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A Tale of Two Houses

 

In May 2019, a summer ROWAN team visited many homes for the first time and met families common to East Uganda; families where children have lost parents and are being raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles, or older siblings. The team held and loved on these precious children. The team met Uncle Yazidi, who was caring for his nieces and nephews because they had suddenly lost their mother. Yazidi’s youngest nephew was Bruno, and he was only 9 months old. Everyone at ROWAN fell in love with this sweet baby boy!  His caregivers had no way to provide breast milk and could not afford to buy formula to feed him and give his body the nourishment it needed.  He was given black tea, because that was all they could offer him. ROWAN was able to provide him formula and secured two sponsors to help with his daily needs! This praise was met with eventual grief, as Baby Bruno’s body could not fight the irreversible damage due to malnourishment.  At the age of 11 months, Bruno passed away.

 

The loss of Baby Bruno affected and inspired many to bring the gift of nourishment and hope to expecting and new mothers and their babies.  Please read about those who are providing lactation education, formula, and care to Mawanga mothers and babies.

 

And what happened to Bruno’s siblings? Uncle Yazidi is still caring for all of Bruno’s brothers and sisters, as well as his wife and their own three children. This is a large family with many needs. ROWAN recently completed TWO house for Yazidi!  ROWAN built one house for Bruno’s older siblings, and one house for Yazidi, his wife, and all the little ones! 

Yazidi, his wife, and the little ones in front of their beautiful house!

 

These two houses were built for a total of only $5,000! This tangible, life-changing gift for this family and future families was made possible by those who’ve been giving to the ROWAN HOME BUILDING campaign. We give these donors and sponsors our very special thanks for helping HOPE CARRY ON.

 

There are many more families that need homes. If you feel God leading you to give, please visit the HOME BUILDING campaign page!

Bruno’s true siblings and their new home.

 

Thank you for helping us honor Bruno and his family.

 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life,

neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,

nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God

that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

Post Author: Shelly Casale

A New LEGACY for ROWAN

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19

A new program called The Legacy Program is beginning for widows and adult members of ROWAN! An enormous amount of prayer and planning has gone into this brand new program for Adults; these Adults are the sponsored Widows, Widowers, and Caregivers of ROWAN. 

 

The Legacy Program is a 4-year intensive certificate program for sponsored ROWAN widows and other adult members.

 

Program Details

ROWAN leaders have partnered with other reputable professionals to create a comprehensive curriculum that will encompass all aspects of education, training, care, and follow-up.

 

Each year, the Legacy adults will attend specific trainings to help them become successful and independent in many different areas of life. Our new program will focus on these key areas:

 

— Entrepreneurship & Financial Training

— Health & Wellness Training

— Literacy and Educational Training

— Family Needs & Healthy Relationships

— Life Skills Training

— Spiritual Development & Discipleship

— Social Training (addressing local issues such as women’s rights and land rights)

 

How does The Legacy Program relate to adult sponsorship?

88 adults in the first round will move through The Legacy Program together, and a new group will enroll in four years as these incredible members graduate from the program with a well-earned certificate as well as many new life and business skills.

 

LEGACY will replace our earlier adult sponsorship model. Previously, adult members of ROWAN would enter programs as beneficiaries with no end date. As co-founders Pastor Paul and Kelsey Hargadine evaluated ROWAN programs and plans during his time in the U.S. in 2020, they found that this wasn’t completely accomplishing the vision they set out for.

 

Sponsorship with no end date placed a lot of pressure on sponsors of adults in contrast with sponsors of orphans, who can see when the projected graduation date will be of the child they sponsor. It also wasn’t as effective at empowering widows toward independence and self-sufficiency as this highly structured, goal-oriented Legacy Program will be. 

 

The budget needed to facilitate The Legacy Program is already covered by Sponsorship fees! The sponsor’s financial giving also covers medical care and regular, nutritious meals throughout the 4-year program. When you support a widow, widower, or caregiver… you make Legacy a possibility in more ways than one.

 

At the end of the program, these women and men will attend a ROWAN graduation ceremony where they will be presented with their program certificate and get to celebrate all of their hard work and development. We will celebrate them as a community: our newest ROWAN Alumni adult members!

 

The Legacy Program will prepare the enrolled members extensively for this day and the ones that follow, as the certificate symbolizes thee official beginning of a self-sufficient, sustainable future. It marks the journey toward building a Legacy through entrepreneurship and a healthy lifestyle.

 

If you currently sponsor a widow, widower, or caregiver, please send them a note to encourage them on the 4-year journey ahead!

 

If you’d like to partner with us in transforming a widow’s life and making her legacy possible, please meet our adult members and sponsor one of these heroes today!

 

If you sponsor a Jajja (grandma), thank you for supporting one of the elderly women cared for by ROWAN in their final chapter of life. While they are too old to go through the entire 4-year intensive program, they will join in different aspects and experiences of The Legacy Program as much as they can! 

 

Join us in the coming months!

 

Please watch this space as we follow some Legacy members throughout their journey to see how God moves in their lives and in the ROWAN community. Thank you for praying for these women and men as they battle to care for the young ones they are raising and the generations that will come after them.

 

With your help, they are well on their way to establishing a legacy that will impact their family and community for many years to come!

 


“Yet those who wait for the Lord

Will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary.”

Isaiah 40:31

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Uganda COVID-19 Update

COVID-19

Africa numbers*

  • 54 countries in Africa affected
  • 99,433 cumulative cases in Africa
  • 3,078 reported deaths
  • 39,103 reported recoveries
  • South Africa most affected with 19,137 cases

*Data from World Health Organization, 5/20/22

 

Uganda numbers**

  • 260 reported cases (up from 126 on 5/13/20)
  • 0 deaths

**Data from World Health Organization, 5/19/20

While the number of Covid-19 cases in Uganda remain low, the number jumped 106% this last week. The country continues its response by asking people to follow guidelines and distance from others which will also keep the healthcare workforce safe.  Another example of Uganda’s response is this: The Minister of Health and State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties have established the first border health laboratory at Mutukula border entry point shared by Uganda and Tanzania. The border is crossed easily, daily, and now, given the rise of Covid-19 among truck drivers, those drivers accessing this entry point will be tested by the new health lab and receive results in 45 minutes. The lab can process 64 samples per hour.

An ongoing concern in Uganda and all of Africa is food shortages.  According to the World Health Organization on March 14, 2020:

“COVID-19 is unfolding in Africa against a backdrop of worrying levels of hunger and undernourishment, which could worsen as the virus threatens livelihoods and household economies,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Hunger and malnutrition heighten vulnerability to diseases, the consequences of which could be far reaching if not properly addressed.”

In Africa, it is estimated that one in five people is undernourished, and that 30% of children under five – approximately 59 million children – have stunted growth, greater than the global average of 21.9%. Wasting occurs in approximately 7.1% of children in Africa. The continent has the highest burden of malnutrition compared with other parts of the world, in terms of percentage of the population. While there has been little research so far into malnutrition as a co-morbidity for COVID-19, people with weakened immune systems as a result of undernourishment are at greater risk of a range of serious illnesses and so are likely to be more severely affected by the virus.

Recent estimates of food insecurity have suggested that as many as 73 million people in Africa were acutely food insecure. COVID-19 is exacerbating food shortages, as food imports, transportation and agricultural production have all been hampered by a combination of lockdowns, travel restrictions and physical distancing measures.

The burden of movement restrictions and lockdowns is being felt particularly strongly by low-income households and those working in the informal economy due to their loss of livelihoods and inability to access markets.

ROWAN continues to deliver food to the widows and orphans in the ROWAN villages.  But the need is great and we need your help.  Any gift will go directly to food for our sisters and brothers who are locked down but need to eat.  Thank you for praying for these dear ones and giving as you’re able.


“Oh God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home…”
Isaac Watts, 1708

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Quarantine Update: Uganda

Greetings from a quarantined world! Due to the Coronavirus, Uganda has been under one of the strictest lockdowns on the continent of Africa. On May 5, 2020*, according to Reuters, Uganda began to loosen their restrictions.

Reuters continued to report:

The country of 42 million reported 97 confirmed cases* and no deaths in 45 days of restrictions, and President Museveni said it was now better equipped to trace and detect new infections faster.

“We have somehow tamed the virus,” Museveni said in a televised address late on Monday.

“It is high time we … start slowly and carefully to open up, but without undoing our achievements.”

However, Africa also has extremely low levels of testing, with rates of only around 500 per million people. 

Uganda, alongside neighboring Rwanda, had some of Africa’s strictest lockdown measures, including the shutting of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public transport vehicles.

 Businesses including hardware shops, restaurants, wholesale stores and others will now be allowed to reopen.

Public transport and most private vehicles would still remain prohibited, however – meaning that workers for reopened businesses will have to commute either by bicycle or on foot.

Schools and international borders were to remain shut, Museveni said.

After a 14-day period, he said, authorities will announce the next level of reopening.

 

While this is good news for people who can work again, there are still several restrictions in place. Challenges remain for the people ROWAN serves. Widows, who are the sole providers for their children (and who were already up against incredible odds before the virus hit), are dealing with severe food shortages. Additionally, there has been no word as to when children can go back to school. If you are able, please consider donating. We are thankful to have a good relationship with local law enforcement, which means we are able to continue to use our bus to deliver food directly to orphans and widows in their homes.

 

Pastor Paul and Mama Edith remain in Colorado waiting for borders to open in June. ROWAN staff members are using this time to pray, work, and plan for ROWAN. God has been loving and guiding during this difficult time. He is always faithful and brings us Hope! 


 

*Updated Information: As of Tuesday, May 12th, WHO reported 122 total cases in Uganda, 1 new case, and still zero deaths. Keep praying with us!

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Locusts Invade Uganda

Swarms of locusts have entered Uganda  by way of Kenya. This very serious desert locust invasion threatens East Africa, the United Nations has warned. Locusts threaten the food security of millions of people.  Swarms of this magnitude have not been seen in decades. In Kenya and Somalia, many crops have already been devastated.

The Eagle Online Uganda news source stated today, March 10, 2020:

 

The desert locusts have since been sighted in 24 districts in Teso, Lango, Acholi, Sebei and Bugisu sub- regions of Uganda.  Since the outbreak, government through its agencies has step up control measures which include rapid spraying in all affected areas with both manual and motorized pumps and sensitization of people. 

 

The Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja, said:  “The existing swarms have not caused significant damage to the vegetation cover, however, there is an eminent threat to food security when the eggs hatch into hoppers in the next few weeks as has been the case with our neighbour, Kenya.”  He said the swarms however continue to spread to other districts and possibly laying of eggs is expected to continue while our efforts to control the adult locusts continue.

 

The Observer Uganda online stated on February 12, 2020:

 

“A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre. UN reports indicate that locusts can reproduce rapidly and, if left unchecked, current numbers could grow 500 times by June. A swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500.”

 

Forecast (March-June 2020) on the desert locust upsurge in the Greater Horn of Africa. Photo: observer.ug

Please pray for ROWAN villages and all of East Africa that resources will be allocated quickly to treat this invasion effectively and that crops and lives would be saved. It’s hard for many of us to imagine experiencing this type of natural disaster. Please join us as we prayerfully imagine ourselves in the place of our brothers and sisters in East Africa.

 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way

you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat

From the fruit stand in the neighborhood market to the vast empire of Microsoft or Disney, we all interact with businesses large and small.  Peter Drucker, father of the practical foundations and philosophies of modern business, said this:

 

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

 

The ROWAN staff, without possibly realizing it, teaches us this very truth.

 

ROWAN staff recently had their 2020 Staff Retreat in Iganga. The theme was: “Enhancing Teamwork for Effective Service Delivery”.  They spent time in sessions engaged with the following topics:

—Discussion of Expectations, Fears, and Objectives

—The role of Teamwork and Identifying One’s Role on the Team

—Strategies for Team Effectiveness and Performance 

—Issues and Challenges Affecting Teamwork 

—Alignment of Teamwork with Christian Values


ROWAN leaders spend time in preparation, prayer, and planning to do the right things. This group of flawed people, saved by Jesus Christ, takes the time to discern, pray, wait on God—through some very difficult and painful daily struggles—to do the right things for the widows and orphans in their care.

If you’d like to sponsor a widow or orphan through this growing organization of leaders that Peter Drucker would be proud of, please choose someone to sponsor in Uganda today You will become part of our AMAKA (family) doing the right things for widows and orphans and you will be changed for the better.  It happens to each of us who follow God’s tug at our hearts and it will happen to you.

 

Photos from the ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat—PICTURES THAT SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS:

 

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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