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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rural Orphans & Widows Aids Network Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, International, International Relief

Mission: To love & empower orphans & widows infected or affected by HIV & AIDS in Uganda through education, medical care and treatment, spiritual nourishment and business training, resulting in self-reliance. ROWAN partners with local Christian leaders & development organizations empowering each person to discover their God-given gifts & passions. Together, we assess quality of life, identify physical, spiritual & social needs & implement innovative strategies to meet these needs within the community.

Results: Over 150 community members that are HIV+ have easy access to their medications, 116 children in school from primary all the way to higher education, 4 students graduated with a degree, 7 savings and loans group among the community, empowered community to plant and sustain passion fruit for income, taught over 200 community members in a local literacy program, successfully networked with 17 other Ugandan organizations for collaboration under #UgandaUnite.

Target demographics: widows and orphans affected/infected by HIV/AIDS

Direct beneficiaries per year: 350 community members

Geographic areas served: 30 rural villages in East Uganda

Programs: medical care, education, business training, spiritual nourishment and urgent needs.

Community Stories

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being involved with this organization has been a catalyst in my life. For as long as I can remember, I have yearned to make a difference and looked for a worthy cause to support. Every single individual involved in this organization has a servant's heart and desires to work together to find a solution for any given problem presented. Rather than throwing money at an issue to make someone feel better, ROWAN seeks to partner by empowering and educating in order to produce sustainability. The widows and orphans are given value and made to feel valued and that is where the change happens and hope comes in. I am honored to be identified with this organization and what they stand for. Growth is evident and there are exciting things happening in communities as a result of the ministry of ROWAN.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROWAN has become my extended family! I heard about them and went on a short-term trip to their headquarters in Mawanga, Uganda and fell in love with their staff and the people they serve.
They are not just an organization that helps rural Ugandans, they are a group of people -local and American volunteers and staff- that live missionally at every opportunity they can.
I was taken to home after home of villagers and told their stories and how ROWAN has taught them that their is hope and taught them how to dream. Because of ROWAN 30+ villages contain members of ROWAN that have improved quality of life in some way: children sponsored for school, AIDs survivors, widows supporting their families, women saving for entrepreneurial efforts, young adults sponsored for college, villagers in literacy programs, women creating their own farms and most importantly villagers relying on Jesus for their security in every way.
ROWAN is relationally structured and staff visit members homes regularly every week to check up on them, encourage them and pray with them.
They are truly remarkable, always thinking of new ways to help the people in their corner of Uganda and new ways to glorify God.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot express the gratitude I have for this organization. They have spent more time with me as a volunteer than any other organization has. They have listened to my needs, addressed all concerns, and created unique opportunities that benefit everyone. The attention to detail, care, and genuine love they have for everyone they come in contact with is unprecedented. I am truly honored to volunteer with this world-changing organization!

Donor

Rating: 5

We sponsor 5 women and children at Rowan and their co founder Kelsey always keeps us in the loop on how they are doing. There's a Facebook group for all the sponsors too to be updated and we feel so blessed to be connected to such a responsible, accountable and transparent non profit organization that is doing amazing work with women and children. As a sponsor it really makes us feel like we know where our funds are directed to and helps us feel like we are truly making a difference even in the small contributions we can make from wherever we are - that we can play a part even if only by financial means and prayer :)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROWAN is a grass-roots organization providing support and encouragement to so many lives in rural Uganda. Coming alongside what the community is already doing, ROWAN helps to scale up the impact, improving the lives of children and adults. It is strategic and innovative and well worth our investment of time and funding.

1 brandonth93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Aubua

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I echo all of the reviews that fellow past and present volunteers have written about their experience with ROWAN on their home soil or during their time in Uganda. I traveled to Uganda to intern for ROWAN the summer of 2011 with the intention of serving those I met, building relationships, and changing their lives in the smallest of ways. However, little did I know, the people of Mawanga had hearts that reached out, touched my soul, and changed my life forever.

One specific thing that I appreciate most about ROWAN is where the money goes and how it is effectively used. The money goes to help the orphans and widows; however, it is not handed over to them. It reaches them in the form of ARVs, urgent needs, weekly educational classes, and through a variety of programs that help the people of the village empower and sustain themselves. I have seen it first hand and am grateful that my money is going straight to empowering the lives that I have come to care so much about.

Thank you for you interest in ROWAN! We would love to hear your story and share with you the the stories of our family in Mawanga!

Stay Gold, Aubua

Kate53

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My life collided with ROWAN in January 2013 when I had begun searching for the right organization in Uganda to get behind. I fell in love with the business model and leadership that I saw in ROWAN. They are organized, determined, smart and practical. Their leadership comes from the inside, the very source, Mawanga, and then extends out into others here on the ground in the USA. I had the privilege of visiting Mawanga this July, and I was absolutely blown away. Their programs are built around sound, strategic models for how to make this village and these beautiful people, build lives that are self-sustaining rather than reliant on outsiders. It's so easy to rally others behind this cause, and the efforts of ROWAN, because the people that are leading the organization are honest and genuine. And the people who are benefitting from ROWAN are living stories of the blessing that has come from the time and energy spent building and carrying out ROWAN's vision.

Bess T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The lives of Ugandan villagers this organization touches are truly changed and enriched. The women in these villages have learned how to be self sufficient, provide for their family's and even learn how to save enough money to buy land and have a home built. This non-profit is the best non-profit organization I have ever had the pleasure of being apart of. It is so exciting the movement and momentum this organization has had to strengthen the economy of these Ugandan villages.

katedugg

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Kelsey Hargadine, co-founder of ROWAN, 5 years ago when the organization was just starting out. This past July I was fortunate enough to get to travel with ROWAN to the frontlines - Mawanga, Uganda. It is hard to put the experience into words, but it was an extraordinary trip. ROWAN's leaders were professional in their trip planning and execution of the complex itinerary. I felt safe, cared for, and all the details were taken care of.

Now to speak to their work in rural eastern Uganda - what comes to mind is the strong leadership. Kelsey, along with the local leaders, are great decision makers with hearts of gold. They are visionaries with big dreams - God dreams - and are fully committed to seeing them come alive for this otherwise forgotten community. I was deeply moved by the complete dedication the team has to raising up HOPE in the hopeless. This is a ROWAN specialty.

ROWAN is a part of the very fabric of Mawanga so the leaders know the needs intimately. The impact that their presence and love has had on the community will only be known in Heaven one day.

ROWAN strengths to me include pouring unconditional love on to the women and children, along with empowering them through the teaching of new skill sets and education.

Simply priceless.

JOIN our ROWAN family today and be a witness to God's work in our world!!!

http://loverowan.org/

Kate Duggan
Los Angeles, California

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been a great privilege to meet and get to know ROWAN's cofounder, Kelsey Young. She is a true visionary and leader who has the biggest heart for the ROWAN community. I believe in her mission and this young non-profit is only going to continue to grow bigger and stronger each year. ROWAN is making a huge, positive impact in Uganda and I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to play my own very small role. I recommend ROWAN 100%!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

This August I visited the small village of Mawanga, Uganda. It is not on any map, other than God's. In the midst of what most would define as a poverty level community of the lost and forgotten was the most hope & joy I have experience in my adult life. The people there have evidence of God's love...the most visible is R.O.W.A.N. (Rural Orphans & Widows Aids Network). This non-profit was co-founded by village Pastor Paul Nyende and American born Kelsey Hargadine.

If you have ONE CENT to donate...consider the working of non-profit ROWAN in a community that receives the benefit directly from generous donors like you!

Brad Young, Retired Law Enforcement Executive
Los Angeles, CA
actonlawman@yahoo.com

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have recently helped ROWAN though our own charity organisation called Solibad through a common partnership, and I must admit that I was simply amazed by the way Rowan was run both from the USA by Kelsey and Pastor Paul and his staff on site, in Mawenga. They know where they are heading and they are going with a great smile in spite of all the difficulties. Their hearts is a big as their goal even if they have little means to achieve it. They try hard and it makes all the difference.
Most charity organisations tend to help local people financially. At Rowan, they go far beyond that, as they help them spiritually, with joy, and also, they help them help themselves. As an old African saying goes, it is better to teach the fishermen how to catch a fish than to give him a fish. This is what Rowan does.
It's been a real delight to discover this amazing network of people, who are really doing a fantastic job on the field.

Donor

Rating: 5

My sister, Megan, is the co-founder and I have met Kelsey a couple of times. I have only just recently become a true part of ROWAN, but I have watched it grow and know that the world couldn't ask for a better, more ambitious, caring, hard-working, inspired team to help the orphans and widows in Africa. I wholeheartedly agree with their approach for building self-reliance in this village. I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and determination of the people of this organization. They truly want to help. And they ARE helping. I am very happy to be a supporter of this wonderful program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been so blessed by my time spent with ROWAN. The local staff are so warm and genuine, and I have no doubt that they truly care for the widows and orphans in Mawanga. They love God, and their love for God is demonstrated in their love for the people. The organization has inspired me in so many ways, and I would love to return.

1 Renee D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been doing volunteer work my entire life, but I have never before worked with an organization that I have felt this confident in. ROWAN is doing amazing things through local leaders in the areas that it serves. They're building up people to help them solve their own problems and become self-reliant. The opportunity that I had as a short term mission volunteer to walk along side ROWAN and see their vision has inspired me and I plan on supporting them as much as I can for the rest of my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROWAN is the most incredible organization I have ever worked with. I have seen the healing and hope God has done through ROWAN first hand. I started out as a college intern because I knew their holistic approach and emphasis on building self reliance was the best model for long term positive impact. I had to be a part of sharing that vision! Then I had the opportunity to see the work being done in the villages for myself. That experience changed my life as well as the lives of my Ugandan friends. When visiting the homes of the widows I saw hope enter their lives when our Ugandan volunteers told them about their options for bettering their lives through our micro enterprise opportunities, or through medical aid. The intense poverty of those villages are haunting, but not without hope. ROWAN has tapped into that hope and you can SEE how the villages have improved. The students in our education program melted my heart. Their dreams and their zeal for life might not have ever been heard or encouraged if not for ROWAN. Those kids are talented and smart! They deserve an education! ROWAN is passionate about giving those kids an environment where they thrive physically, mentally, and spiritually. Every person in ROWAN knows they are amaka (family). I love my amaka! Even though I visited the village over a year ago, I still keep on contact with my dear friends from the village. It's speratic of course, but precious. I was so excited this winter when my church's youth group did the Let's Make Cents program and raised school tuition for a student I met and befriended in the ROWAN program. ROWAN works to build authentic relationships between supporters and the village. To pass over ROWAN is to pass over miracles being done. Your heart will be changed the more you plug into ROWAN! There's no other organization like ROWAN in the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a blessing to walk alongside the staff with ROWAN in Mawanga, Uganda. They love Jesus, love their community, and love visitors! We were brought into their ministry as welcome participants in their life as community. Their hospitality was filled with kindness and generosity. We loved our evening chats over beans, rice, greens, hot sauce, and boiled milk! Our team of volunteers saw many facets of effective community development - from successful savings and loan groups, to adult literacy training, to developmental programs for orphans and agricultural training for widows. We wholeheartedly endorse this non-profit and look forward to supporting them in any way possible.

Donor

Rating: 5

I met the co-founder, Kelsey Hargadine, last year when we were both living in Kremmling, CO. What an inspiration she is! I sat back and listen to her heart about Uganda and Jesus...and fell in love with both. Uganda, for the first time, and Jesus--well, that's continual:-) She brought ROWAN to this small mountain town and to me! Whenever I wear the beads of hope, I think of the verse that ROWAN lives out - because hope doesn't disappoint!

Donor

Rating: 5

I first gained a passion for Uganda after studying abroad there last fall. After returning back to Colorado I had the privilege of meeting co-founder of ROWAN, Kelsey. Kelsey's love for the orphans and widows was evident in our very first conversation. I saw a lot of ministries while in Uganda that attempt to force their "Western ways"and typically end up failing, but ROWAN is different. ROWAN is family. People from around the world coming together to better each others lives, and it is one of the most unique organizations I have ever had the chance to be a part of. They are on to something great, and I can't wait to see how the Lord will continue to bless them.

Advisor

Rating: 5

ROWAN does the Lord's work, plain and simple. From supporting widows and orphans to bringing medicine and clean water to the region, ROWAN touches all aspects of the people of Uganda.