This sounds like the beginning of an absurd joke; instead, it’s the genesis of a dream—and you’re invited to join!
Activate your imagination for a moment:
You are an orphan. You are infected with or affected by AIDS. You are living in rural Uganda. You know that education is the key to a better life and that it will enable you to pursue your dreams. One day, you learn that someone across the world has decided to love YOU by funding your meals, paying for your medical care, and enabling your education!
Despite this opportunity, one obstacle remains: you have to walk TEN MILES to get to and from school each day.
If you’re walking at a brisk 4 mph, that’s more than 2 hours of walking. More reasonably, a 3 mph pace requires more than 3 hours spent walking.
For our students, this trek is physically draining, which minimizes the effort and focus they have left over for their studies. Furthermore, the amount of time they spend walking makes them vulnerable to kidnapping, abuse, and disease.
This is where the bus comes in.
Common sense, right? Walking this far daily is unreasonable and dangerous. So we’re going to pick our students up and drop them off. This will not only transform an hours-long journey into one that occupies only a matter of minutes—it will also keep our orphans safer and allow them to invest more energy in their academic work.
This is where Mt. Kilimanjaro comes in.
The thing about a bus is that it costs money, and the thing about money is that we needed to find a way to raise it.
We thought the tallest mountain in Africa might catch your attention, so ROWAN launched Good Summits—a campaign that enables members of the outdoor community to combine their passion for adventure with a good cause.
Over the course of 15 days, we will be traveling to Uganda, witnessing and participating in what ROWAN is doing in the villages, and conquering the highest free-standing mountain in the world in order to raise awareness and money for our students’ transportation to school.
This is where you come in.
If you’re interested in harnessing your physical energy, available resources, and hopefulness for the sake and safety of ROWAN’s orphans, we want you to join our dream! There are several ways you can get involved: of course, you can join the expedition that will involve hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro; you can donate gear for other hikers; or you can set aside some money to help purchase the bus!
The proceeds of this effort will enable ROWAN to fund safe, reliable transportation for hundreds of children pursuing an education.
If you’re interested in visiting ROWAN villages and joining the ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, learn more HERE or go ahead and fill out an application! If you aren’t able to participate but still want to be involved, please don’t hesitate to contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all of your help!
The story of how a simple sponsorship blossomed into a friendship
Corissa Morrison is a nurse from Southern California and has been a dear friend to ROWAN for many years. Recently, she went to the village for two weeks to assist our newly opened Hope Clinic! While there, she had the opportunity to spend time with her sponsored child, Maliza, and her family.
Here are Corissa’s reflections on the day she met Maliza:
“It was such a joyous, long-awaited day—[I was finally] able to meet Maliza after two years of writing to each other! It was a beautiful and overwhelming moment [as I visited] with her and her family in their home. We sat down, chatted, got to know each other a little more, laughed, talked about nursing, and cried together.”
Corissa also spoke with ROWAN about the Lord’s sovereignty and a passion she shares with Maliza:
“We couldn’t stop holding hands. It’s amazing how the Lord works so perfectly and placed us together because she wants to be a nurse one day. She is at the top of her class—she is motivated and dedicated to succeed in order to come back and help the people in her village. I feel so proud to know her and to watch her grow as she follows her dreams. It was one of my favorite days—truly a day in the books I will always remember!”
The sole purpose of sponsorship is not just to send $38 across the world. It’s about so much more than a financial transaction—it is about creating real relationships between some of the world’s most marginalized, vulnerable people and those who have the heart and resources to help them.
Are you interested in empowering widows and orphans to become self-reliant? For only $38 per month, you can make a significant difference. This comes down to just $1.26 per day! For more information, click here!
These men have ventured lovingly into the void of Uganda’s most vulnerable people
Why do they do it? They have no familial or legal obligation to serve ROWAN’s orphans and widows; they easily could have said, “Not my problem.” They didn’t. They don’t have to stay, but they do.
For these men and others not pictured, being on staff is no regular day job. They have stepped in as loving, surrogate fathers to all of our women and children. They give all they can and love them as if they are their own. They contribute significantly as they foster an environment where our women feel safe, secure, and loved by their brothers in Christ. In addition to their commitment to embody Christ’s love to these widows and orphans, their character and behavior are also establishing a new, honorable standard for the treatment of vulnerable women in their society.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” -James 1:27
We are currently reaching over 30 villages with over 300 widows. If you’re interested in helping us broaden our impact, consider making a donation or joining the sponsorship program!
ROWAN supports widows and orphans with no cut off age until they are able to sustain themselves. We see students finish school and begin their first jobs; we train widows on starting their own businesses, saving their money, and taking care of their families. You get to be a vital part of their journey!
Education in Africa: From Horror to Hope
It’s June 16th—the International Day of the African Child!
Beginning in 1991, the African Union designated this day as such, setting it aside to honor the students who were massacred during the Soweto Uprising of 1976. During the uprising, South African students marched for their right to a quality education in their own language. They argued that trying to understand a government-enforced foreign language detracted from their ability to grasp complex concepts. Tragically, the students met a violent police force, and many of them sacrificed their lives for what they knew to be their right: education.
The response of the African Union signified that they were willing to employ their grief as the catalyst for change and hope. Ultimately, they began to fight for children’s rights and empowerment—particularly for their right to a quality education.
While these efforts have made a significant difference, in many places, education is still a rare privilege—not a guarantee. But for ROWAN’s orphans and widows, it is.
We recognize that an education often precedes an escape from poverty. Not only this, but education also significantly reduces the probability of contracting AIDS.
100% of the orphans that graduate with ROWAN find and hold a sustainable job for their futures. So far, we have 11 college graduates who are now employed in a variety of fields. Some are lawyers, artists, and teachers; others have pursued their dreams to work in agricultural, radio, engineering, and more!
Made possible by each donor who funds a sponsorship, ROWAN prioritizes and enables the education of orphans and widows. To learn more about how you can join us, CLICK HERE