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Christmas Week with ROWAN

December 5-10,2010
Sports. Christmas cookies. Debate. Bible class. Christmas card making. Music. Drama. Annual Christmas celebration. Cake. Balloons. Gifts. This week was full of festive activities that the ROWAN community had never seen before! A volunteer team from Kampala joined Pastor Paul, Kelsey, Christine and ROWAN staff in celebrating Christmas in Mawanga. Two full days were spent with the children exposing them to a variety of new games, stories, dances, and music- all to be presented at the annual Christmas Party that was held on December 9th. Between the speeches made by the beneficiaries about the impact of ROWAN, the Christmas carols from the children, the dancing by the Kampala team, and number of new believers coming to Christ, there was a moment when one could feel the hope in the air. When George (a teacher living with HIV) stood up and declared he had Hope in Christ; when Mary (a widow) stood up and declared she has a family in ROWAN; when a Mariam, a secondary student (orphan) stood up and announced her miracle of going to a good school- there wasn’t a dry eye at the party.  It ended in the best way possible: with ROWAN competing in a football match against the local team. The opponents assumed they would beat ROWAN with their eyes closed, but ROWAN took the lead 2-1 and the village was in shock! What a gift that the children will be sharing about for years to come.
Merry Christmas to everyone in the ROWAN family. Thank you for yet another year of carrying the flag of hope in Mawanga. The best is yet to come.

Post Author: Kelsey

World AIDS Day, Dec 1

Campaigners from around the world came together on World AIDS Day, 1 December, to commemorate the theme of universal access and human rights.
The 2010 Global Update on the AIDS Epidemic by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) suggests that significant progress has been made in advancing access to HIV prevention, treatment, support and care over the past ten years, but notes that human rights approaches are crucial to further progress. (
For ROWAN, it’s more than a human rights issue–it’s a spiritual issue. In the village of Mawanga, ROWAN joins Compassion International, local church leaders, and Mawanga clinic to march to the beat of Hope. Community members were encouraged to go for free testing sponsored by the local community and over 300 were tested! Pastor Paul and Kelsey Young spoke about how ROWAN exists to fight alongside them in the battle against HIV/AIDS, however possible. ROWAN children stood up and spoke about what AIDS has done to their families:
AIDS does not discriminate nor segregate, young and old, ignorant and informed ones, black and whites- there’s no mercy. See how you took our parents and guardians with no relatives. Grandparents you left behind are too weak and poor to give support and protection. Why to live? Why to live? Honestly, we are young orphans living with HIV with no support in our homes. The challenges. The stage of suffering we have-–child abuse, child sacrifice–who will rescue us? Parents, local leaders, church, NGO’s where are you? You are the solution to give support and protection. Please impress our rights. Remember helping the poor is an act of worship.
(To watch a video of the children, click here: )

Post Author: Kelsey

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