Uganda Lodge Newsletter January 2017


Updates From               

UGANDA LODGE                              January 2017

& Ruhanga Resource Centre 

PO Box 368 Ntungamo SW Uganda

Hello to all our friends and supporters,

We start the New Year with some brilliant news from Ruhanga Development School. All 35 of our Primary Seven students passed their Leaving Exams with 12 achieving Top Grade, 20 with Second Grade and 3 with Grade 3 results. That means our school came 3rd in the Sub-County, and 24th out of over 400 Primary schools in Ntungamo District. 

Usually only children from educated, better-off families who can  afford to send their offspring to expensive private schools achieve such good PLE results.  Few children attending rural, government schools pass each year and the children of Ruhanga Development would like to thank to all our sponsors who support the school and help us keep the fees down to a low affordable level for them. We still need more new sponsors to keep up this good work so please  will you ask around your friends to see if we can get some extra £5’s a month coming in – by choosing one of the unsponsored children from here:

After hearing about our recent exam results Denis is already getting many calls from new families asking if their children can begin studying with us. We don’t encourage sponsors to send individual letters or cards to their sponsored children as it can cause jealousy among those who have not received a personal letter. However, if you would like to make up a booklet or poster for the whole class I can take it out on 1st Feb or 30th May. Similarly if you are a teacher, a class of children could make something for one of our classes and I will endeavour to get replies back to you on my return.

So far we have been unable to find funding to complete two more badly needed classrooms although the foundations are finished. Some classes have 80 children and its not ideal. Would you be willing to help and do a sponsored something, or hold a fundraising event?  Every little helps. You can just make a donation or create your own online fundraising page here:

Alternatively, do you know any companies or organisations who might be willing to make us a donation, or who would be open to receiving a proposal? You can be sure that ALL of the money will go directly to where it’s meant to – as we do not take any out  for admin expenses. To complete each classroom it will cost around £5,000.

Thanks to the ongoing support of ASE Consulting, our Medical Centre continues to offer free treatment to hundreds of local children. Adults are treated at a low cost and free childhood vaccinations and HIV/Family Planning Clinics are held regularly.

A number of international students have completed their medical electives with us and this is a very affordable option as there are no middleman fees. The same goes for volunteer placements; there are no additional hidden costs, all you pay is your £105/week full board, although we do welcome a £50 donation to our charity funds if you are able.

To help boost our income, as our volunteer numbers have fallen since OV started their own projects, we are now beginning to advertise “B&B” and “Holidays with a Difference” on such sites as Airbnb and We now welcome people of all ages who just want to explore the region and we can arrange affordable safaris and gorilla treks. They are all surprisingly low-cost compared to other such trips you can find in a glossy brochure. They also benefit our school and the local community in general as all profits go straight to the children. Flights seem cheaper than ever at the moment, as low as £320 return to Entebbe from the UK.

The new Bradt guide to Uganda is now available and as well as listing Uganda Lodge in Ruhanga in the Mbarara section (p538), Denis’ projects at both Kasenyi and Kisenyi are listed in the Queen Elizabeth National Park section (p448 & p471). Both of these sites are adjacent to the park boundary with lakeside frontage and are now offering meals and Camping or Banda facilities to tourists at very reasonable rates.  This means we bring additional income to members of the adjoining fishing villages. Both projects are highly suitable for and would benefit from investment funding or partnership agreements to develop further accommodation and other facilities; please contact Ann or Denis for  more details.

We are always looking for new ways to fundraise and have set up an account with  For those of you who shop online this is a simple way for us to raise funds.  Please join in. Many well-known online retailers such as Amazon, Expedia, Ebay and Viking will all donate a percentage of your purchase price with no additional cost to you. To help us fundraise this way you will need to set up an account which names ULCP as the charity. Then when you buy anything from a retailer who participates in the scheme a donation will come directly to us. You can download a reminder toolbar to let you know if your chosen retailer participates.  For information how to set this up you can email Janet on

We have had to prioritise and have put the expansion of the Vocational Training centre on hold for now as we feel that additional classrooms must take priority. This is a shame because even though our P7 students have achieved great results in their exams, many of them will not be able to go to senior school or find jobs in the area, so giving them training to become self-employed would give them much better prospects.

In the past we have had several substantial donations from companies which have made a huge difference to what we are able to do to help the community. We know there are still many socially aware organisations out there who are looking to help grass-roots projects  run entirely by volunteers, and who may be willing to work with us if they had a referral. If you are able to put us in touch with any such companies or organisations please contact

There are many opportunities to increase our profile online and through social media that could help us find more visitors to the lodge, sponsors for the children and funding to continue our expansion.  However, I can’t do it all myself, there are just not enough hours in the day to explore all these avenues. Many of you already know my age and although I would love to still be involved for many years to come, I really need some more backup help to ensure that all that we have achieved continues into the future.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who is computer- literate and might be able to spare a few hours each week helping with admin.

The opportunities to help are endless and could be any of the following:

> helping to organise and update our databases

> answering enquiry emails and sending out general information

> personalising and sending out ‘Thank You Certificates’ to Donors & Volunteers

> helping update our websites, especially by writing new copy

> researching for suitable funders and grant-giving trusts

> writing proposals and applying for funding

> keeping our name at the top of various other volunteer website listings

> utilising social media: facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin

> helping to manage our free google grant ads campaigns

> complete the set up process and help run an Ebay Charity Shop

> help derive an income from easyfundraisng

> contact universities & colleges about volunteering opportunities

> designing suitable posters and flyers

> contacting DofE and Scouts for expeditions & service projects

> promote income-generation activities such as safaris & gorilla treks

> research other avenues such as bird-watching opportunities

> offer to help with our newsletters and other updates

> re-contact past enquirers, volunteers, sponsors and donors

With your help Denis and  I would like to take advantage of as many of the above ideas as possible in the coming months.

Please think seriously about offering few hours each week, or  coming up with ideas of how we can find others who may be looking for something to do in their spare time. Currently all the money we raise does go to help the village communities, but if someone was to find a new source of funding, such as getting a grant for us, then  we would be open to giving expenses or a commission if it helps.

Thank you again to all who support us, don’t forget to renew your sponsorship when its due, and consider booking a flight to Uganda while the prices are so low.

I will be out there in Ruhanga from next week until 22nd March and again 1st June – mid July if you need someone to accompany you.

From  Ann McCarthy & Denis Aheirwe                                     Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp