Awareness Category

Events and Supporters

August 8th, 2018

The Meaning of Your Message

So, you’ve seen us encouraging our sponsors to write to their sponsees through our online messaging portal. You’re wondering, “Does my message make a difference?” “What’s the big deal?”

We’re here to tell you yes. And we’re here to tell you why.

When your sponsee receives a message from you, here’s what it means:

It means that someone across the ocean thought of them and cares for them. It means they have a cheerleader, a confidante, and a consistent form of support when much of their personal life may feel out of control and volatile. It means someone loves them enough to sacrifice not just money but the ultimate currency – time – to be sure they feel a sense of hope, security, and belonging.

When your sponsee reads your words, they feel thankful, curious, and encouraged. Not only this, but one very sweet gift you give (AND receive) in communicating regularly with your sponsee is a cross-cultural connection that can broaden one’s understanding of the world and deepen one’s empathy for those who live within different cultural norms as well as experience and overcome different sorts of trials and triumphs.

Struggling with what to write about? Here are some ideas:

– share about your family and friends

– talk about your job – what you do for work, why you picked it, etc.

– share a prayer request

– encourage your sponsee with some wisdom, a lesson you’re learning, an inspirational quote, a Bible verse, etc.

– keep it positive and appropriately personal; try to avoid writing about political topics, writing about material possessions, or other potentially sensitive topics

– ask your sponsee lots of questions about their favorite things, what they’re learning, what ROWAN means to them, what their family/friends are like, etc.

We definitely encourage you to attach a photo (or several!) in your message to your sponsee. Here are examples of photos that the orphans and widows love to see:

– photos of you – attaching a face to a name increases the rate and ability to form a connection

– photos of your family or other people you’ve told them about in a message

– photos of your pet(s)

– photos from places you’ve traveled or places that are important to you

What to expect in a reply from your sponsee:

– Most messages will be translated to English by a local staff member in Uganda

– We do our best to ensure that each sponsor receives a message back from his or her sponsee in a timely manner. In general, we strive to get responses back within three weeks. Of course, depending on other factors, it may take longer; for example, if one of our higher education students is at a boarding school or trade school in a village that is far away, speedy replies become more difficult

– You will likely be showered with words of gratitude and encouragement. Although much of the phrasing may sound different, keep in mind that English is their second language and never doubt the sincerity of their kind words

How to contact your sponsee:

  1. Got to loverowan.reachapp.co
  2. Login with your username and password – if you need help, email micayla@loverowan.com for help
  3. You will see “My Profile” – from there, you can view your inbox, info, and sponsorships, and write to your sponsee!

 

Are you interested in taking a trip to Uganda to meet (or return to visit) your sponsee? If so, go ahead and shoot an email to micayla@loverowan.com and we’ll talk about what that might look like! We are beginning to plan a trip that will head over in May 2019. Stay tuned!

May 23rd, 2018

College Students Leave for the Village in Four Days!

Early (eeeaaarrrrrly) this coming Sunday morning (12:01 am, to be exact), a team of college students and their leaders will begin their trek over to the ROWAN village in Uganda.

Remember when we posted about a Hepatitis outbreak in our community? Several of you stepped up to help – THANK YOU. You helped get the ball rolling and made a serious dent in protecting our community from this disease!

In addition, around that same time, the team members going on this trip were trying to figure out what their project would be while in Uganda. Some of the team members are excited returners whereas other will be in Uganda for their very first time. When asked if they would be willing to help cover the cost of testing, vaccinating, and providing medication for those who’ve been infected, their response was that they would be happy to help… that they see this as “a life or death situation.” In addition, they shared on their fundraising page that they see this as:

“a HUGE opportunity to potentially save hundreds of lives. Hepatitis B has spread through the region, and there is no organization besides ROWAN who will test, treat and vaccinate the community.”

Here’s where we’re at as of right now:

  So far, through Christian Union, this incredible team of students has rallied together to raise $4,000.

–  Solibad, our partner who previously helped us build wells in the village to give our people access to clean, sustainable water, generously donated $1,000 to help with testing and vaccinating.

–  We still need $1,000 more to cover the rest the costs to get the rest of our incredible ROWAN orphans and widows covered so that they will be safe, healthy, and fearless.

Would you consider stepping in to help these students complete their fundraising for this life-or-death project?

FOLLOW THIS LINK
to help the Christian Union students from schools like Penn, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell meet their fundraising goal and to ensure that our community NEVER has to live in fear of this terrible virus ever again.

 

More about Christian Union:

Christian Union seeks a spiritually vibrant nation marked by Christian values permeating every corner of society. They develop and connect transformative Christian leaders, focusing specifically on developing Christian leaders at some of America’s most influential universities.

More about Solibad:

Solibad exists “to bring together the badminton community to collect funds in order to help projects involving children in different parts of the planet. We are keen on helping small scale projects initiated by locals or by ourselves. We take action seriously but with humility and without being condescending, by using the time and resources donated by individuals or groups willing to join our cause. We ask everyone to put their skills, enthusiasm, financial help and/or his time for the causes and projects that we support.” Follow this link to learn more about Solibad!

A HUGE thank you to Christian Union and Solibad, organizations made up of some of the most compassionate and generous folks on the planet. Thank you for stepping into the gap for our orphans and widows, for seeing them, and for making a difference.

April 12th, 2018

Hepatitis Outbreak – Please Help!

DONATE HERE

The Mayo Clinic describes Hepatitis B as “a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). For some people, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, meaning it lasts more than six months. Having chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis — a condition that permanently scars the liver.”

We need to test and vaccinate all ROWAN members immediately, as this is highly contagious and is going around the village. One family is already infected, and we want to stop this before it spreads!

Vaccinations for Ugandans, which happen normally in government facilities, include tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, and whooping cough. The Hepatitis vaccine wasn’t added until recently, so many of our adults are especially at risk because they weren’t immunized as children.

We desperately need to test all and treat those who may have it within the month.

Please join us in praying for our village for complete healing as well as relief from some of these awful symptoms! According to the Mayo Clinic, people with Hepatitis B experience very uncomfortable symptoms, including:

– abdominal pain               – joint pain               – loss of appetite               – nausea and vomiting

– dark urine              – fever              – weakness and fatigue              – jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)

DONATE HERE

It will cost $15-16 per person to have everyone tested and vaccinated for Hepatitis B. So, for our village of 400 people, we must raise a little over $6,000.

We implore you to share this need with your friends as well as to consider partnering with us yourself in order to prevent the further spread of this ugly virus. Our community is especially at risk since many of our members suffer from HIV/AIDS and already have a compromised immune system.

DONATE HERE

March 2nd, 2018

Little Man, BIG Impact

Last week, we had the great privilege of meeting with one of our dedicated donors, Little Man Ice Cream.

We used this time to thank them for all that they’ve done and enabled us to do – and most importantly, how they’ve impacted and empowered our orphans and widows.

We showed them how we’ve utilized their generosity to sustain our communities during times of hardship so that our orphans and widows NEVER have to wonder whether they’ll have enough meals.

For the last four years, Little Man Ice Cream has generously contributed to the relief portion of our budget, which encompasses our feeding programs. This means that once each month, ROWAN members gather to receive a monthly portion of dry food, primarily consisting of rice and beans, to help them through the next month.

Here is a video of some of our members thanking Little Man Ice Cream!

If you are looking for local businesses to support, Little Man’s is the way to go. Aside from making incredible ice cream, they are actively involved in improving our local and global communities. They generously partner with a wide variety of organizations in order to improve educational programs and alleviate hunger. Keep your eyes open for more locations coming soon!

Thank you, Little Man, for enabling our ROWAN community members to live confidently, for alleviating their worries, and for empowering vulnerable people like our members to achieve independence through sustainable entrepreneurship.

 

 

If you are interested in partnering with us or know of another company that would like to support our work in Uganda, please email micayla@loverowan.com

January 5th, 2018

Government Update – What the Amendment Means to Ugandans

At 73 years old, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was only two years away from the constitutional age limit to serve as president. However, he just signed into law a new amendment, which abolishes the age limit, thereby allowing him to extend his presidency.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Uganda has seen many notable improvements. In addition to greater relative stability, his leadership has allowed for increased economic growth decreased HIV/AIDS, as much of his programming has prioritized education and prevention of the disease.

President Museveni came to power through a coup in 1986, and under his government, the democracy was born in 1996. Under the constitution of the new government, presidential term limits were set at two terms of five years each. However, at the start of his second term in office in 2001, strides were taken to do away with the two-term limit, which would allow Museveni to re-run for the presidential election in 2006. These efforts were successful, and Museveni won yet another election by a landslide, repeating his victories in 2011 and 2016.

During his current term, the threat to President Museveni’s power was no longer term limits, but rather the age limit set in the constitution, declaring that citizens under the age of 35 or over the age of 75 cannot hold the presidential office. This would disqualify the 73-year-old president from further re-election. So, on December 27, 2017, he passed a law, amending the constitution to abolish the age cap.

Although President Museveni’s efforts and programs have greatly improved Uganda, he has been Uganda’s only president. His refusal to relinquish his power for a second time highlights a major concern for many Ugandans, as Uganda has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since declaring its independence from Great Britain.

To learn more, follow this link to read an article published by Al Jazeera, a major global news organization, concerning this new development in Ugandan government. According to MP Robert Kyagulanyi (better known by fans of his musical career as “Bobi Wine”), the age amendment and implicit extension of Museveni’s power indicate bigger issues beneath the surface. Among these problems, Kyagulanyi mentions that over 85% of the Ugandan population is under 35 years old, but that most cabinet ministers are over 70; he sees this imbalance as a foundational for a government that is disconnected from the people it serves. Kyagulanyi also indicates that the message being sent by Museveni’s extended presidency is one of exclusivity that undermines the hope, freedom, and process of democracy rather than helping to prepare the next generation to serve their country well.

 

 

*Picture is property of bbc.co.uk