By Stephanie Matty
Our ROTOM girls’ are moving ahead and conquering their dreams through the gracious power of Jesus Christ in the Champions Program! Can you imagine your daughter not having the opportunity to have adequate food, water, shelter, or education? These girls desire a normal life with basic life essentials and to enjoy social interactions with their friends at school. And, that is where ROTOM steps right in to make their dreams possible!
The program in Uganda is a unique group that mentors underprivileged and orphaned girls residing under their grandmothers’ care; giving them the ability to attain necessary trade/vocational skills, college, healthcare, and university education according to their desired interests. And, when the scholarship funds become available, these beautiful girls are given a choice to select from numerous activities to be able develop their full potential – all while serving impoverished and frail elders in the community. In Ethiopia, the program has also included young men and operates differently because of the region’s cultural differences. Founded in 2012 with a considerably small class of 15 students, from 2012 to 2021 the Champions Program has supported an amazing 180 students successfully. Currently, in 2022 the project supports 82 students. While since its inception in 2012, 96 students have graduated from the project, and out of these, 85% are employed and able to care for themselves, grandparents and extended family.
Inspiring Young Women Who Work Hard and Desire More!
There is so much for them to learn about, in particular what it is to be a neighbor and a friend directed by Jesus in the book of Matthew. As an example, in October of 2021 the girls worked together on the Champions Water Campaign to raise funds to build one Water Storage System. Then as a learning experience, they walked together in the village to bring water for senior Mbasaliza Maria from her previous water supply. Afterward, the students helped the delivery and installation crew for a 1,000-liter water storage tank. Before the tank was installed, Maria walked nearly one mile each day; hours spent in collecting water for her home and family! Access to clean water is something we take for granted in the U.S. And thanks to you, our dedicated donors, collectively we raised more than 130 water tanks for our seniors making the initiative a great success!
A significant part of the Champions’ program is that it mobilizes students to become confident leaders; instilled as a result of the various types of training and in-person teaching they receive while engaged in various types of active learning projects at school. While working one-on-one with the seniors, each young lady helps them with house chores, shares their strengths to help in other ways, and is hospitable to their elders. For most of these students, their grandmothers are their cornerstone and only living family member.
ROTOM Champion Nabatanzi Allen worked hard to provide income for her family, sewing dozens of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Altogether Allen was able to make 50 masks each day with support from her mother. The masks were then purchased by different health centers including ROTOM Health, the ROTOM School and other individual persons.
With her earnings, she was able to provide food and basic needs to her family when the country was in total lockdown. She happily states, “I am grateful to ROTOM and Beautiful World for giving me an opportunity to go back to school and attain these lifelong skills.”
Another young lady, Jane Namyalo, 25 years old who became a ROTOM Champion student in 2012 was selected to join the project which supports children under the care of their grandparents while in high school. When she joined the program, her life changed completely! Jane was never sent back home and all of the school essentials were provided. A highlight of the program was that Jane could now sleep at school – allowing her more time to study, and less time in walking miles from the village to school.
When Jane completed her ‘A level’ status in the ROTOM Champions program, she joined the YMCA Institute to acquire skills and knowledge in Fashion and Design. Jane’s dream of one day opening up a fashion design workshop to teach other girls in her community the trade skills to make wedding gowns, cushions, bags, jewelry and other items to earn a living is coming true!
She says, it’s important be able to create jobs for other girls in her community, and to share her skills and knowledge with them since they didn’t get the opportunity to go to school. The Champions Grad-prep program supports students, in addition to set attainable goals. The trainings supply students with financial literacy on how-to prepare their money from savings for future goals. These students are then able to go on to do bigger things, such as opening a small business in their communities.
Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi provide background, here, “When we started the ROTOM Champions project to support girls under the care of older persons nearly a decade ago, I did not not know what an impact it would have but I had faith, that educating the girls under the care of Grannies would not only give them an opportunity to achieve their life potential but also a shot at long-term sustainability of help to the grannies. Now with these girls educated, skilled and knowledgeable, they will not only be better off but their families starting with their grandparents will be better off! And I call that sustainability.”
He continues, “Forever grateful to BWCF who believed in this vision of long term sustainability. ROTOM champions supports 100 girls under the care of older persons in high school, vocational schools, college and universities in Uganda and Ethiopia. We also prepare them for real life through mentorship, leadership training and graduation preparation. 19 girls have graduated and 18 are employed. (95%) Four of them ROTOM running key aspects of our programs. All helping their grandparents and siblings. I have started to believe we might be doing something right.”
ROTOM, through its partnership with Beautiful World Canada, is giving these Champions the gift of education to support their family’s future. Each year the program is funding and support is renewed; there are 82 girls this year (2021-2022) who are ROTOM Champions.
Supporting Champions is making waves for their future, and also helping spread a caring message through the love of Jesus Christ. These young ladies are a life-giving, vital part of what keeps their seniors going through their daily challenges. This is all made possible because people like you choose to put your love into action. We cannot thank you enough.
Read more on the web page at https://reachone-touchone.org/ug/rotom-champions-program. Watch the Video of our villagers receiving help from Champions, here ➡️ www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1677599052402263.