them the medication that they required. However, next time we can proceed on this front too. Some of these elderly people were sick and more generally were living with challenges that come with old age.

It was simply amazing to see how people were moved with the little things we gave them. This then encouraged us – we don’t have to be rich to help someone out here.  My hope is that more people will be inspired to do the same for their community.

Let’s reach out and spread the love. #MOM.

           Josephine Kondowe, Watipa Scholar 2017 and young woman aged 21, Malawi, with editorial support from Sam Mudie

fullsizeoutput_386b

Meet a team member: Dr Sam Mudie

fullsizeoutput_3862Dr Sam Mudie joined the Watipa team on 1 June 2018. Welcome Sam!

“Working with such a collection of strong, hardworking and brilliant women is a privilege. I was intrigued by the diversity and range of backgrounds of these ladies, all working towards a shared ideology of a better planet, and the right to education for all… I am thrilled to be working with Watipa. The unique model of social enterprise, consulting and provision of education to those less fortunate, is fascinating. I can’t wait to put the skills and knowledge I have built up to great use with Watipa.”

Sam has recently joined the team as the Outreach Officer, where her chief responsibilities are managing the website content, blogs, newsletters and social media pages. Continue reading “Meet a team member: Dr Sam Mudie”