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Food is Life!

 

While the pandemic has brought hardship and struggle to the world, some of us have fared better than others. Many of us have been able to shop online for food and other things, with front door deliveries. We have made use of curbside pickup and Instacart shoppers. And most of us have been able to shop inside grocery and other stores as needed. I am grateful to God for the relative ease of feeding my family during such a hard time.

 

Our friends in Uganda are facing something wholly different. Due to rising cases of Covid-19 in country, Uganda began a 42 day lockdown on June 19. People may not leave their homes unless for medical emergencies. This has put people in the ROWAN villages in a dangerous situation as they have no way to get food to sustain themselves for this long period. ROWAN asked for your help and you came through! Last week, Paster Paul and our ROWAN team (under the watchful eye of Security officers) were able to distribute food to our widows and orphans. 

Maize and beans made ready for distribution outside at Mwanga Hall of Hope.
Pastor Paul and Isaac Malinga, ROWAN Board Chair, witness the food distribution process along with police officers.

Without the generosity of donors this would not have been possible. And we’re not done yet! To sustain each person through the lockdown we need to purchase and deliver more food. Please consider giving, anything you can, to our Food to Families campaign, and help us be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to our faithful widows and orphans in the villages who need to eat. All of the money raised from this campaign is going toward the purchase of food supplies during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Their faces! Happy beneficiaries of food send thanks and God’s blessing to donors and sponsors.

Pastor Paul just sent this message:

 

“Good evening to you all,

Thank you for your prayers, we made it.  Everyone was excited with the food given to them—God Bless you all abundantly.

 

You may wonder why we didn’t use the Bus.  The first point was that the Kilos were too many for the Bus, secondly the roads are too bad for the Bus when packed with food, thirdly the police we had didn’t allow us because when you carry people in a Bus it can easily spread the virus, so that is why we had to use the truck.

 

But the most important thing we thank God is that we were allowed to buy food and we were able to distribute it to them.

 

Thank you so much for your help.

Talk to you soon.”

 

Pastor Paul Nyende

 

Being hungry and not being fed takes a toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Thank you for continuing to help us alleviate this most basic need for our Ugandan brothers and sisters in Christ. He is the bread of life and we give Him thanks! 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

An update on COVID-19 in Uganda

COVID-19 virus drawing

With COVID-19 vaccines still in short supply and treatment options limited, the Ugandan Drug Authority recently approved the use of the drug Covidex for COVID-19 patient care.  According to an article written by Halima Athumani for VOA news, Covidex is an herbal treatment made from traditional herbal plants that have been used in the past to help ease symptoms of other diseases.  Covidex is not considered a cure for the COVID-19 virus, rather it is to be used as a supportive treatment for the management of symptoms.  Dr. David Nahamya, the Executive Director of the Ugandan Health Authority, said that Covidex was approved for use after a 2-week scientific evaluation of its safety and usefulness in helping to manage symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.  Dr. Nahamya said, “To further the efficacy of the drug for other uses, Uganda’s National Drug Authority has advised the manufacturer to conduct random controlled clinical trials, which are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any claims of treatment.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) however, says it has not received any information on Covidex and so they are unable to approve its use for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.  Dr. Solome Okware of the WHO’s Uganda office said that while the WHO is currently working with researchers from African countries to find traditional medicines that could be used in the treatment of COVID-19, Covidex has not been among the traditional medicines that have been evaluated.

Dr. Samuel Opio, secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda, meanwhile, believes that while there are concerns about the use of Covidex, its approval is a positive step. According to Dr. Opio, the drugs that have been approved for emergency use in the United States are not available in Uganda.  “So the issue of lack of a treatment, the issue of inaccessibility to even what is approved for emergency use, means that we need to also look for local solutions to the global challenges, and herbal treatment is one area.” Dr. Opio said.  

ROWAN is committed to supporting our widows and orphans in every way we can as they face this crisis and we continue to keep them, and all of the people of Uganda, in our prayers.  

Image from Reuters

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Tightened lockdown and miracles

A man happily driving a bus in Uganda

On Friday, June 18th, President Yoweri Museveni announced that Uganda would be going into a new 42-day full lockdown.  During this new lockdown, vehicular travel of any kind is prohibited.  Only essential workers or those in need of medical care are exempted from this travel ban.  In addition to all the closures announced in the earlier lockdown, President Museveni set a new 7:00 p.m. curfew for all Ugandans and mandated that all shops must now close. 

These new restrictions coupled with rising COVID-19 infections only add to the increasing hardships the people in Uganda are currently facing.  ROWAN is committed to doing all we can to ensure that our widows and orphans have the food they need during this lockdown.  Our Ugandan team is currently working to procure the needed food supplies and distribute them to our ROWAN communities.  This has been no easy task however as police have been stationed on every corner of the villages to prevent people from leaving their homes.  

Pastor Paul refused to be deterred though.  He said, “I will not give up, tomorrow I will try another person.  Pray with me.  I cannot sit back and watch my people suffer.”  ROWAN posted Pastor Paul’s plea for prayer on our social media accounts and we know that many of you joined us in prayer for our Ugandan family.  How do we know this?  We know because we had a miracle occur.  Yesterday afternoon we received this message from Pastor Paul, ” This is so, so, so good.  Our God is so exciting.  He is so good.  He answers our prayers.  Do you know what? The man I talked to, he has been able to order the district officials who are in charge of the lockdown operations to allow me to buy the food and distribute it to the people.”   What a tremendous blessing!  Thank you for the prayers you sent for softened hearts and help for Pastor Paul.  

Please keep praying for our ROWAN family and for all Ugandans.  If you can, please consider making a donation to our Food to Families campaign.  All proceeds from this campaign go directly toward the purchase of much-need food supplies for our widows and orphans.  We are so grateful for each of you who stands with ROWAN in prayer, support, and love.  

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Planning for the Future

Board and staff learning together


While Uganda fights Covid-19 with a second lockdown, God’s people don’t stop caring for one another.  Just two months ago in April, 2021, the ROWAN board and staff gathered for a two-day leadership workshop in Iganga Town.  Pastor Paul and others led the team in activities based on the theme, “Fulfilling our Role and Calling”.  Pastor encouraged the close-to-20 team members there to see their work as a divine calling which should be honored and observed.

 

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”  1 Peter 4:10 

 

The board and staff created and took ownership of the following FIVE goals:

 

  1. To work in love harmony and unity with colleagues.
  2. To ensure ethical conduct while at place of work
  3. To ensure workplan development and integrity while at work
  4. To ensure timely report development and submission
  5. To ensure team work and time management in work processes

Pastor Paul welcomed four new board members and four new staff members. Their names and roles are as follows:

 

NEW BOARD MEMBERS:

 

Malinga Isaac…Board Chair & in charge of Health Affairs

Sam Davis Kuloba…Organizing Secretary & in charge of Sponsor Affairs

Tom Musira…..Secretary &in charge of Human Resource Affairs Edith Edith Nyende…………Board member & in charge of Entrepreneurship & Farm Management

 

NEW STAFF MEMBERS:

 

Onyango Valiriano…..Farm Manager

Nkonoka Scovia………Sponsor relation staff-1

Rachael Babirye………Sponsor Relation staff-2)

Joy Namuganza………Project Officer

 

Pastor Paul with three new board members who will use their experiences, talents, and skills for transforming the ROWAN organization in even better ways.

 

New ROWAN staff: From left, Onyango Valiriano (Farm Manager), Nkonoka Scovia (Sponsor relation staff-1), Rachael Babirye (Sponsor Relation staff-2), and Joy Namuganza (Project Officer)

All those who participate in ROWAN programs appreciate and are blessed by the hard working board and staff. May God give strength to each of the 20 team members who follow HIM and work together as a team to care for so many widows and orphans.

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Moms to Mamas

 

There’s no better way to honor the moms in your life than to bless a mom in need.

This Mother’s Day, we want to bridge the gap between the moms in your life and the mothers (who are widows) in ROWAN who are in real need of a sponsor more than ever before.

This year ROWAN has launched our Legacy Program: A four year comprehensive plan for our widows to learn business practices, grow in their faith, practice life skills, increase their passion for their families, all while meeting their physical needs each week.
 

So what is Mothers to Mother’s Campaign?

We have 18 mamas who need a sponsor to help them through this 4 year program. That could look like:

$38 a month, $228 every 6 months, or $456 a year. They will graduate at the end of 2025! 

What will your mother receive?

  1. Your mother will receive a sponsorship card with their photo and details
  2. Access to write her letters online *Anytime! She will respond within three weeks of your message! 
  3. Updates on her progress in Legacy Program through ROWAN quarterly.
  4. An opportunity to visit her mama at her graduation party in Uganda!

Will you consider sponsoring one of these mamas? For your mom, your mother-in-law, your sister, your aunt, your grandmother, your friend, or any special woman in your life who has loved and taught you. Visit the 18 mamas here and consider giving your mom or mentor the gift of loving one of these precious women who are in need of love from someone who has loved you. If you can’t sponsor a mama monthly, a one-time gift goes a long way to sponsor our 18 mamas! Thank you for reading about our mamas and considering changing their lives through the Legacy program. mother’s 

We understand if you can’t give right now. This virus affects us all differently, and we sympathize with those of you who wish you could give but aren’t able to. If you are looking for other ways to help, please share about ROWAN with your family and close friends. Our hearts are with each of you this holiday weekend.

ROMANS 5:5

honor! 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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

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