Awareness Category

Events and Supporters

March 15th, 2017

Celebrate the Women of Uganda!

Last week women around the globe celebrated International Women’s Day!
According to www.internationalwomensday.com, the ten International Women’s Day values are:

*Dignity *Hope *Equality *Collaboration *Tenacity
*Appreciation *Respect *Empathy *Forgiveness *Justice

 
The women that we are privileged to work with in Mawanga and surrounding communities embody these qualities. So many of them have overcome major adversity and have grown to be respected in their villages. They have forgiven wrongs against them and they strive for equality for themselves and their daughters. They work together to ease the burdens of others and they work hard to accomplish their goals and dreams.

We have seen their lives transformed by the love of Jesus — now they have hope for the future.

 

 
We have seen our women reach their savings goals, after being equipped with the training to put aside a little bit each week. We have seen that grow into enterpreneurship and they have taught us so much about persevering in order to accomplish what they set out to do. These women are my heroes and some of the most giving people I have ever encountered.

Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed.
Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential.
-(http://www.unwomen.org)

 

 
We encourage them to pursue education and to learn new skills in order to improve their earning potential, but we strive to foster sustainable practices. We rejoice with our women and girls who graduate with a degree, build a successful business in their community or band together to rebuild houses. So many stories of hope and victory have emerged from this ministry ROWAN has in Uganda.

Denying the rights of women and girls is not only wrong in itself; it has a serious social and economic impact that holds us all back. Gender equality has a transformative effect that is essential to fully functioning communities, societies and economies.
Women’s access to education and health services has benefits for their families and communities that extend to future generations. An extra year in school can add up to 25 per cent to a girl’s future income.
-(http://www.unwomen.org)

 

 

We would love for YOU to partner with us as we continue to provide more opportunities for these amazing women! Help us empower these people.

And if you ever get the chance to visit Mawanga — know that you will be welcomed and loved by these dear ladies. Everyone who has experienced it knows there is nothing like being welcomed into the village.
 
Sponsor a Widow or Orphan Today!

November 30th, 2016

World AIDS Day 2016: Access Equity Rights Now!

“World AIDS Day is observed each year on December 1 and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.” (www.worldaidsday.org) This past July the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) was held in Durban, South Africa. The theme this year is Access Equity Rights Now — in other words, everyone, regardless of their economic situation, gender, geographical location, etc should receive the same opportunities to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.
 

21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), Durban, South Africa. Sunrise Branding Images of Durban ICC Photo©International AIDS Society/Abhi Indrarajan

21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), Durban, South Africa.
Sunrise Branding Images of Durban ICC
Photo©International AIDS Society/Abhi Indrarajan


 

Access Equity Rights Now

When Nelson Mandela addressed the 12,000 participants at the XIII International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, no one knew what the future held for the AIDS response. Access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs in 2000 was sharply limited, and donor spending on AIDS activities amounted only to a small fraction of current funding levels.
 
More than a decade later, the global AIDS response has been transformed. We’ve reached the goal of providing 15 million people with access to life-saving HIV treatment by 2015. Additionally, UNAIDS estimates that from 2002 to 2012, expanded access to HIV treatment averted 4.2 million deaths globally and contributed to a 58% reduction in new HIV infections.
 
However, many of the obstacles that impeded effective HIV prevention and treatment programs in 2000 still exist today. More than 60% of people living with HIV remain without antiretroviral therapy; including women and girls…
(source)

 
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Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to work together and reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services.

Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to strengthen the commitment to HIV research evidence-based interventions.

Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to all HIV stakeholders to unite and overcome injustices caused by violence and the exclusion of people on the basis of gender, class, race, nationality, age, geographic location,
sexual orientation and HIV status.

Access Equity Rights Now is a call to action to repeal laws that infringe on people’s human rights and deny communities the ability to participate in the world as equals.

Access Equity Rights Now reminds us that all our gains will be lost if we do not continue to push forward and build a strong global movement to change the course of the epidemic.
(www.AIDS2016.org)

 
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In eastern and southern Africa, for example, three quarters of all new HIV infections among adolescents aged 10–19 years are among adolescent girls. Adolescent girls are often prevented from accessing HIV services owing to gender inequality, a lack of age-appropriate HIV services, stigma, a lack of decision-making power and gender-based violence. In 2014, only 57% of countries globally (of 104 countries reporting) had an HIV strategy that included a specific budget for women. It is estimated that worldwide only three in 10 adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 years have comprehensive and correct knowledge about HIV. Reaching adolescent girls and young women, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, will be a key factor in ending the AIDS epidemic. (www.unaids.org)

 
We are passionate about bridging the gap, providing education and necessary treatment through our programs in ROWAN and have seen so many success stories. But the unfortunate truth remains that there is still discrimination and basic human rights denied to so many. Help us to continue to reach out to Mawanga and surrounding communities to share the love of Jesus and give hope for the future while serving this demographic by taking care of medical, social and spiritual needs in their lives.
 
Donate to ROWAN!

November 3rd, 2016

2016 Top Rated Non-Profit Organization

We can’t do what we do without our supporters and are truly thankful for each donor, volunteer and partner in this ministry.

 
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God is so good to us! For another year we have been awarded as one of the top rated non-profit organizations on greatnonprofits.org Here is a sampling of the reviews we have received recently.
 

During my time living in Uganda I had the privilege of spending time with ROWAN. The leadership are faithful, authentic, and serve with integrity. I experienced a community marked by joy and hope. The leadership and staff of ROWAN are inspiring the whole community to pursue lives of wholeness.
~Volunteer

 

ROWAN is a reputable organization empowering the local community towards transformation, and it’s happening! Local leader Pastor Paul is a man of integrity and humility – and after 15 years of serving in ROWAN the fruit has come! Highly recommend!
~Donor

 

I have watched ROWAN grow from a dream and passion to a fully operational and professional international non-profit. They combine a rare combination of indigenous led on the ground programming with US based support and accountability. The program is driven and owned by local leaders with “skin in the game”. ROWAN reflects the best of a local culturally appropriate approach that is designed for social and economic sustainability.
~Expert

Read more reviews about ROWAN and add yours here!

October 12th, 2016

South Sudanese Refugee Crisis in Uganda

Conflict in parts of South Sudan continues, and as a result, hundreds of thousands of people are being displaced to neighboring countries. Many of those refugees face food shortages, life-threatening illnesses and the fear of imminent violence. Other difficulties include an abrupt halt to education, the hyperinflation of food and necessities and inability to receive much-needed medical care due to various obstacles. According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, “one million South Sudanese children are not able to attend school, and nearly five million people face severe food shortages.” Even those who are fortunate enough to escape to another country are struggling because of these factors.
 
south-sudanese-refugees
(photo credit)
 

-South Sudanese man- “Since the fighting started again in Juba, I had to send my wife and my six-year-old son to Uganda. I don’t want them to be here. Life [here] is not only insecure but also very expensive, while in Uganda, even as refugees, they have access to health and education. When I was a child, in 1989, I fled South Sudan because of the war [1983 to 2005] and spent more than 20 years working in Khartoum and Darfur. In 2012, I came back hoping the independence would give us a better life. But all that hope is lost now. Selling vegetables in my small shop gives me around 7,000 pounds every month, which I need to convert to US dollars to send to my family in Uganda. With the current exchange rate, I barely get 100 dollars – three or four times less than [only a few] months ago. The currency depreciation has made supporting my family harder. Food prices are getting ridiculous in the market. For the past few months, they are three, four or even five times more expensive. Before, one banana used to cost 10 pounds. Now, it’s 50! How are people going to buy from my shop? I never rest. I work all week – more than 10 hours a day – just to keep surviving. It makes no sense to me. I’m considering leaving South Sudan for good and joining my family in Uganda. I think it will be better for all of us.”
(http://allafrica.com/stories/201609151142.html)

 
ayilo-refugees-gathering-wfp-rations-750x400
(photo credit)
 
About a month ago, 1,700 South Sudanese were arriving in Uganda each day. That number is rapidly growing and funds are getting thin. There is a push to register all of the refugees in Uganda in order to secure safety and peace of mind for residents near the transit centres. And rations have been cut in half, just so the demand for food can be met. Many pregnant women who have fled South Sudan are fighting to keep themselves and their unborn babies healthy due to the rapid increase in population at the temporary housing for refugees. They receive the same rations as everyone else, and often that is just not enough to sustain them and the life growing inside.
 

Over the past three months, an average of more than 2,000 South Sudanese a day have crossed into Uganda, seeking safety from bloodshed at home. Aid groups and government agencies are scrambling to shelter and feed everyone. The influx has not abated since fighting reignited in the South Sudan capital of Juba in July. To date, more than 1 million South Sudanese—mostly women and children—have fled to neighboring countries. Uganda has the most—432,619 as of last week. And the crisis is nearing a tipping point. “We have a shortfall of about $27 million for the next six months,” says Cheryl Harrison, World Food Program Uganda deputy country director.
When I ask WFP’s Harrison what the solution is, she replies with an equally disquieting answer. Since the organization relies on donations, it has few options when donations run short of need. That’s why rations were cut in August. “We wanted to make sure that the available resources stretched,” she says. “It’s not good for any family to have no food for an entire month. Better that households can plan a little bit and have less food.” In fact, that decision had already been made before fighting resumed in South Sudan in July. “The population of refugees that were in Uganda, and had been in Uganda for a few years, was already stretching our resources for food assistance.”
(http://www.undispatch.com/south-sudan-refugees-uganda/)

 
These refugees are people with families and hopes and dreams much like our own. They have been ripped from their homes, torn away from family and face insurmountable obstacles on a daily basis. Would you join us in praying for the leadership of this war-torn country? Pray that God would bring peace and people would eventually be able to return to their homeland. Pray for these precious people; that they would receive the nutrition, medical care and education they need. And finally, pray about helping to support the organizations providing aid and relief in these uncertain times in South Sudan. Want to know more how YOU can make a difference? Read more about the conflict in South Sudan here.

August 25th, 2016

#OrangeDay — What’s it all about?

The 25th of every month is #orange day — promoting awareness and prevention of violence against women and girls.

Action Plan for Orange Day, 25 August 2016: Safe and secure working environments for women and girls
 
UNTF_OrangeSplotch-EN
 

“Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act.”

~ Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
 

The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women has proclaimed the 25th day of each month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls, for the UNiTE campaign. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women), but every month.

 
We see this in Uganda with the way women and girls are treated by their family members, and society as a whole. While progress has been made in the past years, there are still many injustices and violence being perpetrated. Widows have been threatened with harm or death; some have survived being burned while they slept, others an attempt to collapse their house on them. Girls are often forced to marry young or be servants in the homes of their older siblings. We fight with them for justice, to change the perception that women and girls are a commodity, and to help them understand how loved they are despite what they have heard.
 
We encourage our widows to educate themselves and rise above their circumstances to take charge of their lives and learn a skill to support themselves. We send our young girls and women to school so they will be equipped to reach their goals and make a change in their country. We share the love of Jesus and teach how He views women and girls — beloved and worthy of acceptance.
 
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Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
 
Decades of mobilizing by civil society and women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. An unprecedented number of countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence. Challenges remain however in implementing these laws, limiting women and girls’ access to safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.
See more.

 
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So, what can we do to make a difference and effect change here and across the world?

 Orange your work place! As long as your employer agrees, wear orange to work or
university and encourage your colleagues to do the same to show your support for zero
tolerance of violence against women and girls in the work place.
 Find out what policies are in place at your work place or university. Do they fulfill the
recommendations in the Women’s Empowerment Principles? If there are gaps, what
steps can be taken?
 If you are in the business community, find out if your company supports the Women’s
Empowerment Principles!
 Learn from the Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women’s guidelines on
drafting legislation on workplace sexual harassment, and share with policy makers
(http://www.unwomen.org/)

 
Read more about how YOU can help ROWAN with our education and training to break this cycle of violence against women and girls.
Help us educate our women & girls!