Uganda Lodge Newsletter July 2017



 Ruhanga Resource Centre 

PO Box 368 Ntungamo SW Uganda




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July 2017


Greetings from Uganda,


I missed the early UK heatwave but it’s pleasantly warm in the daytime here in Ruhanga but cool at night as Uganda Lodge is 1500 meters above sea level, higher than Ben Nevis in the UK. But there is never any snow or frost here as we are near the equator. This time of year its generally dry, and last week we needed a large red tanker sign written UGANDA POLICE to come and refill the Lodge and School tanks as the village taps have first priority when the supply is low.


Faridah (our volunteer coordinator) has a small son Andy who has just started walking and he loves water! 5

We have two Muslim school teachers from Lancashire coming to volunteer with us soon and they are collecting donations or ZAKAT from all their friends towards our fresh water supplies as part of their Ede ‘Giving to Others’ traditions. We are hoping we may have enough to dig a new spring and join it up with the existing system to give everyone a more reliable clean water source. You can support their donation page here

The children have been back at school for some weeks now and we are settled with 507 students of which 140 are boarders. This includes many new ones and for the boarders to sleep away from home for the first is quite bewildering especially for the 20 or more little ones in our nursery section. The youngest is a girl of 3 years in baby class but they do have a matron sleeping in each dormitory with them; it’s also amusing to watch their reactions as some of them are from villages deep in the surrounding hills and have never seen a mzungu (white person) before.


Unfortunately, one of our best teachers (Marion) who was in charge of the boarding section and school choir has left us, as she was offered a job in a government school which was a big step up for her. Now teacher Carolyn has taken over organizing the school choir and other entertainments. We also have a couple of new male teachers who are fitting in well.


Some of the better off students are very smart in their new orange uniform that was chosen by the parent/teachers association, but many can’t afford the £12 or so for a set of a shirt, shorts/skirts and a sweater and so our used uniforms from UK are still welcomed. I am trying to find some orange t-shirts that can be sold at around £1.50p so they can all afford to look smart for special occasions but have not found any cheap enough so far.


Thanks to special donations, 20 of our scouts are going to attend the District Scout Camp next weekend at Lake Nyabihoko. But if they win again like last year it will be a problem for them to attend the national camp in Kampala because it expensive to fund a trip so far away.


In between his visitors safaris Denis plans to take all the 33 primary seven students on a 2-day educational trip to stay at his camping site in Queen Elizabeth National park. Not only do they get a chance to see many animals but they also visit a tea processing factory, a power plant, a copper mine and salt lake excavations which all helps them with their final PLE examinations.


Thanks to all recent fundraisers, some of whom have worked very hard for several months to raise money, and to a good friend who lost her father and in his memory gave a large donation towards our new classrooms instead of buying herself a newer car.


Now the walls and roof for the two new classrooms are completed and the floor inside is concreted. But we still need windows, doors, plastering and decorating plus a veranda around the outside to protect from flooding when there are heavy rainstorms. Please can you help us by making a donation towards this building now?

We have found that volunteers and other supporters can often gather sizable donations for us from friends and family if they create their own fundraising page for something specific – such as these badly-needed classrooms or a new water supply, or larger more reliable school transport, or equipment for the Medical Centre.

It may help to attract even more donations, but its not really necessary to do a run or a swim or even a Bungee Jump! Just ask for a donation. We also need to find a company that might sponsor us to purchase a larger more reliable vehicle for school transport as 44 kids in one mini-bus – well – imagine it – and still many walk several miles each day to reach us in order to get a good affordable education

Last week we had an inter-school competition for football and debate with another nearby private school The pupils enjoyed the experience and although we lost in debate by 3 points and we won the football by 5-1 goals.

Dozens of new children have recently been added to our Sponsorship website, children that are still needing someone to help support them by paying just £5 per month into our charity. This keeps the school fees low enough to be affordable for every child in the area who wants a good education. We don’t want to lose our long term sponsors still paying £3.50p but if can you make it up to £5 a month per child we will be most grateful. The cost of everything needed to run a good school in Uganda is rising rapidly.

If you don’t already support a child will you consider starting now? Also help us by asking a few friends if they will choose a child as we really do need more people to come forward. All of your money goes into the school fund to help pay salaries, breakfasts and a host of other school expenses; none goes on admin or sending out glossy photos and letters

These newsletters plus ourFace Book Page can keep you up-to-date with the schools progress. We are slowly working through allocating new children to those sponsors whose original child has already completed Primary Education. 

We have been fortunate in being the first school outside of allowed to join YOUR SCHOOL LOTTERY For just £1.00 per week you could WIN £25,000 and our school will receive almost half of your weekly payment as a commission. The launch date is now September but we need more people to join up. Please help spread the word to everyone you know who buys a weekly lottery ticket – the odds of winning are much better than they are with the National Lottery! To Join CLICK HERE

Its not all work when you opt for a ‘Holiday with a Difference’ Look at this view when you stay in one of Denis’s little cottages at Kasenyi whilst on safari. Why not take advantage now and book one of the really cheap flights to Entebbe from UK – as low as £313 return

We thank all the volunteers who have stayed with us over recent months for the money they have raised and work they have done such as repairing play ground equipment, making benches, painting, helping children with their English and teaching them new crafts. Others have been screening some of the children and made ‘Tippy Taps’ in village homes with the help of our Medical Centre Staff. We also send all our appreciation to you all because your stay has made a great difference to the people of Ruhanga and please come back again.

International Medical Students are especially welcome to stay at Uganda Lodge and they, like other volunteers, have plenty of opportunity to visit local homes in the surrounding villages.

We have again had a number of Ugandan students from Mbarara University staying with us doing outreach work.Together with our Doctor Felix, they suggested that I ask if anyone would fund-raise or offer us a grant to purchase a scanning machine to use at the McNeil Centre – as the few that are in Western Uganda are not sufficient and are in very high demand. It would be used for pregnant women, and to look for diseases affecting the Kidneys, Liver, Womb and Breasts. Such a machine would attract patients prepared to pay for the service from a wide area.


Both Denis and myself appreciate hearing from you – especially if you are one of our past volunteers – or would like to visit Uganda in the future, or to help with fundraising, or sponsor one of our children, or help with finding us more visitors or just help with general admin. You can easily reach me on email and you can contact Denis direct using WhatsApp – he has it on both of his numbers (+256 701536197 and +256 774768090


Enjoy your summer


Ann McCarthy & Denis Aheirwe