News Category

August 8th, 2018

The Meaning of Your Message

So, you’ve seen us encouraging our sponsors to write to their sponsees through our online messaging portal. You’re wondering, “Does my message make a difference?” “What’s the big deal?”

We’re here to tell you yes. And we’re here to tell you why.

When your sponsee receives a message from you, here’s what it means:

It means that someone across the ocean thought of them and cares for them. It means they have a cheerleader, a confidante, and a consistent form of support when much of their personal life may feel out of control and volatile. It means someone loves them enough to sacrifice not just money but the ultimate currency – time – to be sure they feel a sense of hope, security, and belonging.

When your sponsee reads your words, they feel thankful, curious, and encouraged. Not only this, but one very sweet gift you give (AND receive) in communicating regularly with your sponsee is a cross-cultural connection that can broaden one’s understanding of the world and deepen one’s empathy for those who live within different cultural norms as well as experience and overcome different sorts of trials and triumphs.

Struggling with what to write about? Here are some ideas:

– share about your family and friends

– talk about your job – what you do for work, why you picked it, etc.

– share a prayer request

– encourage your sponsee with some wisdom, a lesson you’re learning, an inspirational quote, a Bible verse, etc.

– keep it positive and appropriately personal; try to avoid writing about political topics, writing about material possessions, or other potentially sensitive topics

– ask your sponsee lots of questions about their favorite things, what they’re learning, what ROWAN means to them, what their family/friends are like, etc.

We definitely encourage you to attach a photo (or several!) in your message to your sponsee. Here are examples of photos that the orphans and widows love to see:

– photos of you – attaching a face to a name increases the rate and ability to form a connection

– photos of your family or other people you’ve told them about in a message

– photos of your pet(s)

– photos from places you’ve traveled or places that are important to you

What to expect in a reply from your sponsee:

– Most messages will be translated to English by a local staff member in Uganda

– We do our best to ensure that each sponsor receives a message back from his or her sponsee in a timely manner. In general, we strive to get responses back within three weeks. Of course, depending on other factors, it may take longer; for example, if one of our higher education students is at a boarding school or trade school in a village that is far away, speedy replies become more difficult

– You will likely be showered with words of gratitude and encouragement. Although much of the phrasing may sound different, keep in mind that English is their second language and never doubt the sincerity of their kind words

How to contact your sponsee:

  1. Got to
  2. Login with your username and password – if you need help, email for help
  3. You will see “My Profile” – from there, you can view your inbox, info, and sponsorships, and write to your sponsee!


Are you interested in taking a trip to Uganda to meet (or return to visit) your sponsee? If so, go ahead and shoot an email to and we’ll talk about what that might look like! We are beginning to plan a trip that will head over in May 2019. Stay tuned!

June 14th, 2018

Pastor Paul’s Blood Clot

As the team flew back home to America last week, Pastor Paul mentioned he had a pain in his leg. By the time he reached the hospital, he could not walk. Thankfully, the doctors immediately located a large blood clot and took action quickly.

We are praising God that we took him to the hospital in time so that the clot does not affect his heart. Today, he is on heavy medications, unable to walk for several weeks, and taking many trips back and forth to the hospital for follow-ups, more tests, and evaluations.

Many of you have traveled to Uganda and met Pastor Paul in his home village, and many more of you have enjoyed meeting Pastor Paul while he was in the States. If you’ve heard his story, you understand that his vision for ROWAN, stemming from his heart for the orphans and widows in his village, has tangibly and visibly impacted hundreds in his community. If you can help at all, it would greatly enable ROWAN to support Pastor as he has supported thousands of people across the globe. The medical bills are high due to working with a specialist, but God is so good and we trust that he will be taken care of.

If you are able and willing to help cover these medical costs, please follow this link to donate:


As always, we covet your prayers as Pastor Paul rests and his body heals. Thank you for loving him!

May 23rd, 2018

College Students Leave for the Village in Four Days!

Early (eeeaaarrrrrly) this coming Sunday morning (12:01 am, to be exact), a team of college students and their leaders will begin their trek over to the ROWAN village in Uganda.

Remember when we posted about a Hepatitis outbreak in our community? Several of you stepped up to help – THANK YOU. You helped get the ball rolling and made a serious dent in protecting our community from this disease!

In addition, around that same time, the team members going on this trip were trying to figure out what their project would be while in Uganda. Some of the team members are excited returners whereas other will be in Uganda for their very first time. When asked if they would be willing to help cover the cost of testing, vaccinating, and providing medication for those who’ve been infected, their response was that they would be happy to help… that they see this as “a life or death situation.” In addition, they shared on their fundraising page that they see this as:

“a HUGE opportunity to potentially save hundreds of lives. Hepatitis B has spread through the region, and there is no organization besides ROWAN who will test, treat and vaccinate the community.”

Here’s where we’re at as of right now:

  So far, through Christian Union, this incredible team of students has rallied together to raise $4,000.

–  Solibad, our partner who previously helped us build wells in the village to give our people access to clean, sustainable water, generously donated $1,000 to help with testing and vaccinating.

–  We still need $1,000 more to cover the rest the costs to get the rest of our incredible ROWAN orphans and widows covered so that they will be safe, healthy, and fearless.

Would you consider stepping in to help these students complete their fundraising for this life-or-death project?

to help the Christian Union students from schools like Penn, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell meet their fundraising goal and to ensure that our community NEVER has to live in fear of this terrible virus ever again.


More about Christian Union:

Christian Union seeks a spiritually vibrant nation marked by Christian values permeating every corner of society. They develop and connect transformative Christian leaders, focusing specifically on developing Christian leaders at some of America’s most influential universities.

More about Solibad:

Solibad exists “to bring together the badminton community to collect funds in order to help projects involving children in different parts of the planet. We are keen on helping small scale projects initiated by locals or by ourselves. We take action seriously but with humility and without being condescending, by using the time and resources donated by individuals or groups willing to join our cause. We ask everyone to put their skills, enthusiasm, financial help and/or his time for the causes and projects that we support.” Follow this link to learn more about Solibad!

A HUGE thank you to Christian Union and Solibad, organizations made up of some of the most compassionate and generous folks on the planet. Thank you for stepping into the gap for our orphans and widows, for seeing them, and for making a difference.

May 9th, 2018

The Young Lady Behind the ROWAN Camera


This lovely lady, at just 16 years old, is working magic behind the camera in order to capture the raw joy, deep hope, and authentic resilience of our ROWAN members. Here’s a note from her!

“Hey! My name is Cana Ditty and I live in Jinja, Uganda. I am so grateful for this opportunity to meet and take photos of such wonderful people. You can just tell that every single child and widow adores ROWAN so much for all that they do to help and equip them. They are so radiant and thankful for the support! It was such a joy to photograph them and to see their happiness. The people were so welcoming and caring… I am grateful for ROWAN and all that they are doing.  They are making a huge difference in Uganda!”

Keep scrolling to see some of the beautiful photos she captured!




Are you interested in sponsoring one of our incredible orphans or widows? Many of those in our community, including some of those pictured above, are waiting for a sponsor like you. Let’s come alongside them to empower and enable them to achieve their dreams!


April 23rd, 2018

It’s ROWAN’s 10th Anniversary!

View widows and orphans in need of a sponsor

In May of 2008, Pastor Paul Nyende and I registered ROWAN as a 501(c)3 with hopes and dreams to empower widows and orphans from helplessness to hope. As we look back on the last 10 years, we have accomplished exactly that. It has come with it’s ups and downs as you can imagine, but the joy of watching our students walk across the graduation stage is unspeakable. When we see a widow become successful in her business venture, we thank God. When we gather all 400 members together for our monthly feeding program, we serve with great thanksgiving. When we hear 150 children worshiping our Father God, it brings heaven to earth. And this is just the beginning.

Over the next several weeks we will post our top 10 accomplishments over the last 10 years, because we could not have done anything without your support. Pastor Paul and his local staff are the true heroes of this ministry, but they are fueled and encouraged by your love. We want you to know all you have done to transform lives in Uganda, so stay tuned!

As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are challenging YOU to help us increase 10 new sponsorships each month until the end of the year.


Because that will cover all the remaining women and children in current need of a sponsor. And because you can trust us that every sponsorship dollar goes to work ensuring that woman or child is cherished and taken care of by our loving ROWAN family.

Thank you for spreading the word. Lets do this together!

View widows and orphans in need of a sponsor

Kelsey Hargadine