Uganda Lodge Newsletter November 2018


Updates From  UGANDA LODGE

& Ruhanga Resource Centre 

PO Box 368 Ntungamo SW Uganda




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November 2018

Ruhanga Development School

Hello to our dear Friends and Supporters,

Another year has nearly finished and Christmas is upon us again. I am now back home in the UK and rushing around to do all the Christmas Shopping for my family.
What about you? Do you have a Grandma that you still don’t know what to buy for, or some children who really do not
need or have the  time to play with yet another new toy or computer game?
Instead, how about
sending them a certificate that shows they are helping to sponsor the education of one of the children at Ruhanga Development School?  There is still time and you can see some of our children here.
If you would rather not support a specific child, regular and one-off donations to our registered UK Charity are always acceptable – these donations are used for upgrading classrooms and new build such as the new girls toilets we badly need, and are easy to set up here using any ATM debit card.

It was suggested that I start up a ‘Christmas Shoe-box Scheme’ but while it can be exciting for both people from outside of Africa finding little presents to buy, and the children here in Uganda then opening them – what about their siblings and friends who don’t get any such gifts?  Each box would cost at least £25 with postage, and if 500 people could be found who, instead of doing this, would donate cash instead – we would raise about £12,500.  This large amount of money would go a long way towards completing the training restaurant at our Vocational Centre, and thus enable dozens of young people to learn a skill in Business Studies and Catering to benefit them for many years into the future. Some more new work has recently started on this Training Restaurant – thanks to fundraising by Karen and others. The floor inside and around the building has been levelled with Murrum and is ready for concreting, and we plan to buy iron sheets soon to cover the veranda.
If anyone is able to help us with making some grant applications over the next few weeks to get this building completed, it would be much appreciated. Once opened we expect this training facility to quickly become self-funding and even help to run the
Medical Centre and/or the rest of the Vocation Centre more efficiently.

More than fifty P7 students went on the school study trip in October together with their teachers and three volunteers and they learned much about copper mining, the fishing industry, tea plantations, salt production, hot springs, irrigation, hydro-electric power and the wildlife in our nearest National Park, the Queen Elizabeth.
Thanks to all those who donated and helped to make this trip affordable and possible for them.
Our school now has a ‘Centre Number’ so is regarded as one of the top private schools in the District and our students were able to sit their Primary Leaving Exams in our own large brand new hall. (Thanks to Daviot & Old Meldrum Explorer Scouts). Results are not out until late January but we are hopeful that all will pass.

We have been given the opportunity for volunteers who are willing to help our projects in Ruhanga to take part in the Uganda Marathon (or even just 10kms) again on 1st June and….. at a much lower rate than anyone booking direct. Any fundraising that our runners are able to do will go towards getting our Training Restaurant completed.
If you stay in Uganda for two weeks and include airport transfers, the race fee and full board the total cost is approximately £400 or, if you add in a 3-day safari around
£700 . Some flights from the UK at the end of May are still under £350. Please promote this to your friends both on and off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc and especially to any sports/running clubs and universities. Can you make a poster and put it on a suitable noticeboard, or send out a few emails? 

Our children have all completed their end of year exams, and are now looking forward to a two month holiday over the Christmas period. The new school year begins again on 4th Feb. Thanks to new stationery items etc that volunteers have left with us throughout the year, we were able to give every child who sat their exams a small gift, plus a special one for the top three in each class.

I had fun last week giving out a huge bag of loom bands to all the boarders and soon even the Baby Class youngsters were able to make a bracelet or necklace. These items that are brought out by volunteers all help to make our school ‘special’ and thanks to you all.

On safari last year we met an Australian tourist who was so impressed with Uganda and the people she met, she went back home and did a massive fund-raising drive and returned this year to donate clean water filters to a number of schools and projects she had previously visited. We were lucky enough to receive four large filters so we no longer need to boil all the water for our children to drink.

Our tailoring class now has a brand new heavy duty sewing machine (thanks Fiona) and after Christmas we will be starting lessons again with a new group of students. The salon is doing well and local ladies are now paying a small fee to have their hair re-plaited

Denis has taken many volunteers on gorilla treks and also on safaris to Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth  throughout the year. He has even been up north to Murchison Falls National Park & the Rhino Centre a couple of times with visitors who have taken advantage of a budget safari that directly benefits a local community rather than an International tour company. Do you have friends who would love to go on a safari, but think they can’t afford it? Contact us &  they will be surprised!

We recently had one couple (Sue & Peter) stay with us for their honeymoon & with the help of their friend Julie, we organised a church blessing plus a big party that included 500+ children and all of our staff. Next year another past volunteer Tricia is returning again on her honeymoon, so we can cater for all. Through Denis it’s possible to stay in a beautiful rural area, meet many local villagers and have an African Safari without breaking the bank!

Thank you Lorna for the many hours you put into our new school entrance. The artwork is fabulous, we need you back again next year!!

Many reading this will know that Denis has land adjoining Queen Elizabeth National Park both on the shores of Lake George at Kasenyi, and Lake Edward at Kisenyi (confusing I know!)  He has completed building 4 self-contained cottages at Lake Retreat Kasenyi and with the help of the Bradt Guide plus we now get visitors either camping or staying in the cottages. Already the project has become self-funding, and more importantly we are able to give work to a number of the local villagers.
Denis is also developing the 10 acres of land he has alongside Lake Edward which is mid-way between the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha and the boat trips etc on the Kazinga Channel. Many tourists pass here and Omega, the manager, is frequently asked by tour guides “when will the accommodation there be completed?” So far there is a toilet & shower block that campers already use, and now Denis is concentrating on three partly-built self-contained double Cottages plus a main dining hall, reception & kitchen area. We know that as soon as he is able to accommodate visitors from the expensive tour companies, this place will make a good profit and help the impoverished fishing families in many ways. Also  Denis will have an additional income that will filter back to Ruhanga and especially to help the children in our school. Another £5,000 – £10,000  is needed to enable him to complete this work properly, so if anyone can help with a long term loan or a donation please do contact Denis or myself direct.

Denis also has another 40 acres of land further along the shores of Lake George – well away from his development at Lake Retreat that he would be willing to sell or work in partnership with a developer. It is suitable for a mid-upmarket hotel complex or alternatively for hostel accommodation for the many Ugandan schoolchildren who visit the park. So far, nothing has materialised to start developing the land around Bunyampaka Salt Lake although he is still in talks with various investors. Again if Denis is able to develop something that will start to make a profit it will greatly benefit these rural fishing communities as well as his Ruhanga projects.

Meanwhile we continue to receive an income each month from our growing number of supporters who do their online shopping via Easy Fundraising – almost £800 this year and at no cost to anyone. Please join if you have not already done so.
A further income stream comes from YOUR SCHOOL LOTTERY  each month and every participant has a chance of winning £25,000 for just ONE POUND a week. Thanks also to all those who actually return their small winnings back to the charity.

Wishing you all a Happy and safe Christmas and New Year and remember, we would love to receive an email or WhatsApp messages and to see some of you out in Uganda soon.
From Ann McCarthy & Denis Aheirwe

WhatsApp – Ann  +447867998414
Denis +256 701536197