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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:

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

Sponsoring Cyrus

When our son, Jake, was at Dartmouth College, he spent part of a summer working with ROWAN in Uganda. Read more about that here!  As a result, we began our first sponsor relationship with a young man named Mugabi Cyrus. Jake met Cyrus in the village and said Cyrus was a strong and eager participant in the leadership training sessions. As we prayed about someone to sponsor, God spoke swiftly and clearly that is should be Cyrus.


Mugabi Cyrus

And here’s the thing—while we felt good about helping Cyrus, we had no idea that he would give us far more than we could ever give him.  He loves us without reservation and calls us family. As we pray for him he prays for us. He worked hard in school and got an art degree—he is very talented.  He calls our sons, Jake and Jonah, his brothers, and my husband and I, mom and dad. He is our “son” that we’ve never met.  He has taught us uniquely more about the love of God. His faith in the most difficult circumstances has been a light to our family.

Mugabi Cyrus, the artist, in Uganda!

Cyrus graduated out of the sponsorship program but he is still our son, friend, and prayer partner. When co-founder Kelsey Hargadine visited Uganda in May, Cyrus gave her a backpack he made for us—made fully by his hand.  She mailed it to us in Washington state and I cried and smiled at the beautiful stitching, the hand embroidered message, the thoughtfulness of a young man who works hard as an entrepreneur and who is now a volunteer for ROWAN.  We are humbled and proud to know Cyrus and excited to see how God loves and leads him in the days ahead.  

Jonah Casale, in the USA, holds the backpack handmade by his brother-in-Christ, Mugabi Cyrus!

I invite you to consider sponsoring an orphan or widow today. More than one life will be changed!

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Day of the African Child 2011 Pt. 5

Post Author: Kelsey

Day of the African Child 2011 Pt. 4

Post Author: Kelsey

Changing Bruno’s Story

Our summer team had the privilege of visiting many homes this last May and got to hug, hold and love on many different children and families.  Many families in Eastern Uganda have taken in other children because of loved ones who have passed away.  A home might contain grandparents who have become parents to their grandchildren, aunts and uncles who have taken in their nieces and nephews after parents have passed away, or older brothers and sisters who become the parents to their own siblings.  

One of the homes that the team had the chance to visit, was the home of Bruno.  At the time, he was 9 months old and had lost his mom suddenly so his uncle and grandparents took him in to care for him.  They could not afford to buy formula to feed him and give his body what it needed.  He was given black tea, because that was all they could offer him. After the team visited him, they soon realized that he needed more and they decided to help him.  They gathered some money to purchase formula for little Bruno and were able to find two amazing sponsors to help him and his caregivers.

Unfortunately for Bruno, his body just couldn’t gain the strength it needed to overcome this obstacle.  He passed away at 11 months of age.  


This news shook many people who had the opportunity to meet sweet little Bruno and also many others who simply heard about it.  But his story will bring other babies in the same situation some hope.  A friend of the ROWAN family has begun the process of starting a non profit called Formula ONE.  This organization will raise funds to help other babies like Bruno who have lost their mothers and have no way to get the nourishment their little bodies need to grow.  These funds will purchase formula for families that need it but can’t afford to purchase it themselves.  

In the meantime, if this story tugs at your heartstrings like it did to mine, please consider giving now to help a baby who needs more than black tea to nourish his body.  Let’s not allow another baby like Bruno to suffer because of something out of his control.  You can give to our baby formula campaign where $50 will provide a young baby with formula for one month.  The ROWAN clinic will purchase the formula and then will train the caregivers on how to care for the little ones who need it.  

Bruno will now become the voice for Formula ONE and will bring hope to so many, giving many other precious babies a chance to change their own story.

Post Author: Kris Mbabazi

Day of the African Child 2011 Pt. 3

Post Author: Kelsey

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