Uganda Lodge Newsletter October 2017


Updates From  UGANDA LODGE       
   & Ruhanga Resource Centre 

PO Box 368 Ntungamo SW Uganda

               RUHANGA DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL               October 2017

Greetings to all our dear friends and supporters

Its a new school year in UK  but out in Uganda all the children lucky enough to be in school are gearing up for their end of year exams. They don’t move up into the next grade unless they pass these exams so we frequently get children aged 10 years and 15 years in the same class. Many of our 500 children are from subsistence farming families and have missed much of their education through spending months looking after younger siblings or sick relatives or frequently being sent home from the govt schools for having paid no money, as are never really free.

But its a joy to see how keen they all are to take their opportunity of learning when they can. Our reward is that once again the Primary 7 students did us proud and every one passed their mock leaving exams, most with Grade 1 or 2

The monthly £5 per child we get from the sponsorship scheme that supports our School is never enough to cover all the expenses especially when we include the free porridge they all get every day, and the large number of  boarders we also feed. Many of our children are not yet sponsored  at all but they still all receive the same support and care as each other. Will you please ask around to see if between us we can find a few more sponsors? (see here for more info)

We do ask all children (except a few special cases) to contribute a small amount each term so they don’t see a white face and hold out their hands, but unlike most private schools we do not exclude non-payers from their lessons.

Thanks to contributions from several volunteers, two patrols of Scouts were able to spend almost a week at the National Jamboree in Kampala after winning their places at the District Camp. Some volunteers also joined them for a couple of days and they met the President when he visited the camp.

It widens their horizons, and it is with this same aim in mind that Denis hopes to be able to be able to take all 31 students in Primary 7 on a two day educational trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park. At the same time they would visit a Power Station, Salt Lake, Copper Mines and a Tea Factory & Plantation. They will each pay some money but we still need to collect at least another £300. If you would like to contribute please make a donation here – noting that it is for the school trip.

Thanks to the excellent fund-raising done by some of our volunteers over the summer months, our two new classrooms are slowly taking shape, but they are still not finished yet. Foundations, Walls, Roof, Outside Veranda, & inside flooring are completed and Windows are fitted and glazed. Now its doors, internal plastering & decorating and WOW – they will be properly completed. However it seems students have already moved in & are working on their lessons surrounded by the builders so more contributions are urgently needed and can be made here again marking it for the Classrooms.

Meanwhile current volunteers decided that alongside the windows in the classrooms, the boarders needed new mosquito nets, additional mattresses and three new Triple-Decker Bunk Beds, and so they went on a shopping spree.  This also benefits local businesses and  many thanks to all concerned.

Our volunteer numbers have risen slightly again this year and hopefully this will continue especially with the attraction of lower air-fares (from £282 return London to Entebbe) coupled with just £15 per day full board. Please tell all your friends & contacts about the different opportunities that comes with a stay at Uganda Lodge – and especially how affordable it can be when no middle-men are making large profits.

Referrals are always a better way of finding new volunteers and sponsors than advertising, even with the free Google Ads that we are allocated. If you can design a flyer and put it up at your place of work or Uni notice-board someone may just be looking for something different to do in the coming months. Christmas in Uganda? Something to look forward to in the New Year?

We have recently hosted a number of older visitors at Uganda Lodge who were just looking for a ‘Holiday with a Difference’ and didn’t come with the express purpose of volunteering, which is fine by us. The small profits from their safaris and gorilla treks plus the accommodation fee all goes towards helping these adorable children. When they come however, none can resist interacting with the kids  – especially the new little ones in the Nursery Classes! Some of them are so cheeky!

Two volunteers raised over £2000 specifically for water and Denis has now organised a new well to be dug in the school grounds, in the hope that during the next dry season we will not run out of water. However as is the norm, the original quotation fell short of the actual cost and  we have already added money to complete cementing the culverts in place and adding a cover. Nothing is wasted – bricks are being made with the clay from the hole.  Now we need another £1,000 to purchase a suitable pump and put in the necessary pipework, so further donations towards this are urgently needed. Do you know anyone who would like to contribute to helping provide Clean Water in Africa? Please get them to ask me for more info or make a donation here noting that its for water.

Our school Lottery has kicked off and our good friend and Charity Trustee Ian Emm won £20 for two weeks running. He is in Uganda now and put his £40 winnings towards the new mattresses for the school. Thankyou Ian. This week it was won by Claire D. Will it be YOU next week? Each ticket is £1 and you can WIN £25,000  a lot more easily than with the National Lotteries. More importantly our school funds will get 40p of your pound each week. Its easy to join – just sign up here   Join this month and you may also win an Amazon Dot.  Last week Bella, a parent from the tiny Mere Primary School in rural UK matched only SIX numbers and won the £25,000…. YOU NEXT?? 

The McNeil Medical Centre is doing well with more local Mums being confident to bring their new babies for polio and other jabs. Even some villagers living within walking distance to our Centre still have never seen white people before. New children at school have been screened and treated for a host of minor ailments, all for free – thanks to the continued support of ASE Consulting Ltd

We have had several medical students doing their Medical Electives this year and they get far more hands on experience than ever they do in the UK. Again please promote this opportunity to any students friends you know. A wide range of different subjects can also be researched in Ruhanga and used for your University Thesis. Villagers and the children are always happy to be interviewed.

Do you buy any items online? If so please register with EasyFundraising   and raise money for our charity every time you shop, at no extra cost to yourself. We now have raised nearly £200 in a few months.  Here are some of the children who are benefiting from all your fundraising and donations.

If you take a look on Facebook at the Uganda Lodge and Ruhanga Development School pages you will see lots of updates each week from volunteers and others out there. Please email me with any specific questions and note that both Denis and myself are on WhatsApp and would love to hear from you.

WhatsApp  =  Denis +256 701536197 or +256 774768090 and Ann +44 7867998414 

Many Thanks

Ann McCarthy & Denis Aheirwe

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