Jan 2016 Mini Newsletter



 Hello and Happy New Year to all out friends, Past Volunteers and Sponsors,

First I would like to personally thank again all those of you who have visited Uganda Lodge, donated to our UK charity – Uganda Lodge Community Projects – or sponsored any of the children at Ruhanga Development School over the past year.

You will probably have read the newsletter I sent out shortly before Christmas, giving you updates of the things we have achieved in Ruhanga in the past year and if not you can see previous copied here at ruhanga.com

Where are we now? Well we still have a number of children who are not yet sponsored and I recently added a few more whose previous sponsorship has expired and not been renewed or children that were saved but whose payments never materialised. It would be great to find new sponsors for the children still showing at http://sponsorachild.co.uk/category/children-needing-sponsors – Can you find any friends willing to set up a regular payment of just £3.50p a month or spare £42 for a whole year’s education?

You can either set up a standing order direct to our Uganda Lodge Community Projects Charity bank account which is Barclays  Sort Code 20-90-56  Account 153252094 or to use  your ATM card right now go to BTDonate –  http://tinyurl.com/ruhangaschool    Either way please use your childs school number and your surname as the reference and email me ann@ugandalodge.com  to know when we should expect your payment. BTDonate transfers the money to us weekly and only take 10p commission for a £7 donation.

We are also starting up a scheme where a small number of particularly vulnerable youngsters can be identified to board with us for free if we have an offer of £125 for one years’ sponsorship (or £10.50p a month) We already have two offers (thankyou) and Denis & I will choose the children after term begins in February.

Although ideally we need another classroom plus a teacher’s staff room built at the school, that is not high on our agenda for this coming year. Our top priority is to build facilities to open more vocational training classes for young people, especially for those who drop out of formal education after Primary school and have little hope of ever getting a worthwhile paying job.

Having help to gain the skills to start up their own small business will stop them drifting away from their family and villages into the larger towns and hopefully prevent early pregnancy and  marriage for the girls.

As you have seen, we have opened Tailoring, Knitting, Computing and Shoemaking classes in the two existing workshop style classrooms and we are now building a training restaurant. This will enable us to teach a variety of different skills for potential chefs, cooks, bakers, cake decorators, fast-food snack providers, beverage providers and waitresses, customer services etc. 

Currently for the main restaurant area, the kitchen and the toilet facilities, the foundations have been dug, walls built and roofing is now being erected. As is usual we have almost run out of money again, and we need to raise a further £10,000 or so before we can open the doors to both students and customers.

I am hoping to get a breakdown on this soon after I get out to Ruhanga later this month, but we have to budget for doors & windows, plastering inside and out, floor tiles, electrical work, all plumbing fittings, decorating, carpentry work (cupboards shelves, tables chairs etc) and necessary kitchen equipment. I have updated the BTDonate fundraising page I set up some while ago and donations would be much appreciated here http://tinyurl.com/ugandabuild 

Better still, you are welcome to put your own page up  and ask friends to donate directly to your own page (BT has a lower commission rate when compared to Virgin or Just Giving etc) Maybe you can collect enough to pay for one of the above mentioned items. Email me and I will call Denis & give you an individual cost to aim for.

Once open there will be new opportunities for our volunteers to provide help and tuition in all catering fields, in addition to the current teaching at school, arts and  crafts, music, sports, building work, and medical and community outreach work. We are still only charging £15 per day for all meals and accommodation for volunteers, a full 3-day safari is under £300 and return flights from the UK are between £350 and £500 depending on the season and how early you book

2nd UGANDA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON is on Sunday 5th June in Masaka – just 3 hours away from Ruhanga. www.UgandaMarathon.com   Last year we had four runners who fundraised for our charity and they all has a fantastic time especially as they all took part in the official organised 5 day programme and then came on down to volunteer with us at Uganda Lodge afterwards. You don’t have to run a marathon – its very informal and you can run a half or even just 10 kms. Please pass this info on to your friends – they don’t have to volunteer with us afterwards although obviously we hope that they do. If you are interested do contact me directly as I can probably get a discount on the website costs as we are now one of their ‘partner charities’  I am planning to go out on about 1st June if you need someone to ‘hold your hand’ although I am now too old to even dream about actually running 10 kms (or 10 yards !!)

ADMIN HELP WANTED  Besides fundraising I need help with promoting all our volunteer opportunities amongst your own friends, and to keep updating general listings on many websites so we remain near the top as a new listing. Do you have a couple of hours a week to spare and more importantly would you be willing to offer us ongoing help if you have some skills in using any of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, whats app, google ads, eBay, etc. Basically anything that can promote volunteering, fundraising, Sponsorship etc would help.

Best Wishes to you all

From Ann McCarthy and Denis Aheirwe

Denis +256 774768090 or +256 701536197  Ann +44 7867513588 or +256 701805253