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Uganda COVID-19 Update

COVID-19

Africa numbers*

  • 54 countries in Africa affected
  • 99,433 cumulative cases in Africa
  • 3,078 reported deaths
  • 39,103 reported recoveries
  • South Africa most affected with 19,137 cases

*Data from World Health Organization, 5/20/22

 

Uganda numbers**

  • 260 reported cases (up from 126 on 5/13/20)
  • 0 deaths

**Data from World Health Organization, 5/19/20

While the number of Covid-19 cases in Uganda remain low, the number jumped 106% this last week. The country continues its response by asking people to follow guidelines and distance from others which will also keep the healthcare workforce safe.  Another example of Uganda’s response is this: The Minister of Health and State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties have established the first border health laboratory at Mutukula border entry point shared by Uganda and Tanzania. The border is crossed easily, daily, and now, given the rise of Covid-19 among truck drivers, those drivers accessing this entry point will be tested by the new health lab and receive results in 45 minutes. The lab can process 64 samples per hour.

An ongoing concern in Uganda and all of Africa is food shortages.  According to the World Health Organization on March 14, 2020:

“COVID-19 is unfolding in Africa against a backdrop of worrying levels of hunger and undernourishment, which could worsen as the virus threatens livelihoods and household economies,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Hunger and malnutrition heighten vulnerability to diseases, the consequences of which could be far reaching if not properly addressed.”

In Africa, it is estimated that one in five people is undernourished, and that 30% of children under five – approximately 59 million children – have stunted growth, greater than the global average of 21.9%. Wasting occurs in approximately 7.1% of children in Africa. The continent has the highest burden of malnutrition compared with other parts of the world, in terms of percentage of the population. While there has been little research so far into malnutrition as a co-morbidity for COVID-19, people with weakened immune systems as a result of undernourishment are at greater risk of a range of serious illnesses and so are likely to be more severely affected by the virus.

Recent estimates of food insecurity have suggested that as many as 73 million people in Africa were acutely food insecure. COVID-19 is exacerbating food shortages, as food imports, transportation and agricultural production have all been hampered by a combination of lockdowns, travel restrictions and physical distancing measures.

The burden of movement restrictions and lockdowns is being felt particularly strongly by low-income households and those working in the informal economy due to their loss of livelihoods and inability to access markets.

ROWAN continues to deliver food to the widows and orphans in the ROWAN villages.  But the need is great and we need your help.  Any gift will go directly to food for our sisters and brothers who are locked down but need to eat.  Thank you for praying for these dear ones and giving as you’re able.


“Oh God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home…”
Isaac Watts, 1708

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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: observer.ug

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

ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat

From the fruit stand in the neighborhood market to the vast empire of Microsoft or Disney, we all interact with businesses large and small.  Peter Drucker, father of the practical foundations and philosophies of modern business, said this:

 

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

 

The ROWAN staff, without possibly realizing it, teaches us this very truth.

 

ROWAN staff recently had their 2020 Staff Retreat in Iganga. The theme was: “Enhancing Teamwork for Effective Service Delivery”.  They spent time in sessions engaged with the following topics:

—Discussion of Expectations, Fears, and Objectives

—The role of Teamwork and Identifying One’s Role on the Team

—Strategies for Team Effectiveness and Performance 

—Issues and Challenges Affecting Teamwork 

—Alignment of Teamwork with Christian Values


ROWAN leaders spend time in preparation, prayer, and planning to do the right things. This group of flawed people, saved by Jesus Christ, takes the time to discern, pray, wait on God—through some very difficult and painful daily struggles—to do the right things for the widows and orphans in their care.

If you’d like to sponsor a widow or orphan through this growing organization of leaders that Peter Drucker would be proud of, please choose someone to sponsor in Uganda today You will become part of our AMAKA (family) doing the right things for widows and orphans and you will be changed for the better.  It happens to each of us who follow God’s tug at our hearts and it will happen to you.

 

Photos from the ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat—PICTURES THAT SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS:

 

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Five Decades for WAFU!

His friends and family call him Wafu and he just turned 50 years old (young)!

David Wafula has been with ROWAN since the beginning. He is a full-time staff member and board member.  Here are his thoughts on turning 50:

“I can’t believe I am making 50 years of age… my evening is approaching. Making 50 years in Uganda [while] healthy, happy, and impacting others is a huge blessing.”

When asked about his goals, he said, “I have two words that keep sounding in my mind: STABILITY and PERFECTION. This year I have to stabilize and perfect most of the things that I put my hands on. Ministry-wise and family. This year, I want to inspire many and disciple many in the ministry of ROWAN. At 50, you can be trusted but also entrusted.”

Pastor Paul, Kelsey, and Wafu

“This year is a year of looking back and making evaluations. During this process, I am sure I will [recall] areas I have done well but also improve those areas I have not done well.”

ROWAN is so blessed by Wafu’s wisdom, perseverance, and his wonderful laugh. Join us in wishing him a very happy 50th birthday!

If you’ve met Wafu, please comment with any stories or memories you have with him!

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

What’s In a Name?

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?

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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