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Using training from Care International in Uganda, community members have started several successful savings and loans groups to promote self-reliance and encourage others to reach their goals and follow their dreams.
From these groups we have seen many small businesses born! Our founder, Pastor Paul calls these groups “the backbone to the ministry.”
Today I want to highlight one of those groups — the Kirabo savings group. This group conducts their business by meeting together every Tuesday. The total number of members is about 30, and all of those members are part of a special group in ROWAN. Each time they meet there is a range of 2,000-10,000 Uganda shillings saved and together this group has saved a total of 3,500,000 shillings (over $3,000 usd) since they started!
George, who is also a zone leader for ROWAN, has also gone through business training. Because of the money he was able to set aside through Kirabo savings group, he was in a better position to start his mobile money business and is now making a profit.
Madina Mutesi sells second hand clothing to bring in money to provide for her family. When she started in the savings group, she had about 30,000 shillings, but that has grown to over 400,000 shillings and she now has a successful business.
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Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Less than $2 a day adds up over the years and eventually can lead to great success. Don’t underestimate the impact sponsorship can have on shaping young lives and empowering our students to succeed.
Mariam is our most recent graduate and her story is evidence of that success. She has been part of ROWAN since it officially began in 2008. She is an individual who is not afraid to speak her mind, and that started when she was young. In a culture where women do not have a strong voice, this was significant. ROWAN helped to cultivate her intelligence and confident spirit by giving her opportunities to hone these skills. Mariam always participated in ROWAN events and loved to emcee at parties and tell jokes to make people smile.
This led to a desire to pursue a degree in mass communication and journalism at Mutesa Royal University. She wants to make a difference in her nation, especially regarding speaking up for women. This past weekend she graduated with her bachelors degree and already has a job lined up at a radio station in Iganga (East Uganda). She is so thankful to her sponsor, her ROWAN family and caregiver Rebecca for supporting her and helping her to achieve her dreams.
We could not be more proud of Mariam and we know that God will use her voice to help young women just like her in the future!
Do YOU want to be a part of our success stories? There are other students waiting to be sponsored so they too can have the chance to reach their goals and effect become agents of change in their country.
Uganda generally has two seasons; wet and dry. However, due to climate changes in the past several months the dry season turned into a severe drought followed by torrential downpours that destroyed crops and homes. As a result, many are experiencing famine in Uganda — especially those in the rural areas where ROWAN serves.
Uganda is one of the countries that are greatly vulnerable to climate change impacts, in respect of climate variability including increasing temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall, heat waves, droughts, floods and storms. The regions and ecosystems across the country, like the mountain regions, the lowlands and the cattle corridor, differ in their vulnerability and adaptive capacity. In general the sectors most vulnerable to climate change impacts are agriculture, water supply, health, transport, housing and personal safety and security.
Pastor Paul, our founder usually plants a field of maize that yields enough harvest to feed our orphans every week at our Saturday program and provide for widows and families in need. But this year he has only been able to produce a tenth of that…3 bags of maize instead of 30. And already, that store has been depleted because people were hungry and came to Pastor Paul for food.
“There is no way I could look at those families sleep hungry when I had something in my store. I just saw God directing them to me, so it was very hard to say I don’t have when God was seeing some food in my store.”
~Pastor Paul Nyende
We prayed for wisdom and discernment and how to prepare for situations like this in the future. Our hearts ache to see so much excess while many are suffering, but we know God always takes care of His children. We sent out a plea for help and Little Man Ice Cream along with a few other generous donors raised $4,000! We are sending these funds to Uganda immediately and that will buy food for 200 families over the next month and a half.
But we didn’t want to stop there. We want to equip our people to be sustainable and so we are pursuing a plan to send some of our key leaders as students to Farming God’s Way Academy.
Africa is the most poverty stricken of all the world’s continents, with approximately 750 million subsistence farmers, who are living undernourished and degraded lives where their current crops yields cannot even provide for their families requirements. Billions of dollars stream into Africa every year and yet the poor are getting poorer and the numbers of poor people are increasing….
We believe that Farming God’s Way is part of God’s solution for Africa, where it can be turned around from being the “begging bowl” to the “breadbasket of the world”. Farming God’s Way is simply a tool of equipping to empower the poor to help themselves. Farming God’s Way was originated before man was on the face of the earth, when God first put His ways in place to govern His creation and their interrelations with one another. God is the master farmer who has been farming this way since the beginning and by simply following His Ways, amazing solutions to the food security and poverty crisis can be revealed.
Please pray for God’s continued provision — and if you feel led to be part of the solution, be assured your gift will be used to purchase food so our people can survive. And moving forward, we intend to educate and empower so our people can rise against poverty to provide for themselves and their families.
Give towards urgent needs!
We hear and share so many stories on a daily basis here at ROWAN. They aren’t always easy to listen to, and many times we feel helpless when we see the need. But we are called to be faithful in the task God has set before us, so we persist. And every time we are amazed at what God can do and how the gifts are multiplied. We remember that Hope Doesn’t Disappoint.
Several weeks ago we told you about Sarah and the situation she was in. She had many children to care for, and her house was destroyed by the heavy rains and wind due to a long wet season. Her home became an unsafe structure and she had nowhere to live.
Through a series of events we were able to raise money to purchase brick machines and supplies to make bricks. A team of workers was assembled and along with help from our June 2016 team, a house was constructed for Sarah and her family. The team of volunteers in Mawanga are ready to build the next home and inspired to come alongside others who are in need of a new house.
Sarah is so thankful she doesn’t have any words — just unspeakable joy.
Whether you prayed, gave, donated resources, or time and labor…God has used those actions in a mighty way and is multiplying the results. Thank you, dear friends for your part in these stories. Keep praying as we watch God provide for our people!
Together we can accomplish much more than we can alone! We continually strive to add new partnerships to our network to create a community of businesses and organizations with similar missions. Today we are highlighting one of our awesome partners, Mustard Seed Boutique. Mustard Seed Boutique is a small, online clothing store that delivers adorable high quality clothes (that are actually comfortable to wear) at great prices! Even better, the sell the love, ROWAN jewelry made in Mawanga by our mamas! Buying Mustard Seed Boutique products gives your purchasing a purpose. Head on over and check them out here!
Mothers all around the world have learned the art of multi-tasking. They carry their babies close when they are young to keep them safe, to develop a close bond; but often need to be able to do other things as well. Many women have to carry their young ones while providing for their families.
Whether it is working in the field, carrying water or taking care of their other children while holding their baby, our mamas need to feel their little one is safe while having their hands free.
Thanks to Solly Baby, 30 of our mothers in Uganda will be able to wear their babies safely in the wraps that have been donated. They just arrived, and already are being put to good use!