At ROWAN we want to empower the women & children whose lives have been affected by HIV/ AIDS. Our main objective is keeping everyone fed, healthy & learning new things or skills. Your donations & sponsorships help us to see our vision, allowing us to focus on the essentials: hugging, loving & building a future for those who need it. Christmas may be over, but the new year is a great time to start bringing hope to a young boy!
Sponsor Young Arafati Mukisa
Honoring Tikabula’s Memory
We just received heartbreaking news that Tikabula Kafuko passed away yesterday at 86-and-a-half years old.
She will be remembered as a world-changer who had twice as much spunk and life in her than most people have at 25. Tikabula dearly loved to dance, was known to speak boldly, and (as Pastor Paul says) you could always count on her to “make funs” (make jokes). She played an integral part of our pineapple and passion fruit gardens at ROWAN. She enjoyed tending to her small garden at her home, and the community will always remember how hard she worked. Here are some pictures of her gardening:
For the last few years of her long and beautiful life, her body struggled with arthritis and joint pain. Ultimately, she passed away of cancer in her intestines. We would like to thank Tikabula’s sponsors, Norma and Philip Tubbs, for helping make her final years her very best. She called ROWAN “family” and never missed an event. Life expectancy in Uganda is currently about 60 years old, and we are so thankful for so many years beyond that where we were able to learn from and laugh with Tikabula. We are missing her deeply but thankful to know she is resting in the Father’s arms.
If you ever had the privilege of meeting Tikabula, we would love to hear and share your stories and memories to honor her legacy.
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.
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.
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.
I invite you to consider sponsoring an orphan or widow today. More than one life will be changed!
Day of the African Child 2011 Pt. 5
Obviously the big day is long gone for this year. However, we hope you will all agree that these photos are too cute not to keep to ourselves. As part of our flashback theme, lets go back to 2011 & see images of some of the happiest little faces (& some big) on Day of the African Child 2011. (more…)
Day of the African Child 2011 Pt. 4
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.