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.
International Day of the Girl
The International Day of the Girl was last week, but we still want you to meet some of our neat young ladies!
She recently finished higher education. With a heart for her nation and especially the women there, she determined to study mass communication and journalism. Her dream is to speak up for women’s rights by documenting stories in Uganda so that each coming generation is one step closer to gender equality. In a country where women haven’t been allowed to own land, Uganda is coming a long way. But paving the road for women’s rights is not going to be a quick or simple task. Young ladies like Mariam represent the way forward, but they can’t do it alone!
Mariam successfully completed our program, but many other young ladies still need your help on their journey!
Consider joining our sponsorship family today!
Many more orphans and widows are still hoping for a sponsor.
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!
What are people saying about ROWAN?
If you’re anything like me, you occasionally or more than occasionally like to research things based on online reviews. I’ve made a lot of decisions based on said reviews: what books to read, what movies to watch, which restaurants to try and which vacuum to purchase! Practically every public figure and organization receives reviews. At ROWAN, we learn a lot about ourselves by listening to those who interact and spend time with us; they have good insight into who we are.
It is exciting to share with you that the reviews are in, and ROWAN is a top-rated non-profit organization!
Listen to what this ROWAN donor has to say:
“ROWAN has truly impacted our hearts and minds through sponsorship and Christmas giving. To be able to correspond with our sponsor children online and through mail is such a blessing. I truly feel like I am part of their journey. I can rest easy knowing the funds we donate are used for exactly what is intended. The clear communication between ROWAN and their supporters allows us to not only completely trust their vision but to be proud of what is being done.”
Brandon, an Ivy-League graduate, shares this powerful story about ROWAN:
“This is an utterly amazing organization that builds up leaders in the communities it operates within. I have never come across a group that more fluidly engages local leaders, donors, and teams from around the world in a partnership that values and maximizes the skills that each individual brings to the table. I volunteered with ROWAN in the summer of 2014 and met a group of Ugandan men and women who care very passionately about their community, especially widows and those suffering from HIV/Aids. They made it a priority to not only coordinate the administration of necessary medication, but also bring impactful change into the lives of individuals in the village by teaching them skills that they could use to build a business and thrive. Treating every person with respect and a implementing a tangible, long-term plan for success are hallmarks of this organization and things that really set ROWAN apart from other organizations I have worked with in the past. I would recommend ROWAN to anyone if they are seeking to donate or volunteer for a group with an impeccable track record who is changing the lives of hundreds of people and growing at an impressive rate. From the top down, I want to stress the character and integrity of the men and women who are a part of ROWAN and the life-changing work they are doing.”
Sometimes those who work inside an organization have the most to complain about. This is not the case at ROWAN. Listen to what Lauren has to share:
“I have been working with ROWAN for five years now, and have visited the village three times. Each time my understanding of cultures, nonprofits, and foreign aid has increased exponentially, and each visit has changed my life in a different way. The people and experiences impacted by ROWAN have greatly influenced my career path and the motivations behind it. The people in Mawanga, Uganda have even greater stories to tell, however! It has been a great joy to see the growth over the years, and to see and hear the success stories in both the children and the adults! It’s a rare nonprofit that can focus on empowering every aspect of a person’s life (again, child and adult), and ROWAN does it so well in so many pioneering ways! Pastor Paul Nyende and Kelsey Hargadine are two of the most humble and committed people I know, and their teamwork has created an incredible organization!”
I encourage you to read more reviews at greatnonprofits.org.
Would you consider joining us and sponsor an orphan or widow today? Thank you!
Meeting Face-to-Face in Uganda
Do you ever wonder if you’re making a tangible difference in the world? I know I do. Due to the nature of a 24/7 news cycle, social media, and a constant state of being “plugged in”, we are faced with information about a groaning world seeking help. We are presented with daily multiple needs and requests. It can get pretty overwhelming, even when we give money, labor, time, prayers, or other resources in answer to God’s call. Sometimes we don’t even answer because of that overwhelmed feeling. There is something that happens, though, when we obey God. Matthew 22:34-40 says:
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they met together in the same place. One of them, an expert in the Law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus told him, “”You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is exactly like it: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Amber Thurow is a ROWAN sponsor who recently returned from visiting Uganda with a team of people led by co-founder Kelsey Hargadine. Amber sponsors a widow she has never met named Rachel. Amber was looking forward to meeting Rachel in Uganda.
A little while ago, before the trip, Rachel became very ill with infected kidneys. Her condition was serious, and Amber sent some extra money to help cover her medical fees. Soon after the team’s arrival in Uganda, Amber and Kelsey were helping out in the village clinic. A woman came through the doorway and it was Rachel! She was there for her check-up—Amber was stunned to see how well she was doing! Both women were filled with joy. Rachel couldn’t stop telling them how happy she was that she was feeling better…so she can take care of her children.
Amber found out what happens when we obey God. We are first to love Him with everything we are and everything we have. And we are to love our neighbor as ourself. Amber does that and doesn’t have to worry if she is making a tangible difference. God gives blessing, joy, and peace to those who love and obey Him.
Amber, Kelsey and the team visited Rachel in her home and spent time in fellowship and prayer. Rachel shared her favorite verse, Luke 14:13:
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”