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Hope Makers

A woman and her family by their home in Uganda

On Wednesday, we shared stories of what life has been like over the last year for Namulawa, Beatrice, and Florence – members of our Ugandan ROWAN community.  Today, we want to share some year-end thoughts from Robina and Anet.

A woman and her five children in front of their home in Uganda

Robina shared that 2021 was a ‘unique experience in my life, the family, and the community at large.”  She felt a great deal of fear about the COVID virus and all the unknowns surrounding it.  Robina wrote that COVID lockdowns imposed by the Ugandan government caused her business to come to a standstill, making it impossible to purchase basic necessities for her family.

A woman and her daughter in Uganda

Anet shared that she struggles with increasing poverty due to COVID lockdowns.  She also worries greatly about the children, especially the teenage girls, who were sent home due to school closures.  Anet wrote that she hopes that schools reopen soon and that when they do, they will have special programs to help the children get back into life as they knew it before the pandemic.

Like Namulawa, Beatrice, and Florence, Robina and Anet shared their gratitude for the help they and their families have received from ROWAN throughout the last year.  Both women wrote of the difference ROWAN’s provision of food, safety equipment, and other necessities made for their families. They also shared their thanks for ROWAN’s educational materials, virus education, and counseling services.  Each time ROWAN was able to step in and help, it gave Robina, Anet, and their families hope, a much-needed commodity in times of struggle.  

This Christmas season, ROWAN has chosen hope as our focus.  Our Blessing Basket campaign is all about giving hope to our Ugandan families.  Hope in the form of having their immediate needs met with food and educational materials and hope for the future in the form of seeds to plant. Once planted, these seeds will become crops that can help each family start 2022 on more solid ground.  Christmas 2021 One Act of Hope Campaign

We are so excited and grateful to say that we are now over halfway to our Blessing Baskets campaign goal!  Our goal is to provide 400 families with a Blessing Basket and, as of this post, we have received enough donations for 230 baskets!  If you are interested in purchasing a Blessing Basket or learning more about this campaign, click here.  

Thank you to all those who have donated to our Blessing Basket campaign!  You are hope-makers!  In a world that can feel cold and lonely, you are spreading love – one act of hope at a time.  

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Challenges and Hope

a woman and her children in Uganda

As 2021 draws to a close, members of our ROWAN community in Uganda have been reflecting on what the last year has looked and felt like to them.  This week, I wanted to share some of their stories with you.  

Namulawa K. shared that one of the hardest things about this past year was her father’s death.  When her father passed away, Namulawa was unable to attend his burial due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place by the Ugandan government.  Being unable to attend her father’s burial service has been a very hard and painful thing for Namulawa and she struggles with it every day.

A mother and her 10 children in Uganda

Beatrice K. told us that the restriction of movement and school closures have been the hardest things for her.  Before the pandemic, Beatrice sold ripe bananas to the schools, but this income source went away when schools shut down.  Beatrice said that her family has struggled with the increased poverty and a lack of food and other basic necessities. “Life,” she says, “has been very hard.”

Two women sitting under a tree in Uganda

Florence Y. shared that for her, the increased levels of poverty and fear and the significant number of deaths have been very hard to deal with this year.  She worries about the children who were sent home due to school closures and fears that they may never return.  

2021 has been a challenging year.  There is no denying that.  But amid the hardships of 2021, there has also been hope.  Namulawa, Beatrice, and Florence all shared that ROWAN has been there for them and their families throughout their hardships. Each of them expressed gratitude for the much-needed safety items, basic necessities, and food supplies that ROWAN provided them with over the last year.  These provisions helped them know they were not forgotten amid their struggles.  

We at ROWAN are so thankful to each of you who have sponsored, donated, and prayed this year.  Your donations, prayers, and love make a difference in the lives of many!

If you are looking for more ways to help spread love and hope this year, our 2021 Christmas Blessing Baskets campaign is now live.  Each Blessing Basket contains 40 pounds of food, educational supplies, basic necessities, and seeds for the families to plant to help them get a more solid footing in 2022.  We have set a goal of earning enough for 400 Blessing Baskets by the 20th of December, and with your help, we can reach this goal!  To learn more or to purchase a Blessing Basket, please click here.  

Christmas 2021 One Act of Hope Campaign

Thank you for standing with ROWAN and the people of Uganda!

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

One Act of Hope

Woman in Uganda holding a basket of food on her head

“If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed one.” – Mother Teresa

Christmas 2021 One Act of Hope Campaign

The need for food is something all of us share. For some, however, this basic need is often in short supply. This is why, for our Christmas campaign this year, ROWAN has selected Blessing Baskets as our focus.  

 

Each Blessing Basket contains:

40 pounds of food

A Frying pan

Sweet treats

Seeds to plant

Educational materials for children

 

These items will help our Ugandan ROWAN families meet basic needs and give them a solid start to 2022.  

 

By donating $85 for a Blessing Basket, you are helping sustain an entire Ugandan family through lockdowns, weather catastrophes, uncertainty brought by a global pandemic, and the political chaos that continues to plague the region.

 

Our goal for the Blessing Basket campaign is $34,000, which, if reached, will allow us to provide 400 families in Uganda with a basket of much need supplies along with a huge dose of hope.  To purchase a Blessing Basket for a ROWAN family, click here.  With your help, we can reach our goal of helping 400 families by December 20th. 

 

Let’s make this Christmas one of abundant blessings – one act of hope at a time.  

 

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

What happens when schools close?

An empty school building with missing windows in Uganda

“Education is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. “- Worldbank

 

The benefits of education on individuals and society as a whole are well-documented and many.  According to the University of the People, some of the benefits of an education are:

– It promotes a greater sense of empowerment and equality

– It improves economic growth

– It allows for the development of needed life skills

– It reduces crime rates

– It helps lower gender-based violence

– It reduces the rate and likelihood of child marriage

 

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted learning worldwide.  While schools in some areas of the world have reopened, schools in Uganda have been closed for over 77 weeks – the longest closure of anywhere in the world according to the U.N. cultural agency.  Without resources for remote learning, the school closures mean that most students in Uganda have been without educational training of any kind for the last year and a half.  Save the Children called the prolonged school closures the “biggest global education emergency of our time” and they have identified Uganda as one of the countries at high risk for school system collapse. 

 The lack of access to education has negatively impacted students, their families, and the Ugandan economy.  According to a recent AP News report, unwanted pregnancies, child marriages, dropout rates, and the number of people living in poverty has increased.  Older children are leaving home looking for work wherever they can find it, and hope for the future is dwindling.  In an interview with AP News, Francis Adungosi, a former Ugandan teacher currently working at a mine, said that students “are traumatized. Remember they are having a lot of challenges.”  

But there is hope on the horizon.  Earlier this month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said that schools would reopen in January.  We at ROWAN stand with the children and families in Uganda. We will be praying that this reopening timeframe sticks and that children across Uganda will be able to return to the safety and structure of their classrooms.  Will you join us in this prayer?

 

Photo by the Associated Press

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Believe in the goodness of people

A woman holding a baby in Uganda

We are nearing the end of October and, here in the US, that means one thing – the holiday season is fast approaching.  We at ROWAN have been busy putting things together for this year’s Christmas campaign, and we can’t wait to share it with you over the week of Thanksgiving!

A smiling little girl in Uganda

Your generous donations during our annual Christmas campaigns have made a difference in the lives of so many.  When Uganda shuttered schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  your contributions to our 2019 campaign – Education Opens Doors, allowed Rowan to continue our children’s educations through the learning center.   And when Uganda went under lockdown due to the pandemic, ROWAN was able to get much-needed food and supplies to our members with the bus your donations funded during last year’s Christmas campaign. 

A happy woman smiling in Uganda

With the lockdown in Uganda in effect through the end of January, this Christmas will look a little different for our ROWAN members.  While they may not be able to gather together to celebrate, we are hoping that with your help, we will be able to deliver baskets of joy to each of them.

A woman holding a small child in Uganda

We at ROWAN believe hope, faith, and love can prevail – even in chaotic times.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  We are so grateful for the love shown by our sponsors and supporters.  It is because of you that we have had the privilege of witnessing the power of love in action – a truly wonderous sight to behold.

 

All photos by Bob Ditty

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Meet Elisa and Wahabu

In Wednesday’s blog post, we featured two caregivers (Katherine Nabirye and Badiri Mukose) in need of sponsorship.  Today we are turning the spotlight on two of ROWAN’s sweet primary children who are waiting for their sponsors.  

Little boy standing on a field in Uganda

Elisa Mugoya is a little boy with a big heart.  He is one of 8 siblings! Elisa dreams of one day becoming a police officer so that he “can help keep people safe.”  With your help, we can support Elisa as he grows up and works toward accomplishing that dream.

A young boy standing on grass in Uganda

Wahabu Kafero is one of two siblings who live with their mother.  He is a kind little boy who dreams of becoming a lawyer one day to help “protect and defend” others.  Wahabu knows that this dream will require a lot of work, but he’s willing and ready to put the work in to make his dream a reality.  By sponsoring Wahabu today, you are showing this determined little boy that he won’t be alone on the journey toward his goal.

A young man in his school uniform in Uganda

 

A little boy dressed in a suit in Uganda

 

A ROWAN sponsorship costs as little as $38 a month.  Your sponsorship dollars help ROWAN cover the cost of:

Medical Care

Education and Literacy costs

Business training

Nutritious meals

In addition to meeting the physical needs of our ROWAN members, sponsorship builds relationships.  Once you sponsor a ROWAN member, you can write to the individual you sponsored – and have them write back.  You become a treasured part of their lives, and they will quickly become a precious part of yours.

To sponsor Elisa or Wahabu, simply click on their names anywhere in this post to be taken to their individual sponsorship pages.  

When you sponsor a ROWAN member, you are changing lives and lifting hearts.  We are so grateful for each of our ROWAN sponsors!  Your generosity helps ROWAN stand in the gap for our members, and we couldn’t do that without you.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

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