Uganda Lodge Newsletter December 2012


Christmas will soon be upon us!!


No sooner than I have  returned from Uganda and it seems that Christmas is almost upon us again! Everyone is busy rushing around wondering what different  gifts they can buy for Grandma, their niece or special friend for a Christmas present. Please think about getting something really different that will be appreciated far more than yet another bottle of perfume, pair of gloves or unwanted toy. You could give the Gift of a year’s free education and a meal each day to one of the children waiting for sponsorship at our school. It’s  just £42 for a full year or you can spread your Christmas spending over the whole year and make monthly payments of £3.50.  We issue  a sponsorship certificate with a photo of your chosen child and your recipients name will also be shown on our website. See  Right now there are about 40 children still in the ‘looking for a sponsor’ category, but there are another 60 that are waiting for their previous sponsors to renew for another year or who have been ‘saved’ but no payment has been made.(If you are one of the latter group  please make contact with me now and let me know if you can start or continue with your payments – its just 90p a week)  Amon, our local school co-ordinator tells me he already has a waiting list for the new school year which begins in February.

Ruhanga Development School 

We  ended the final term and school year of 2012 with a Speach Day which was attended by several hundred parents and most of our 400 students, who are educated in 9 different classes. Classes will increase to 10 classes in February as we open a Primary Five. We have completed building a new classroom in readiness and it has just been painted by our hard-working volunteers. At the speach day, the children and volunteers entertained the parents with singing and dancing,  school reports were distributed and a present of a new sweater was given to each of the first four children in every class. Recent volunteers have twice given out individual gifts to every single child so Christmas came early for them. But thanks to the staff of Hastoe Housing all the children had a special Christmas treat of fizzy drinks at these end of year celebrations. Volunteers organise holiday activities for the children as well as repainting the toilets and all the existing classrooms making them smart for the new school year. Building has finished and the new staff room an headmasters room are now in use.

UK Charity

Back in the summer we applied for Charity Registration and now “Uganda Lodge Community Projects” has been fully accepted as a UK charity in its own right with a  registration number of 1150023.

Let Them Help Themselves out of Poverty”  will still support us and our projects out in Ruhanga but once we have gained recognition from HMRC for Gift Aid we will be asking all of you who sponsor children and send donations directly to the Uganda Lodge Bank account to recognise our new charity number and name, We  currently have 6 trustees including myself who have helped to start this up, and we would like to invite those of you who are interested in what is going on in Ruhanga to become members of the Charity. Please utilise some of your many skills and offer to help with the many jobs involved in running a charity. More trustees are also needed so please apply to us, especially if you can offer time to  become actively involved in a grass roots charity and  you feel drawn to helping others and “Making a Difference”  I  look forward to hearing from you and your offers of help

McNeill Medical Centre

A further donation from ASE Consulting has been received for Phase 3 – the building of the walls of the medical centre. All the necessary sand cement and bricks have been purchased and delivered. The builders can now commence  work and I guess they are very happy that they will get some salary in time for Christmas. We had up to 12 local men working on the foundations so we are really helping many families in the local community. Denis estimates 1-2 weeks and the walls will be completed. If you have contacts that may have any suitable medical equipment to send out there please let me know. Volunteers with some medical knowledge will be doubly welcomed over the coming year to help us get this project running smoothly

Transport from London area to Aberdeen wanted

We are kindly being donated two ten foot shipping containers by Angus McSween of Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers Ltd and they are organising to fill and  send them out to Ruhanga completely free of charge for our project. This leads me to two challenges. First the containers are situated and need to be filled in Aberdeen and I live near Heathrow. I have about 30 boxes of books and other donated items down here waiting to be transported up and there may be another consignment to go from Ipswich area. I am hoping to obtain some more refurbished  tool kits from the TWAM charity based there and there may be medical equipment available as well. Can anyone help with organising very low cost or free transport in the next few weeks? The staff involved in Aberdeen could probably fill the container with books and second hand clothes in Aberdeen by themselves but we would really like to make best use of this opportunity and  try and source some of the more useful goods from the shopping list that Denis has made up. You can see the full list here:

Visiting Uganda

A holiday break with a difference spent in Uganda is not difficult to organise and unlike the usual beach holiday, this is something you will remember all the rest of your life. Volunteers of all ages and skills are welcomed and its especially ideal for someone on their own who would like to meet new friends, do something different and ‘make a difference’  Its surprising what one person can do in a couple of weeks spent in an African viillage. Alongside volunteering we can organise a short safari to see elephants and lions sitting up in trees or trek to find the very rare mountain gorillas.  You can spend a month out there and it need only cost you £1,000 in total including flights, accommodation and food.  All profits and other donations are put back into community projects. Email or call me for more info. Doctors, nurses and others with medical experience especially.

Help with Admin

 If you have already been to Uganda Lodge and feel you may be able to assist me with copywriting & design work for our newsletters and websites, testamonials and articles for same, editing photos & mini videos, designing posters and flyers, or writing proposals for funding please let me know. I also need occasional or regular admin assiatance from anyone who lives within reach of Shepperton (south of Heathrow)

So – as our projects in Uganda grow and grow, I wish everyone a very “Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year” from Ann & the Uganda Lodge Team

Children Work in our School Garden on Ruhanga Hillside