Within an hour’s drive from the Entebee Airport, the Women Together team arrived, very late on March 7th, 2016 to what looked like a well-kept compound and home to the ROTOM Ministry. Staff en route shared briefly why ROTOM started and what we would find on our week of orientation. A friendly barking dog along with the Founder Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi welcomed us to ROTOM and directed us to the guest house. In stark contrast to the blackness of the night, the guest house, all lit up, was immediately settling after our 18 hour flight from Canada. This would be home for a week.
ROTOM stands for: Reach One Touch One Ministries. Kenneth started ROTOM in October 2003 as an answer to the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic which took the lives of thousands of adult children, leaving grandmothers to raise their grand children. In African culture, it is the adult children who look after their parents in their senior years. With the HIV/AIDS taking so many adults, something had to be done to help the grandmothers who were living in severe poverty themselves and had the added responsibility of raising their grandchildren. Most raise 2 -5 grandchildren. We met one grandmother raising 13 grandchildren. What we saw and learned was amazing!
Our week consisted of visiting villages were we met the seniors in the small homes provided by ROTOM. We met their grandchildren, listened to their stories and understood how ROTOM has brought them the seniors and their grandchildren, dignity, hope and life. “My life has purpose again” was a common statement we heard from the grandmothers!
Home-based care and medical attention are all part of the ROTOM program to ensure that the needs of seniors and their grandchildren are being met. The grandmothers we met are happy women! Thanks to ROTOM!
We have been asked to provide leadership training to the ROTOM staff of 26 and will be doing much more with home based care with this needed ministry in Uganda in the near future.