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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

The reviews are in from our Business Training session.

At the conclusion of the Business Training Course we held in April, we had our 15 ROWAN-member participants complete surveys to help us see what sections of the course helped or stood out the most for each of them.  We recently received the results of these surveys and we wanted to share the highlights from those results with all of you.

 

Of the 15 participants, 9 of them felt that the Marketing and Research training provided within the course was the most beneficial for them.  The training on Business Start-up Ideas and Techniques came in a close second, with 5 of the participants stating that they found this to be the most helpful. 

When asked what their favorite part of the entire training course was, one of the participants said that it made them want to show more love.  A few of the participants wrote that their favorite parts of the training course were the activities that helped to reinforce the business training they had just received.  For the majority of the participants, however, it was the inclusion of a scriptural-based curriculum that stood out for them.  One of the scriptural passages that truly  spoke to the majority of participants was James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (KJV) 

As I read through the survey results, I was struck by the sense of gratitude and hope for the future that the participants expressed in their responses.  There was one response in particular that really stood out to me as I read the completed surveys; it was an answer to the question of ‘ What was your favorite part of the training?’.  This participant wrote that their favorite part was the “idea that everyone has a legacy they leave behind”.  As I read that I realized, once again, how truly alike we all are.  We all have a legacy we leave behind and it is up to us to make sure the legacy we leave is one of goodness and hope.  

All photographs by Bob Ditty

 

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

Goats and Water

Our ROWAN farm is continuing to grow.  Our farmland is now up to 15 acres and our little goat herd is not so little anymore – we now have 150 goats!  One of our goals with the farm has been to create a strong and profitable business that will help provide working income for the ROWAN ministry.  With each harvest and goat, we grow closer to reaching that goal. 

 Man feeding a goat in Uganda                                                                                     

To help ensure our growing farm is running smoothly, we recently hired a new farm manager.  His name is Onyango Valiriano. 

Man standing by a building in Uganda                                                                        

We are excited to have him as a member of our ROWAN team and we believe he is going to do an excellent job!

Man feeding a goat in Uganda

With the growth of our farm and goat herd, we have seen our water needs increase.  The closest well is over 1.5 miles away and our farm manager is having to make 3 trips a day to the well to meet the farm’s water needs.  It has become apparent that we are in desperate need of our own well on the farm.  So we are reaching out to each of you and asking for your help.  The cost to build a well on our farm is $5000 (USD).  If you are able to make a donation, of any size, please click here to be taken to our Goat Well Campaign page.  With your help, we can build a well that will have an impact for good for many years to come.   

A man holding a goat in Uganda

 

All photos in this post were taken by Bob Ditty

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Our Learning Center is OPEN!

Like so many others throughout the world, the closure of the schools in Uganda has been detrimental to the education and lives of our ROWAN children.  In February, we let you know about the plan we were putting into place to help bridge the educational gap for our children and families in Uganda.  Today, we get to share the exciting news that our Learning Center is now open!  

   

We currently have 4 teachers working at the Learning Center and have different curriculums for each grade level.  In-person learning is done in groups based on grade level and these groups rotate weekly.  The children love being able to be with their friends and teachers again!  They also have the added excitement of being picked up for school in the ROWAN bus – a bus just for them.  

 

In addition to the in-person learning each week, students at the Learning Center are given assignments to work on at home.  Rowan staff are making follow-up visits to the student’s homes to help ensure that they are getting their assignments completed.  We are also working hard to give the families the tools they need to be able to support and help their students at home.  

 

Our Learning Center is the result of love in action and the joy we see in the eyes of the children who attend each day is a beautiful sight to see.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

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

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