About Us

Who are the Rural Orphans & Widows AIDS Network, otherwise known as ROWAN?

Founder Pastor Paul Nyende shares his vision for his people.


Rural Orphans & Widows AIDS Network exists to transform orphans & widows into change agents. Every widow a leader. Every orphan a beloved child.


To love & empower orphans & widows infected or affected by HIV & AIDS in Uganda through education, medical care and treatment, spiritual nourishment and business training, resulting in self-reliance. ROWAN partners with local Christian leaders & development organizations empowering each person to discover their God-given gifts & passions. Together, we assess quality of life, identify physical, spiritual & social needs & implement innovative strategies to meet these needs within the community. FAQ

Our Story

Starting in 2002, Kelsey Hargadine (formally Kelsey Young), Co-Founder & Program Director, lived with a local pastor in East Uganda named Pastor Paul. One night under the stars Pastor Paul shared with Kelsey the burdens of his people. He said, “Kelsey, God hears the cries of my people & there is a purpose for YOU.” This moment was the birthing of ROWAN.

A few short years later, after Pastor Paul began to minister to the orphans & widows, Kelsey ventured back to visit the project. The moment she arrived into Pastor’s home she was given a formal report with the title ROWAN on the front! Kelsey read the first sentence, “ROWAN: Rural Orphans & Widows AIDS Network was begun by Pastor Paul & Kelsey Young to bring the widows & orphans of Africa from helplessness to hope…” That’s exactly what we did & that was just the beginning.

What We Do