Site Loader

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

An update on COVID-19 in Uganda

COVID-19 virus drawing

With COVID-19 vaccines still in short supply and treatment options limited, the Ugandan Drug Authority recently approved the use of the drug Covidex for COVID-19 patient care.  According to an article written by Halima Athumani for VOA news, Covidex is an herbal treatment made from traditional herbal plants that have been used in the past to help ease symptoms of other diseases.  Covidex is not considered a cure for the COVID-19 virus, rather it is to be used as a supportive treatment for the management of symptoms.  Dr. David Nahamya, the Executive Director of the Ugandan Health Authority, said that Covidex was approved for use after a 2-week scientific evaluation of its safety and usefulness in helping to manage symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.  Dr. Nahamya said, “To further the efficacy of the drug for other uses, Uganda’s National Drug Authority has advised the manufacturer to conduct random controlled clinical trials, which are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any claims of treatment.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) however, says it has not received any information on Covidex and so they are unable to approve its use for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.  Dr. Solome Okware of the WHO’s Uganda office said that while the WHO is currently working with researchers from African countries to find traditional medicines that could be used in the treatment of COVID-19, Covidex has not been among the traditional medicines that have been evaluated.

Dr. Samuel Opio, secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda, meanwhile, believes that while there are concerns about the use of Covidex, its approval is a positive step. According to Dr. Opio, the drugs that have been approved for emergency use in the United States are not available in Uganda.  “So the issue of lack of a treatment, the issue of inaccessibility to even what is approved for emergency use, means that we need to also look for local solutions to the global challenges, and herbal treatment is one area.” Dr. Opio said.  

ROWAN is committed to supporting our widows and orphans in every way we can as they face this crisis and we continue to keep them, and all of the people of Uganda, in our prayers.  

Image from Reuters

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Tightened lockdown and miracles

A man happily driving a bus in Uganda

On Friday, June 18th, President Yoweri Museveni announced that Uganda would be going into a new 42-day full lockdown.  During this new lockdown, vehicular travel of any kind is prohibited.  Only essential workers or those in need of medical care are exempted from this travel ban.  In addition to all the closures announced in the earlier lockdown, President Museveni set a new 7:00 p.m. curfew for all Ugandans and mandated that all shops must now close. 

These new restrictions coupled with rising COVID-19 infections only add to the increasing hardships the people in Uganda are currently facing.  ROWAN is committed to doing all we can to ensure that our widows and orphans have the food they need during this lockdown.  Our Ugandan team is currently working to procure the needed food supplies and distribute them to our ROWAN communities.  This has been no easy task however as police have been stationed on every corner of the villages to prevent people from leaving their homes.  

Pastor Paul refused to be deterred though.  He said, “I will not give up, tomorrow I will try another person.  Pray with me.  I cannot sit back and watch my people suffer.”  ROWAN posted Pastor Paul’s plea for prayer on our social media accounts and we know that many of you joined us in prayer for our Ugandan family.  How do we know this?  We know because we had a miracle occur.  Yesterday afternoon we received this message from Pastor Paul, ” This is so, so, so good.  Our God is so exciting.  He is so good.  He answers our prayers.  Do you know what? The man I talked to, he has been able to order the district officials who are in charge of the lockdown operations to allow me to buy the food and distribute it to the people.”   What a tremendous blessing!  Thank you for the prayers you sent for softened hearts and help for Pastor Paul.  

Please keep praying for our ROWAN family and for all Ugandans.  If you can, please consider making a donation to our Food to Families campaign.  All proceeds from this campaign go directly toward the purchase of much-need food supplies for our widows and orphans.  We are so grateful for each of you who stands with ROWAN in prayer, support, and love.  

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Food to Families Campaign

Child in Uganda carrying a basket of maize on their head

It’s been nearly two weeks since Ugandan President, Yoweri Musevini, announced that the country would be going into another lockdown.  The timeline given for this new lockdown was 42 days, but many believe that the current restrictions could last for much longer given the number of COVID-19 cases and the lack of vaccines in Uganda.  

Empty classroom in Uganda

When the new restrictions were announced, ROWAN began working to put together a plan that would allow us to help our widows and orphans during this new lockdown.  After much thought and prayer, the board felt that the best course of action for ROWAN would be to provide our widows and orphans with food distributions during this time.  To this end, we recently set up a new donation campaign called Food to Families.  Every dollar donated through this campaign will go directly to the purchase of food goods that will help ensure that our widows and orphans are fed during this time of quarantine.  In addition to the money raised through the Food to Families campaign, ROWAN’s board made the decision to move our budget around from our sponsorships and put that money toward buying food supplies for all those under our care during this lockdown.  

We are grateful to those who have already donated to our Food to Families campaign as well as those who make donations through sponsorships.  Your generosity is making a tangible difference in our ROWAN communities.  We also want to give a huge shout-out of thanks to Little Man Ice Cream for their very generous donation.  Because of the generosity and love shown by all of you, we were able to send $13,000 to our Ugandan team for the purchase of food supplies.  

Crops growing in Uganda

Food prices in Uganda keep increasing and ROWAN is working hard to ensure we are ready and able to distribute food goods to our widows and orphans throughout this lockdown.  With your help, we can make sure none of them go to bed hungry during this time of quarantine.  

All photos in this post are by Bob Ditty

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

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

More from Loverowan