Watipa scholarships 2017 are now open!

We are now accepting applications for the Watipa scholarship awards in 2017. The application details can be found on our website.

Applicants should make sure they have all the supporting documents to upload along with their application. The deadline for applications to be received is midnight on Saturday 4th November 2017.

To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be a young person living and studying in a developing country, under the age of 25, who wants to use your education to give back to your community in the future.

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“You’re only a good activist if you are alive and well”

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Outreach workers often face risks to their personal safety and security when providing much needed services to marginalised of hard-to-reach communities. They often do so on a voluntary basis or for a relatively small payment compared to international aid workers who operating in the same area. The potential threats and experiences of violence are particularly acute when the organisations are run by and for communities that are criminalised under the legal framework of a particular country. These communities are in need of important health and other essential services, just like everyone. In fact, may need more services given the vulnerabilities and risks they face in everyday life.  Continue reading ““You’re only a good activist if you are alive and well””

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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Do you know what a Samajika looks like?

Samajika is a word from Sri Lanka, in Sinhala, that translates into English meaning equal members. At Watipa we refer to the founding members of Watipa as Samajikas, embracing the diversity of the cultural and geographical reach of Watipa as well as a commitment to our egalitarian and collaborative way of working.

You can meet the Watipa Samajikas by watching short profile films on Watipa’s YouTube channel – and you can read more about the skills and experience of Samajikas on our website.

The founders of Watipa are Michelle Aitken, Karin Alexander, Maureen Leah Chirwa, Valerie Delpech, Taghreed El Hajj, Kathy Lowndes, Saku Mapa, Lucy Stackpool-Moore and Margaret Wazakili.

As you can see, the Watipa Samajikas all look very different!

Meet a scholar: Rose Omollo, Kenya

Meet Rose Omollo, who received a highly commended award in 2016 and support for her tuition fees and living expenses. Rose has previously shared a poem, Watipa my hope, that she wrote for Watipa.

Rose is a young woman aged 23, studying a Bachelor of Community Health and Development in Kenya, and received a highly commended award as one of the inaugural Watipa scholars

Watipa celebrates #YouthDay

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12th August was declared international youth day back in 1999 at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. A resolution of the Security Council in 2015 (S/RES/2250) recognised that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion is essential for building and sustaining peace. So how will you celebrate #YouthDay? Continue reading “Watipa celebrates #YouthDay”

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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