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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

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

Our Learning Center is OPEN!

Like so many others throughout the world, the closure of the schools in Uganda has been detrimental to the education and lives of our ROWAN children.  In February, we let you know about the plan we were putting into place to help bridge the educational gap for our children and families in Uganda.  Today, we get to share the exciting news that our Learning Center is now open!  

   

We currently have 4 teachers working at the Learning Center and have different curriculums for each grade level.  In-person learning is done in groups based on grade level and these groups rotate weekly.  The children love being able to be with their friends and teachers again!  They also have the added excitement of being picked up for school in the ROWAN bus – a bus just for them.  

 

In addition to the in-person learning each week, students at the Learning Center are given assignments to work on at home.  Rowan staff are making follow-up visits to the student’s homes to help ensure that they are getting their assignments completed.  We are also working hard to give the families the tools they need to be able to support and help their students at home.  

 

Our Learning Center is the result of love in action and the joy we see in the eyes of the children who attend each day is a beautiful sight to see.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Moms to Mamas

 

There’s no better way to honor the moms in your life than to bless a mom in need.

This Mother’s Day, we want to bridge the gap between the moms in your life and the mothers (who are widows) in ROWAN who are in real need of a sponsor more than ever before.

This year ROWAN has launched our Legacy Program: A four year comprehensive plan for our widows to learn business practices, grow in their faith, practice life skills, increase their passion for their families, all while meeting their physical needs each week.
 

So what is Mothers to Mother’s Campaign?

We have 18 mamas who need a sponsor to help them through this 4 year program. That could look like:

$38 a month, $228 every 6 months, or $456 a year. They will graduate at the end of 2025! 

What will your mother receive?

  1. Your mother will receive a sponsorship card with their photo and details
  2. Access to write her letters online *Anytime! She will respond within three weeks of your message! 
  3. Updates on her progress in Legacy Program through ROWAN quarterly.
  4. An opportunity to visit her mama at her graduation party in Uganda!

Will you consider sponsoring one of these mamas? For your mom, your mother-in-law, your sister, your aunt, your grandmother, your friend, or any special woman in your life who has loved and taught you. Visit the 18 mamas here and consider giving your mom or mentor the gift of loving one of these precious women who are in need of love from someone who has loved you. If you can’t sponsor a mama monthly, a one-time gift goes a long way to sponsor our 18 mamas! Thank you for reading about our mamas and considering changing their lives through the Legacy program. mother’s 

We understand if you can’t give right now. This virus affects us all differently, and we sympathize with those of you who wish you could give but aren’t able to. If you are looking for other ways to help, please share about ROWAN with your family and close friends. Our hearts are with each of you this holiday weekend.

ROMANS 5:5

honor! 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Time to build a new home for Ibrahim!

This is Ibrahim, he has been the recipient of help and support through ROWAN.  He is one of 13 children whose grandparents took them in after their father died.  Five of his siblings are now grown but eight of them still live with their grandparents. 

 

Ibrahim’s grandfather with some of his grandchildren behind torn down house.

 

Ibrahim as a young boy helping with chores.

In addition to being in grade Senior Two, Ibrahim has taken on the responsibility of helping to support his younger siblings.  He weeds the cassava garden and has built a small hut near the house his father was in the midst of building when he passed away.  Ibrahim and some of his siblings live in the small hut he built but it takes a lot of work to maintain.  The grass needed for the thatching is hard to get and can leak when it rains.  During times of drought, the thatching is eaten by termites.  In addition to issues with the roof, Ibrahim and his siblings must also worry about the snakes that creep in during the night.  Despite these hard living conditions, Ibrahim’s faith remains strong and he carries gratitude in his heart. 

Ibrahim today, weeding the cassava garden.

Today, we have GREAT NEWS! With the help of his sponsor and other supporters, we are going to build his family a new house! Soon his grandfather and siblings will have a new, safe place to call home. We will post new photos of their house in a few weeks! 

Want to help donate to the next house building project? It only takes $3,300 to build a new house top to bottom! Donate today! 

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

Ripples of Goodness

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

This is Josan Mpina.  As a child, he was orphaned and faced an uncertain future until help came in the form of sponsorship through ROWAN from the Beason family.  The Beason’s helped fund Josan’s education and in February of 2020, he was able to graduate from the mason skills and building practices program.  To celebrate this huge accomplishment, the Beason’s bought Josan the tools he would need to be able to work in his new industry.

In a letter he wrote at the end of his sponsorship, Josan spoke of his gratitude for ROWAN, its leadership, and his beloved sponsors.  He also expressed his appreciation for the love that he, “a needy orphan” received and for the fact that people were willing to advocate “for a person like me.”  

When we say that we are grateful for each of our sponsors and donors, we are speaking words from our hearts.  Your help allows ROWAN to be able to do the work that our Savior exemplified during his mortal ministry – that of loving and serving our fellow men.  What a blessing that is.  What a blessing you are.  

We wish each of you a beautiful Easter filled with the peace that is found in Christ.

Post Author: Kirsten Formea

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