Uganda’s equatorial location & abundance of fresh water provides it a sheer density of wildlife that can make your head spin. There are (well) over 1000 bird species confirmed in the country alone. And what birds! Some of them look like actual runway models. We have already met the Collard, Malachite & Palestine sunbirds, today we meet the Variable Sunbird (or Cinnyris venustus).
Birds of Uganda – Variable Sunbird
Sponsor Young Arafati Mukisa
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!
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!
Breaking News: NGO’s in Uganda
ROWAN would like to share with you some breaking news from Uganda. The Ugandan government is tightening up their demands and requirements on NGO’s (non-governmental organizations that are nonprofit). There have been too many briefcase NGO’s (fraudulent nonprofit organizations set up only to obtain money from donors but having no programs on the ground) in the country, so the government is making every NGO, including ours, go through complex hoops to re-register and confirm our legitimacy.
The good news is, ROWAN has favor in the government and goes above and beyond with financial integrity and with our our local work in our districts. The only difficulties we face are that this process takes time and money; local leadership must travel to Kampala and spend time gathering data and filling out all the paperwork to meet deadlines.
ROWAN used to be a community-based organization (based upon our size), but since we have grown across four Districts, we are now an official NGO. ROWAN has been registered locally since we started in 2008. We value the importance of local authorities and laws regulating our work. We pray this intensive process will only further validate the work and ministry happening at ROWAN! Please join us in prayer for a smooth process and positive outcome as we continue to serve our many members. Thank you!
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…)