Our ROTOM Board Members are some of the brightest and most passionate working in ministry and charitable giving. We’re excited to provide introductions of this Q & A to our family of donors to get to know them. We’re often motivated by what we’ve experienced on our own generosity journey’s. Lisa Tokpa, our newest Board Member, shares her testimony and of her involvement with ROTOM Uganda’s board and a little bit about ‘why’ she loves ROTOM!
How did you first hear about ROTOM and why do you love and support ROTOM?
I’ve worked for the Uganda Studies Program (USP) at Uganda Christian University (UCU) for the past 10 years. Part of my work was connecting with local organizations to build mutually-beneficial partnerships in education. I started placing interns from USP at ROTOM Uganda in 2014 and learned more about the agency through my students’ learning experience there. ROTOM has always stood out to me as an exemplary organization, always putting the seniors it serves first. I was inspired by the hard working staff, their commitment to the mission, and the mentorship they gave to our North American university students. It’s one of few organizations that serves the elderly in Uganda — a population that so often gets overlooked, resulting in marginalization and neglect by the government, non-profits, and families. The light in the eyes of the ROTOM seniors is unforgettable and humbly whispers of God’s beauty.
Dancing with them during fellowships will always be one of my fondest memories during my 8 years living and working in Uganda.
Who inspired you to become a ROTOM U.S. board member and in what way will you contribute what you learned being a ROTOM Uganda board member?
Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi, of course! His story, dedication to seniors, wisdom, and vision for the future drew me to ROTOM. He is one of those special people who sees gifts in everyone. He thought the Programs Committee could use a social work perspective — I was honored and humbled to provide one, which led to joining the ROTOM Uganda board from 2016-19. That inspiration continued as I got to know the other Ugandan board members and leadership at ROTOM-Uganda. I carried the lessons-learned from serving on the board back to the classroom as I guided university students during their semester at Uganda Christian University.
How do you feel your experience with Uganda Christian University will equip you to serve on the ROTOM USA Board?
I have been privileged to serve as the Social Work Coordinator and Faculty at USP@UCU since 2012. While I had lived in Kenya and Liberia previous to this position, it was through walking with students during their 4 months in Uganda that solidified for me the value of cultural humility as an approach to cross-cultural engagement. Living within a Ugandan community for 8 years deepened my understanding of global inequalities as well as showed me innovative solutions towards change. Working within and in partnership with African organizations will give me unique perspectives and insights to continue to serve ROTOM, now from this side of the ocean.
Lisa, what helped shape your beliefs about Biblical Generosity and serving in ministry?
I grew up in a Christian family, learning the foundation of what it means to love others as a response to the love I receive from Christ. I continue to learn, grow, and stand in awe of this great love through the different seasons of life – through my career as a social worker, living in various communities in different parts of the world, serving in ministries, and as a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. I look forward to continuing to learn from and serve those on the ground at ROTOM who are directly impacting the lives of Ugandan and Ethiopian seniors who have so much left to do, give, and teach us all.
What is a “fun fact” that not many people may know about you?
Eddie and I got married in Zanzibar, because…why not?
Tell us briefly about your family and what you do to create family memories?
I’ve been married for 15 years to Eddie, who is originally from Liberia. We have one son, Zeke, who we adopted from Uganda. He’s an energetic first grader who keeps us on our toes! We love getting together with my parents, brother and his family, and friends here in Colorado, and also enjoy traveling when we can — whether just up to the Rocky Mountains or back to Africa.
We know that having the accessibility to our board members is very important. If you would like to reach out to Lisa personally, please contact her at [email protected]