Uganda Lodge Newsletter Jan 2012


  Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much”

     I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors the very best for 2012. Denis and the Staff at Uganda Lodge, Teachers and Students at Ruhanga Development School, the residents of  the surrounding villages, and especially myself,  are so grateful to every each and every one of you who has supported us throughout 2011.
Betwen us, our biggest achievement was to complete the first phases of a Gravity Fed Water Scheme which is now giving clean fresh water through a system of 20 plus taps to several hundred families and three schools around Uganda  Lodge. These village people are so happy and it was very humbling to see them all coming out of their homes to shake my hands and say “Thankyou” every time I passed by.
On Dec 2nd we had a sponsored “Walk for Water” from Uganda Lodge and up to the source, when the taps were officially turned on by a large group of high-ranking district officials.

Ruhanga Development School


    Our school has grown rapidly and by the end of this month we expect to have over 300 pupils ranging from 3 year old Nursery children up to P3 students aged 10-15 years. Classes in Uganda depends on ability and not age. Recent donations have enabled us to complete  two more classrooms and our volunteers have started to paint the walls. Denis has nearly finished the lengthy process of registering the school with the Ugandan Education Authority.
A girls toilet block has been built, thanks to various donations including a large one from members of a UK Golf Club. Grass is spreading over our huge levelled playing fields which will forever be known as Clements Sports Field – thanks to his fund-raising and mobilisation of local workers.

    The children invited parents and visitors to join them for Speach Day,  Entertainent and a Christmas Party in December. We were able to give them all Sodas and Chapattis for lunch and each child went home with a new pair of sandals and a sweatshirt.

Our  Child Sponsorship  scheme works well. All the money donated goes directly towards running the school, plus maintenence and upgrades. This is a much fairer system than giving money out to individual children.
As no UK admin expenses are taken out, we do not have the resources to send out individual letters to sponsors but we aim to keep you updated with regular emailed newsletters such as this one, and also through posts on facebook
We are not a boarding school so we sometimes find, due to various family circumstances, a child may be taken away for a period and then comes back to the village a few month later. We keep their school number and will always let them return to class again.

Ruhanga Guest House

   We have opened a small Guest house in Kampala (Ruhanga GH)  so our visitors have somewhere safe and pleasant to stay  overnight on their arrival and return, and we have streamlined airport transfers by employing our own drivers and vehicle.
We can organise an escort to travel all the way to the Lodge if you wish or you can also choose to go by private car instead of the long bus journey.

Our plans for the coming months include:  a)Denis setting up and registering a Ugandan Non Government Organisation (NGO) to run both the school and other community projects. It will be called “STAND ON YOUR OWN”

We will raise money for a school kitchen and food store so breakfasts and lunches are cooked on-site and not carried over from the visitors kitchen at the Lodge.  c) Next we need a purpose built headmasters Office and Staffroom

  d) A First Aid / Medical Centre for both our school-children and the surrounding villagers alike is a further goal.

Later will be a school hall and the extension of the water project, plus a couple more classrooms by the end of 2012

Safe Water for Everyone

Only 12 months ago
providing safe water for our schoolchildren and their families was just a dream and I was unsure how it could be fulfilled. Ida from our supporting charity
“Let them help themselves out of Poverty” and I put our heads together and look what has happened….
A number of wonderful donors came forward and I name a few such as Sally & Hillary, Sharky, Heba, Manisha, Evonne & Sophie, Hastoe and Terry whose company ASE Consulting,
donated more than half of the £20,000 we have spent so far.
The engineers have dug out two different springs high up in the surrounding hills and made sure no run-off water contaminates them.
By doing this we now have a very large clean water supply that will enable us to extend the pipelines even further in the future.
This will give even more families a tap close to their home, but to continue this work we need to secure another £12,500 in funding.
At Uganda Lodge
     we now have running water and FLUSH TOILETS. We can accommodate up to about 40 visitors at any one time in 15 different rooms. Each bedroom has a shower cubicle, electric light & power point and bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Food is cooked communially by our local staff and visitors with cooking skills are very welcome to give ideas and assistance.

Volunteers can spend time in our school helping the children to learn English quickly, teach various crafts, do sports coaching and to introduce basic computer skills.     Qualified teachers can share a variety of subjects and can help in other nearby schools.
Builders, carpenters and other practical tradespeople can find plenty of work. For those with leadership and advocating skills there are other projects that our co-ordinators can assist you to work on.
Our nearby district hospital is always asking if we can find them part-qualified medical students and they are in desperate need of fully qualified Doctors to volunteer there for a month or longer. The hospital is close enough to stay at Uganda Lodge and walk or get a minibus there each day.

Most volunteers spend their free time visiting nearby towns and villges,  lakes for swimming and boating, country markets, hot springs, and a refugee Settlement.
Many choose to go with Denis on a 3-day safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park to see tree-climbing lions, Buffalo, Hippos etc, and some spend a night in Lake Mburo National Park
A few also take the opportunity to go trekking to Bwindi and spend time with the rare endangered mountain gorillas.
Booking a safari with us will be cheaper than through a tour company and all profits help to develop our school.
We charge only £70 per week full board accomodation so you can get a ‘Taste of Africa’ at a relatively low cost. Flights are cheaper and we are less crowded outside of July and August so book early; a month or longer is ideal but if you cant stay that long, thats OK as well.
Please remember VOLUNTEERING is for all ages, not just for young perople.
Volunteers Wanted    I am looking for a person or possibly a couple, to live in Ruhanga at Uganda Lodge for a period of a year or so to co-ordinate short-term volunteers, and liaise between Denis, myself and the school and also to oversee the new projects that we hope to implement over the coming months.
With the right person out there we will be able to start a number of new initiatives within the village that we already have in mind.    Back here in UK I urgently need additional help with admin from reliable volunteers who ideally live local to Shepperton. (Apologies to those I should be in touch with more often)
I also need assistance with writing new copy for our wesbites which we are currenty re-branding.

Can anyone help with fundraising or grant applications?  If we are to continue to expand and help additional people around Ruhanga we need new  capital.
Can you organise a sponsored event of some sort? Or just host a page like and pass it around your friends?

You are welcome to contact me direct with any questions – but please, call me on +44 7867513588 before I return to Uganda early next month

I wish everyone reading this all the best for 2012 – and please consider continuing giving your support as each one of you CAN “Make a Difference”

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Uganda Lodge Community Projects

44 Cranwell Grove

Shepperton, England TW17 0JR

United Kingdom

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