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Ripples of Goodness

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

This is Josan Mpina.  As a child, he was orphaned and faced an uncertain future until help came in the form of sponsorship through ROWAN from the Beason family.  The Beason’s helped fund Josan’s education and in February of 2020, he was able to graduate from the mason skills and building practices program.  To celebrate this huge accomplishment, the Beason’s bought Josan the tools he would need to be able to work in his new industry.

In a letter he wrote at the end of his sponsorship, Josan spoke of his gratitude for ROWAN, its leadership, and his beloved sponsors.  He also expressed his appreciation for the love that he, “a needy orphan” received and for the fact that people were willing to advocate “for a person like me.”  

When we say that we are grateful for each of our sponsors and donors, we are speaking words from our hearts.  Your help allows ROWAN to be able to do the work that our Savior exemplified during his mortal ministry – that of loving and serving our fellow men.  What a blessing that is.  What a blessing you are.  

We wish each of you a beautiful Easter filled with the peace that is found in Christ.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Uganda COVID-19 update and how ROWAN is trying to help.

COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people across the globe and Uganda is not exempt from its reach.  According to the JHV CSSE COVID-19 Data, to date, Uganda has a total of 40,719 COVID-19 cases and has had 334 deaths from COVID-19.  While the number of cases in Uganda has, thankfully, remained relatively low, COVID-19 has affected many people and industries there. But March brought with it new hope in the fight against COVID-19 in the form of antibody testing and a vaccination rollout. 

                                                                                (Photo by Reuters)

In mid-March, SABC News reported that the University of Makerere in Uganda, with funding help from the French government, was able to create a COVID-19 rapid antibody test that does not require the use of a laboratory or electricity to work.  This new COVID-19 antibody testing system will give people living in remote or rural areas across Africa the ability to test for COVID-19 activity in their area.  This new testing system requires only a finger prick for a blood draw and has been shown to have a 70% accuracy rate so far.

                                                       (Photo by Nicholas Kajoba/Xinhua)

In addition to the new COVID-19 antibody testing system, Uganda began a vaccination rollout campaign on March 10th.  Uganda is using the Astra Zeneca vaccine and it will be made available to groups of people in phases.  

As in other communities, it is the widows that ROWAN serves that are most at risk from COVID-19. Thankfully, COVID-19 has not yet reached the area where ROWAN is headquartered.  We are working to be proactive in the fight against COVID-19 and are setting up a gathering for our widows to meet with a doctor who will explain more about COVID-19 and the things they can do to help prevent it.  The doctor will also go over the vaccine, and its pros and cons, with the widows.  ROWAN is currently working on a COVID-19 plan of action for the people in the village.  We are setting up a phone number that people can call if they are feeling any COVID-19 symptoms.  When a person calls this phone number, a representative from ROWAN will talk them through things they can do that will aid in their recovery as well as the steps they need to take to help keep those around them healthy.  We will also get them tested for COVID-19.  

We know we don’t have all the answers about COVID-19 and we will be upfront about this with all those who contact our ROWAN COVID-19 helpline.  We just want those who reach out, and those who need help, to know that they are not alone; we will be there for, and with, them.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Making a difference – one scoop at a time.

Little Man Ice Cream, in Denver, Colorado, is a company that acts on its belief that businesses should make a difference for good in their community and in the world at large.  They are true to their commitment to, “make a difference both at the local and global levels,” and they lead the way in supporting local non-profits in Colorado for a larger cause.  Little Man Ice Cream has a program called Scoop for Scoop that has helped feed people around the world.  Since 2008, the Scoop for Scoop program has allowed Little Man Ice Cream to help provide close to 1.5 million scoops worth of food staples to people throughout the world. 

ROWAN has been a grateful recipient of funding from Little Man Ice Cream’s Scoop for Scoop program since 2014.  In the past, we used this money to help fund our Saturday food program which provided meals for 130 children on Saturdays, as well as weekly bags of food for 100 families in our Ugandan community.  Starting in 2021, all the funding we receive from the Scoop for Scoop program will go toward our learning center goal of providing food to children who are home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

In using his father’s nickname as the business name, Paul Tamburello, the founder of Little Man Ice Cream, set the tone for a business run with heart and one that strives to truly make a difference for good.  We at ROWAN are incredibly grateful for Little Man Ice Cream and for the support the funding from their Scoop for Scoop program provides.  It is because of the support and funding from incredible businesses like Little Man Ice Cream, as well as each one of you, that ROWAN can move forward in our work.

If you ever find yourself in the Denver, Colorado area, make sure to stop by Little Man Ice Cream’s fun 28-foot tall cream can-shaped location at 2620 16th Street, and enjoy a delicious scoop, or two or three, of their homemade ice cream.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Why I choose ROWAN

I have a daughter who is my “why” and my reason for trying each day to be, and do, better.  She is my greatest joy and my surprise miracle.  Becoming a mother opened my heart in ways I never knew possible and I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  Bringing a child into your life changes your priorities, your way of looking at life, and adds to that innate desire we have as humans to make things better. 

My husband and I had been married many years before our surprise miracle arrived.  During that time, I looked for ways to support children and families around the world and in that search I came across ROWAN.  As I read through the information online, I knew I had finally found the organization I had been looking for.  My heart melted, and tears filled my eyes, as I read of a beautiful baby girl and her grandmother who were in need of sponsorship and I quickly signed up to help sponsor them.  That was almost ten years ago, and I have been a supporter of ROWAN ever since.

What do I love about ROWAN?  I love that I am able to donate what I can afford and that I can be sure my donation is being used to directly help people in Uganda.  I love that ROWAN strives to help widows and children better their lives through education and the opportunities that brings.  I love that ROWAN follows the teaching found in Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (KJV)  And I love that ROWAN is led by love.  

My name is Kirsten, and I am grateful to say that I am a ROWAN supporter.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Learning Center Update

Part II

Children in Uganda, like many others across the globe, have not had access to in-person learning since March of 2020. The effects of this lack of access to education are beginning to show; we have seen some children losing interest in school, older girls are getting married or have become pregnant, and older boys have left home and taken low-paying jobs rather than wait for schools to start back up.  It breaks our hearts to see children struggling and leaving the learning path.  As we mentioned in our post last week, the Ugandan government is planning to start reopening schools for some of the older children in March, but it will be a slow roll-out and a lot of children will still be left at home with no access to education.  To this end, ROWAN has been hard at work on a strategic plan for the new Learning Center we introduced you to last week. 

Our local ROWAN members met with the primary children last week and grouped them into four groups:

          Nursery age children and those who would soon be joining that age group

          Primary 1 and Primary 2

          Primary 3 and Primary 4

          Primary 5 and Primary 6

We will hold classes for our Primary groups on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with one group coming per day.  We will hold classes for the older children not yet in public school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  This schedule allows us to give a large group of children access to in-person learning while also giving them a chance to spend time with their peers and friends. 

Our local ROWAN team and board will continue to monitor the Ugandan government’s school reopening plan and will adjust ROWAN’s Learning Center schedule accordingly.  The pandemic, and the necessary responses to it, will require our Learning Center plan to stay flexible; there are so many unknowns.   Questions like, “Will the children need extra help to catch up to grade-level curriculum and How often will the schedule need to be adjusted?” are questions that only time can answer.  The one thing we know for certain is that it is vital for these children to feel supported and to stay motivated about their education.  With your help, prayers, and donations, we are taking steps to do just that. 


Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Curious About Our Learning Center?

An Update on the ROWAN Learning Center, Part 1

Just as it is in other countries around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect families in Uganda. The Ugandan government announced last week that schools for older children may begin opening in March. While this is good news for older children, younger children in nursery through Primary Level 5 will still have to remain at home.

What’s the Learning Center and when will it open?

Our ROWAN team in Uganda has been working tirelessly to meet needs and fill in the gaps during this COVID crisis. Due to the hard work of our board and team in Uganda as well as the generous donations we received during our Christmas fundraiser, we are now able to move forward with a way to meet the educational needs of these younger students through opening The ROWAN Learning Center for children in nursery through Primary Level 5 (which is similar to 5th grade in the U.S.).

We are working with the local government and elementary schools to get our Learning Center up and running by the end of February! The learning center will be based in our Hall of Hope building and will have four teachers on staff.

How will it work?

Along with helping to make the Learning Center possible, the generous donations we received from our sponsors also cover regular meals for the orphans, all of the necessary school supplies, sanitizing and hygenic supplies, bus rides on the ROWAN bus to and from school, and new school uniforms!

Sharing the exciting update with ROWAN orphans!

Earlier this week, primary children (aged 4 to 12) were able to gather at the Hall of Hope for the first time since March of 2020. We picked the children up from six different zones using the ROWAN bus that our sponsors helped fund!

ROWAN bus arriving to pick up the children

It was a joyous day, and Pastor Sam Kuloba said that the children were very excited to all be together again. Our local ROWAN team plans to hold a similar gathering later this week for the older children. 


Nursery group meeting

Stay tuned for further updates!

We will continue to post updates on the Learning Center as it progresses. If you would like to continue to support ROWAN in our work at the Learning Center, please click here and select “Education and Training” under the “Purpose” dropdown box.

The children having breakfast together for the first time in a year

We appreciate all the support and love you, our sponsors and friends, give so willingly. Please continue to pray for our board and staff in Uganda as they work faithfully to make sure the children are able to continue their education with love and hope in Christ! 

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

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