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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

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

New Spring Merch For Sale!

It’s time for you to buy a new shirt for yourself, a family member, a favorite teacher, a new neighbor, or an old friend! These whimsical shirts are a breath of fresh air for Spring 2021. The best news is that the sale of these shirts will directly benefit ROWAN Widows in the new Legacy Program launching next month, April, 2021! See below the photos for more details.

Check out these cool designs! All shirts come in unisex sizes XS to 3XL with multiple shirt color options. Click the image or caption to SHOP!

 

 The THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS t-shirt. So cool!
FIVE color choices!
 The GOOD THINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON t-shirt .  A feel-good-make-someone’s-day kind of shirt.  
FOUR color choices!
 The FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT t-shirt.  Read it and Rejoice!

FIVE color choices!

~All sales will directly benefit ROWAN Widows in The LEGACY PROGRAM~

 

This new program is beginning for widows at ROWAN! It’s a 4-year certificate program.

 

Through a comprehensive curriculum, training will empower widows to become successful and independent in all areas of life. The Legacy Program will focus on:

 

— Entrepreneurship & Financial Training

— Health & Wellness Training

— Literacy and Educational Training

— Family Needs & Healthy Relationships

— Life Skills Training

— Spiritual Development & Discipleship

— Social Training (addressing local issues such as women’s rights and land rights)

 

Learn more here: https://loverowan.org/a-new-legacy-for-rowan

 

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

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

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