Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited is a large commercial bank headquartered in Kampala, licensed by the Bank of Uganda; the national banking regulator. Stanbic Bank is a strong advocate of education in the country and produces a National Schools Championship annually. Stanbic Bank recently financed a comprehensive research on primary education in Uganda. The findings were released on April 10, 2019. (stanbicbank.co.ug)
Only 7.5% of primary school going children finish primary. Of that 7.5%, only 24% finish o-level. Of those that complete o-level, only 5.4% finish A-level. Of those that reach the tertiary level, only about 11% finish successfully.
We are doing everything we can to infuse the amazing young people of ROWAN with hope for the future. Anything you can do to help, whether it is a one time donation or sponsoring someone directly is a gift that goes directly to those in need, prioritizing education.
As someone who loves to read and write, I love words. A perfectly-turned phrase can make my heart go zing. String those phrases and sentences together and we can read or listen to something that makes us laugh, cry, fume, gasp, and absorb.
In 2019, there are A LOT of words out there. Because they are available to us 24/7/365, they can overwhelm and cause us to turn away. Or cause us to only turn to memes about dog, cats, and Marvel movies.
We can get desensitized to what we read and hear and it’s understandable. This can cause us to take in diluted meaning and truth, or put a hand up to say, “Stop”. Sometimes a break is good. And sometimes forcing ourselves to slow down and ponder the truth of what we are reading is also good. We’ve known for a long time now what AIDS is, but have you read the definition lately? I looked at the meaning of each word in the name ROWAN and it stopped me short. Please read what each of the words in the ROWAN title means. From Webster’s Dictionary:
RURAL: of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture
ORPHANS: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents
WIDOWS: a woman who has lost her spouse or partner by death and usually has not remarried, or whose spouse or partner leaves her alone
AIDS: a disease of the human immune system that is characterized cytologically especially by reduction in the numbers of CD4-bearing helper T cells to 20 percent or less of normal thereby rendering the subject highly vulnerable to life-threatening conditions (such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) and to some (such as Kaposi’s sarcoma) that become life-threatening and that is caused by infection with HIV commonly transmitted in infected blood especially during illicit intravenous drug use and in bodily secretions during sexual intercourse
NETWORK: a usually informally interconnected group or association of persons; a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings
Whether you are part of the ROWAN family or just learning about Eastern Uganda, to pause and understand what ROWAN is, what each word in the name means, is a good thing. It helps us remember in the 21st century glut of words that we can look clearly at the people in the village, at their pain and their hope, at their knotted and secure relationships with God and each other, and know the truth. The words of ROWAN allow us to learn and help and not turn away.
Would you like to join us?
I was having coffee with a friend last week and we started talking about how the world we live in is full of pain and suffering. People around us getting sick, being hurt and diagnosed with terminal cancer. The news is filled with horrific stories and brutal attacks to innocent people. Sometimes it’s so hard to find God in these stories. But then our conversation shifted to talking about how life shouldn’t be about seeing the negative in the world around us, but rather focusing on the blessings we have in our lives.
I remember sitting in the Mawanga Church of God one Sunday and hearing person after person going to the front of the church to share testimonies. I remember one woman sharing how she was so sick with malaria and didn’t have the energy to get to the clinic for treatment but yet she thanked God that she was able to make it to get what she needed so she could come to church on Sunday to worship her Saviour.
As my friend and I were reflecting, I couldn’t help but think about how it’s so easy to see the bad around us in the world. We are bombarded with negativity all the time and sometimes it’s hard to see God’s blessings that flood our lives every single day.
But God really does shower us with his blessings continually throughout the day. We just have to make the choice to see his provision and protection in our lives. When I think about the widows and orphans that are a part of ROWAN, I can’t help but be reminded of the incredible hope and joy that God has brought into their lives. Many of them have come from some very difficult and hard situations. Yet they choose to worship a God that provides. This is something that I desire to do daily: to see God’s blessings, even in the small things.
How can you help?
Please consider sponsoring one of the widows or orphans from Eastern Uganda. You can help to provide them with opportunities that they would not have the chance to experience. Through your sponsorship, ROWAN will provide education, health care, entrepreneurship, and many moments where your sponsored widow or orphan will experience the love, protection and blessings of God.
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
At ROWAN a large portion of what we do is help young people whose lives have been directly affected by HIV/AIDS. Our primary objectives are ensuring everyone is has enough to eat, adequate health care & opportunities for a decent education. Your donations & sponsorships help us do this, allowing us to focus on the important things: hugging, loving & building a future for those who need it.
Continue reading “Sponsor Young Jackson Katema”
I really didn’t believe my friend when she told me that the best chicken in the world can be bought on the side of the highway between Kampala and Jinja. She claimed that it not only tasted the best, but it was a fun experience as well. If you have ever travelled the highway I am talking about through Mabira Forest, you know exactly what I am talking about.
All you need to do is pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and you will very quickly be surrounded by people dressed in blue aprons with numbers on them. They will be carrying a variety of items from water, fanta, soda, ngonga (roasted banana wrapped in newspaper), meat on a stick, bananas and the famous chicken on a stick.
The best part about this experience is watching the vendors. They will surround a matatu or vehicle but if they don’t make a sale in the first few minutes, they will leave. But if another vehicle pulls up, they will dash to that one hoping to be at the window of a person hoping to buy their product. The best is when a bus pulls up. I don’t think I have ever seen people drop what they are doing to chase down customers on a bus as fast as “the blue apron” people. They can barely reach the windows to sell their product, but they manage as best as they can.
Now as I said, the chicken on a stick is the best in the world. Why? you ask. Well, it’s salty, perfectly roasted and a little crispy. But eating it in the back of a matatu when you are sweaty and squished is the best part. The windows are down, as you barrel down the highway, and every single bite makes the dangerous drive on this highway way more worth it. For me, I know that if I end up in a head on collision with another vehicle because my taxi driver was passing a sugar cane truck and another matatu side by side, I will have had the best meal ever as my last.
Not only have we been sharing more about Uganda with you, lately we have been sharing more about what we do. ROWAN has a lot of amazing programs, allowing almost anyone to get involved to help those in need! We thought we share a little more about how those interested can get involved. Continue reading “ROWAN Programs – Education & Training”