#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
 
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“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!

Savings Multiplied

Contribute to Micro Enterprise Projects Here
 
Time to highlight another savings group! We are so grateful to God for the evidence of His goodness through these programs. Read about how people’s lives have been drastically impacted in a matter of a few years.
 
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Yesu Amala Village Savings group – Bunalwenyi Zone

 
This savings group began in 2013, with a a membership of 29 members. Starting with 2,000 Uganda shillings as their minimum saving amount and 10,000 as the maximum, they were able to build that number to collect 2 million shillings. The following year, in 2014 they collected a revenue of 2.7 million, while in 2015, they managed to harvest 3 million shillings. The savings continue to grow and abound!
 
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For 2016 they have a target of 3.5 million shillings. The cumulative effect of these savings over the years has resulted in:

– Children being educated
– Land being purchased
– Proper nutrition and medication being provided

These achievements are amazing and people keep joining the savings group because they want to be a part of the excitement. We’d love to have YOU join us in this venture as well — learn more about our micro-enterprise programs here!
 
Contribute to Micro Enterprise Projects Here

Better than a Gold Medal

Follow your heart. Reach for the stars. Pursue your passions.
Never give up on your dreams.

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Uganda in the Olympics: Rio 2016

Track & Field
– Stephen Kiprotich – Solomon Mutai – Halima Nakaayi
– Joshua Cheptegei – Jacob Araptany – Peruth Chemutai
– Benjamin Kiplagat – Timothy Toroitich – Stella Chesang
– Jackson Kiprop – Jacob Kiplimo – Juliet Chekwei
– Ronald Musagala – Nyakisi Adero – Winnie Nanyando
– Phillip Kipyeko – Moses Kurong
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Swimming
– Jamila Lunkuse
– Joshua Tibatemwa
Boxing
– Ronald Serugo
– Kennedy Katende
 
These twenty-one athletes who are representing Uganda in the Olympics did just that. They have spent countless hours training and have overcome many obstacles in order to follow this road. They sacrificed and gave it their all and now they are in Rio to show the world what they can do. Of course, the goal is to bring back medals for themselves and their country, but even if they never make it to the podium they have already accomplished so much and made their country proud.
 
But they couldn’t have done it without a support system. Each one of these olympic-hopefuls has someone cheering them on. Whether it be a coach, parent, community or country as a whole — they have a team rooting for their success.
 
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And that is exactly what we want for our orphans and widows in ROWAN. They too, have overcome great obstacles and are following their dreams to be self-sustaining in the future.

Belonging and feeling loved and being able to have a brighter future is better than winning a gold medal for these dear ones.

We want every orphan to be a beloved child and every widow to be seen as a leader. They have unlimited potential, and we can empower, educate and equip them to reach their goals. Won’t you consider joining our team and cheering these precious ones on to success? For less than $40/month YOU can make a difference in the future of Uganda and impact a life for eternity! Find out more about sponsorship here.
 
Sponsor today!

Celebrate International Youth Day!

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Youth Leading Sustainability is the theme of International Youth Day 2016!

This year, ‪#‎YouthDay‬ focuses on the leading role of young people in achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production. Be part of these efforts in achieving the ‪#‎GlobalGoals‬ and celebrate International Youth Day!
Learn more here.

 
“Young people are not only our future — they are our present. Our planet has never been so young, with 1.8 billion young women and men. They are the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open-minded generation the world has ever seen. They are powerful agents of positive change, essential to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is not enough to hope for a better tomorrow — we must act now. Change is underway, and millions of citizens are already transforming the way we produce, consume, behave and communicate…
 
Optimism and confidence do not mean we minimize the challenges ahead. Most young people live today in least developed countries, and shoulder the heaviest burden of conflicts and poverty. There can be no sustainable development if they remain on the side-lines, and I call upon all Member States and UNESCO partners to support their initiatives, to give them voice, to let them grow, to shape together the future of dignity that we are building today.”
~Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
 
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International Youth Day is on 12 August! Events to celebrate ‪#‎YouthDay‬ will take place all over the world and will recognize the importance of youth efforts, collaboration and participation in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. (https://www.facebook.com/UN4Youth/)

 
ROWAN has always been focused on sustainability and educating and empowering individuals to support themselves and their families. We are in process of working to maintain staff salaries in a sustainable way and working towards goals to help our villagers provide for themselves. Currently, we even have one of our young people participating in training to teach sustainability in farming crops…which he will then share with the community. Educating our youth is a big part of this initiative — and how we equip them to be change agents in their country!
 
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Won’t you pray with us and partner together in this mission to raise our youth to be leaders in sustainability? There are ways each and every person can get involved in promoting sustainability through consumption and production. Whether you are on your couch at home, or desire to change your community and the world through networking in your neighborhood, this has some great ideas to implement into your daily life!
 
So whatever avenue you choose, let’s celebrate International Youth Day together!

One more thing: share with us about a young person in your life who inspires you by commenting below.

 
Help us educate our youth!

Dance Fitness Brings Together Faith and Fellowship

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Today I want to share about Revive Fit Studio — ROWAN’s newest business partner!

I interviewed Megan, one of the co-founders and owners of this barre studio to get a better idea of who they are, what they stand for and how they are striving to impact lives through business.
 
1) What was the inspiration behind starting this business?

The first — as I did more and more research about starting a fitness business with a mission, I found that Colorado is one of the healthiest States, (but it was also) ranked 48th in the nation (for) mental wellness, with some of the highest suicide rates. If people are healthy physically, but suffering mentally, there’s a tremendous problem, there. The only offering that can help with wellness of mind, body, AND spirit is Jesus.
 
Secondly, I felt called to a business that was geared mostly toward women (though all are welcome). Jesus always comes first, but I also don’t feel entirely healthy when I compromise my workouts. Jesus can meet us in the midst of our workout! As a busy-body, I discovered this truth — that I cannot be the ONLY woman out there that feels like I am competing for time with Jesus, friends and working out. Thus, Revive Fit Studio was birthed.
 
Lastly, and probably the one that hits closest to home for me is that business CAN make a GIGANTIC impact on society and the world. The Lord showed me (while visiting a savings group at ROWAN in Uganda) that business…makes the biggest difference to leverage people OUT of poverty. If we want to make a difference for our brothers and sisters around the world, it takes time, sustainable investment, and business solutions!

 
View More: http://michaellaphotography.pass.us/revive-fit-studio
 
2) What is barre and why dance fitness?

Barre is a strengthening fitness that stems from ballet, but you absolutely DO NOT need to have any sort of dance background to take the class. In a barre class, you can expect small weights (2 lbs, 3 lbs, 5 lbs…) and a lot of repetition and short/isolated movements.
 
We chose dance fitness because I LOVE to dance! Right along with my passion for dance comes my natural tendency to praise the Lord while dancing! The last reason is purely fitness-related. Dance fitness is a great compliment to barre…you get the muscle confusion through the cardio and toning of both workouts.
 
We recently added our “Breathe, Stretch, Pray” class, which is a phenomenal alternative to yoga. You get the same benefits of the strengthening poses, as well as 15 minutes of prayerful stretching and 15 minutes of your own time on your mat with the Lord. It’s truly a unique experience.

 
View More: http://michaellaphotography.pass.us/revive-fit-studio
 
3) How do you hope to see Revive Fit Studio impact your community?

Revive Fit Studio’s vision is to bring Heaven to Earth…no small feat, but we dream big dreams because we know we have a BIG God. We pray bold prayers because He listens and answers. We want to see suicide rates reduced in Colorado, real friendships created and maintained, encouragement in our fitness and life goals, strengthened families at home, poverty reduced and so much prayer!

 
4) What has been your biggest struggle in this journey?

Getting the word out! I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. I’ve also heard how difficult it is to start a business. Yet, this is different. It’s much, MUCH harder than I thought. I truly believe and KNOW with all my heart that God has led us to this very place on this journey. I have been following his “stepping stones” that He lays before me every step of the way. Though, I know, too, that we have to be willing to step out and step forward. Now, we just need some ladies to take a leap of faith and try us out! If you are out there and any part of this mission tugs at your heart, please…take a leap of faith like we did and try a class! Every woman that has does not regret it. They say it’s not only a great workout, but also very therapeutic.

 
5) What has been your greatest victory?

There are too many to share! God’s hand is all over this business! His timing has been perfect. Kati, my business partner is one of the greatest victories of Revive Fit Studio. She grew up a professional dancer and also is a Biblical Studies major. She not only has the wisdom and knowledge to help run this business, but she also has the PASSION. I would not be able to do any of this without her.
 
I was praying and begging God for a business partner who would be a perfect compliment to my skills and someone with a dance background. Literally 30 seconds after praying this intentional prayer, Kati texted me about meeting her for coffee. Let’s just say that…turned into a business partnership one month later.

 
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6) How does Revive Fit Studio partner with ROWAN and what does that look like?

One of my favorite stories about Revive Fit Studio is how our model was created. A large part of the reason I went into business in the first place was to help alleviate and end poverty in developing countries. Last summer, I went on a missions trip with ROWAN. While in the Brussels airport for our layover, I was separated from our team and began to chat with a woman (Beverly) from Florida in the security line.
 
Kelsey at ROWAN had also exchanged contact info with Beverly…and had been invited to a meeting in downtown Denver at her brother’s office. At this meeting Beverly’s brother, Stan, started talking about sustainable business solutions with a 20% give-back model to nonprofit partners. This model is EXACTLY what I felt like God had been showing me on the ground during our trip to Uganda. It’s just that Stan had actually written it down and put numbers to it. Thus, the “Emergent” model that Stan created was birthed at Revive Fit Studio. 20% of all of our profits will go back to ROWAN to support orphans and widows in Uganda. It’s such a large part of my heart. Businesses really can make a huge impact on our world!

 

The “N” in ROWAN stands for “Network.” Partner your non profit or company with us and extend the reach of your impact! Whether your organization can donate time, money, supplies or volunteers, we need YOU!

 
Partner with us!

They are Precious in His Sight

Sponsor today!
 

“Jesus loves the little children — ALL the children of the world.”

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Sometimes this ministry of helping orphans can seem overwhelming. So many have lost one or both of their parents to disease or poverty. My heart aches for those who are hurting — specifically those who are orphaned and suffering from the life circumstances that have been dealt to them. Oh, that I could hold them close and whisper to them how much they are loved. Oh, that I could somehow end the injustices towards these poor little ones!
 
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But I know we serve a great God, a loving Father. And He sees these children and knows their hearts.

He holds them in the palm of His hand and He has a divine plan for each and every one of them.

Will you pray about being part of that plan? We have so many who are waiting for a sponsor…could it be YOU?
Learn more about how sponsorship works here!
 

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
~James 1:27~

 
Sponsor today!