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Born in Uganda in 1966, Rose was one of the fortunate ones – able to start school aged eight. But then, at 12, tragedy hit the family when both her parents died. Rose’s eldest brother did his best to care for the younger children, but there was no money for schooling.
 
Eight years later, aged 20, things looked up again when Rose got married. But the honeymoon was short-lived and life in a thatched mud hut, with no money, became very difficult. ‘People used to say of us,’ explained Rose, “‘One day we will dig them out of this house when the roof has collapsed.”’
 
But, in 2001, things again improved: Rose was elected a local council officer. However, as she explains, ‘I had no idea how to improve people’s lives.’ And, soon after, she was deselected. Her potential to lead had been recognised, but, with no support, the chance to fulfil her potential on behalf of her community wasn’t able to be realised.
 
Then in 2006, this ‘up and down’ rollercoaster stopped. And things changed for good. Tearfund partnered with her church and began running PEP – Participatory Evaluation Process, our tried and tested church mobilisation programme – in her Ugandan village. Rose was selected to be trained as a local facilitator for her community. This began three years of training and mentoring which allowed her to develop her potential.
Today, aged 48, Rose is an extraordinary woman with great influence in her community. Rose described how PEP was the catalyst for change. ‘It motivated us to work as a team as one church, and with other churches to bring about the developments you can see. Our eyes were opened. All the churches woke up at once!’
 
As part of Tearfund’s work, during PEP, Rose’s church did a Bible study on the role of the church. And, in looking at the ministry of Jesus they realised Jesus had healed the sick and so should they. Six people, with a passion and gifting in healing, were set aside for this ministry. Healings followed, word got out and people now travel from all over the district to be prayed for.
 
A poultry project was another outcome of the training in the church. Each Christian contributed a chicken and proceeds from the project have raised money for seats for the church and to buy instruments for worship. They now have 70 chickens which are reproducing, and the church is using the proceeds to help vulnerable children and widows.
 
In the lives of Rose and her husband, things have improved too. Their land was littered with termite mounds, but they learned that the termites had perfectly prepared the soil to make bricks. So, Rose and her husband made 10,000 bricks from mud. Used to the rollercoaster, Rose knew, when rain ruined 90 per cent before they could be fired, that she needed to press on. They started again. And today they have moved from their mud hut and live in a brick house, with other brick buildings for cooking and further sleeping quarters.

Rose and her husband have also been able to pay for all their children to go to school thanks to profits from a timber business they started. This has also allowed them to improve their home, making beds, tables and chairs.
 
One of the keys to breakthrough for families like Rose’s, is starting to save a little with others. This enables them to draw on funds for medical bills and school fees in harder times. Rose has helped many savings groups begin in the community, and many animals have been purchased: all over the district there are cows called Rose, named to honour her!
 
Rose also heads up the church women’s ministry and as the facilitator for Church Mobilisation in her community she was selected to be on the National Resource Team, training other facilitators from other regions of Uganda.
 
Rose is a remarkable woman! She clearly always had potential – she did well at school, but until Tearfund enabled Rose’s church to do PEP she didn’t have any context in which she could grow and flourish. God has raised her up as a leader in her community for the blessing of many. Thank you for the way you are helping so many people like Rose to fulfil their potential.
 
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