“Love for children is deep in my heart,” says Rosemary Namande of Uganda, affectionately known as Mama Rosemary. “God has blessed me with the ability to care for hundreds of them.”
Forty years ago, Rosemary opened a school for infants in makeshift quarters. Today, thanks to tireless determination and Opportunity International loans, five permanent buildings house her elementary school and orphanage. Here Rosemary educates and cares for more than 900 children—many with discounted or free tuition.
Rosemary has faced tragedy in her life due to AIDS. She lost her daughter, two siblings and a nephew to the AIDS epidemic, which left 11 children without parents. So Rosemary adopted these children, providing them shelter, safety, support and an education. Fifteen of her school’s current students were born with AIDS and receive treatment at her school.
Rosemary’s capacity to educate and offer housing for many children in her community has greatly expanded since she opened her school. Today, equipped with a staff of over 50 people and loans from Opportunity, she has five permanent buildings that house her elementary school and orphanage and enable her to provide the local children with an education.
Rosemary’s impact doesn’t end with the children. She uses the increased income from her loans to reinvest in her community. She adopts orphans, hires widows to teach marketable skills, helps women establish businesses, leads a local women’s council, and opens her school to other community activities.
This strong, powerful woman didn’t let the tragedy of AIDS defeat her. She used the opportunities available to her to provide a future to children who have lost everything.
Wednesday, Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. This year, keep Rosemary Namande in your thoughts and prayers, and remember the power that every one of us has to make a difference.