November 2016 Uganda Lodge Newsletter


Updates From


& Ruhanga Resource Centre               NOVEMBER 2016

PO Box 368 Ntungamo SW Uganda                                           


Hello to all our Friends and Supporters,

I have a special welcome for  all our new readers. Some of you are new sponsors, or have asked about sponsorship but have not yet signed up.  Many of you  have applied for more information about staying at Uganda Lodge and joining one of our Director Denis’ safaris to see lions elephants and hippos etc. or going to trek the mountain gorillas  and spending some time volunteering at our school and Medical Centre. .

If you book provisional dates and pay a deposit of £100 before the end of this month, you will not need to add in the £50 project fee we are soon introducing. Initially this £50 will go out to Ruhanga to help off-set rising prices plus the drop in the exchange rate of sterling against the Ugandan Shilling. If any of our past volunteers recommend or return and bring new friends, we will offer you this £50 as a bonus, or you can choose to donate it to the school. We are open all over the Christmas period although the new school year doesn’t start until early Feb.

Our 37 Primary 7 students successfully completed their PLE exams, and now have a long wait until the New Year to get their results. Most are expecting to pass and many would like to continue on to Senior School, although even at the so called ‘free’ government school the fees are much higher than they are used to paying here at Ruhanga Development School.

This week the 450 students left in school have been revising hard for their end of year exams although they have some fun such as sports day recently organised by our volunteers. They also gave an afternoons entertainment of singing & dancing using a variety of donated fancy dress costumes. The race winners from the sports day were all given a gold medal which many are still proudly wearing a couple of weeks later.

We still have many children who we have been unable to find sponsors for as shown on our website here  Helping a child with their school fees in Uganda makes an excellent Christmas present for a youngster in the west, who really has more toys than they can ever play with, or perhaps its a good present for an elderly grandparent who doesn’t need yet another knitted shawl or new slippers. You will receive a certificate with their name plus the name and a photo of the child they are helping to support. You can print & frame this and give it on Christmas morning.

We are now asking for £5 a month but if you feel this is too much to manage we will still accept the previous price of just £3.50p a month. Thanks to those of our current sponsors who have already raised their monthly Standing Orders. As well as devaluation of the pound, the cost of basic meals, salaries and other school expenses are all rising in Uganda.

Alongside our many other sponsors, special thanks must go to Mr Iqbal Singh (Simmy), whose group of companies are continuing to provide support each month towards school expenses of almost 90 of our children. Do you like the newly designed school uniform? Now BA has stopped supporting the taking out of unwanted UK uniforms we will now have to get them made in out tailoring workshop and the children will have to pay to get a uniform themselves.

.Our regular volunteer Ian is back in Uganda and is repainting the exterior walls of the McNeil Medical Centre while he is here Thanks to the continued support of ASE Consulting we are able to treat many patients at a very low cost and all our own school children  for free each month.

In part due to low volunteer numbers this year and indeed tourists to Africa in general, we have not received much extra funding over the past months, and we will not be able to completing the two new classrooms that the teachers had hoped for by February. (Or maybe you know a company or an individual who would like to sponsor the building of one, and perhaps have it named after them??)

I have seen some great new fund-raising ideas such as an online raffle, but we need someone to organise the gathering of prizes etc to get it started.

Maybe some of you reading this newsletter will think about coming to Uganda for your 2017 trip abroad in the sunshine? There is so much to do here aside from volunteering; its a beautiful country with many natural features and you wont find cheaper options for gorilla trekking and safaris anywhere else. Remember with no middle men involved, all profits benefit these subsistence farming families.

We are getting a number of responses to our online volunteering adverts but I need more help  from someone  to follow them all up again. If you are reading this I would love to hear from you and know that a newsletter with updates from Ruhanga is appreciated. .If you are one of these new people who inquired, please do contact me and let us know what your plans for 2017 might be. After recent volunteer recommendation we are about to put Uganda Lodge on just as a B&B to stay overnight or for a day or two- but I would like some web design ideas for a new word press page as we plan to use rather than disturb the existing rankings of .com. Can anyone offer a few hours? We also need advice on our current google ad-words campaigns; we get $10,000 a month of free advertising – but I never manage to use it all up.

Rainy is disturbing the opening of a camping site & basic restaurant at Kisenyi on Lake Edward but it will happen soon. Denis is working with the local villagers at Kasenyi on Lake George to develop new modern methods of salt processing on his land at Lake Bunyampaka and he has almost completed obtaining all the necessary licences etc. Once this is done he already has a number of companies interested in investing in setting it all up and working with his new company DKA Salt Ltd, and this will and this will enable him to complete all his plans for Ruhanga  

But this is not helping us right  now

Don’t Forget – please Sponsor one or more of our children for Christmas and spread the cost of presents over the whole year – its just £5 per month.

Good bye to you all for now – I hope write again just before Christmas with news of the last day of term and prizegiving at our school.

Thank You and Best Wishes to you all

From  Ann McCarthy & Denis Aheirwe