Ann's Update - Reunion & Charity AGM (Sat 24th May).
You are invited to come and join us in Shepperton, NW Surrey for some or all of this long weekend (23rd - 26th May 2014) . All Ruhanga friends, volunteers and fundraisers are welcome. If you bring a tent and sleeping bag, you can make a weekend of it and camp onsite next to the River Ash. Bring your own food and drinks. Marquee, music, and kitchen facilities provided. A short AGM for the ULCP charity that supports our School & Medical Centre in Ruhanga will be held on Saturday afternoon when you can meet the new Chairman and Secretary. If you have been out to Ruhanga this would be a great opportunity to come with or meet up past friends you made while volunteering out in Uganda. Its also a good base for visiting Thorpe Park, Windsor or London
View of new vocational training block, school, guard house & medical centre
McNeil Medical Centre Completed and Open for Business
Building is finally finished and the necessary licences approved. We now have employed nurses, a doctor, lab technician, and auxiliary staff and have started treating patients. We have administered measles injections to more than 200 young children and have screened all students at Ruhanga Development School.
Initially only a trickle of patients patients arrived each day but now news is getting out that we are running a non-profit service so more are turning up and plans are being made to begin outreach screening at other school as well as covering the children from our own school. Thanks to ASE Consulting this facility is now benefitting the whole community.
Inside the Medical centre Denis is showing a donated baby bath, the Lab and Drug Dispensary, and a patient is receiving treatment. Below you can see inside the incinerator building, the patients toilet block, children going for inoculations and the completed building.
At the school the building of two new P6 & P7 classrooms plus a staffroom is more or less complete and thanks to Maria, most classrooms have finally got glass in their windows.
The new toy and book library is proving popular and we were congratulated for all our work on a recent visit by the Ntungamo District MP Hon.Naomi Kabasharira. She took time out to look around our volunteer Lodge, our School, the Medical Centre and the new Bicycle Repair workshop we are building - a facility which is specifically for teaching girls a trade. She kindly returned the following day to meet with village representatives and impress on them that they should be pro - active in helping to run projects that Denis, with the help of many donors, has provided such as the clean water supply.
The proposed Vocational Training Centre will start with a tailoring classroom plus the bicycle initiative and we are now looking for funding to build a toilet/shower block plus vehicle servicing bays and a training workshop for teaching mechanics
Thanks to many ideas from volunteers, the 450+ children at our school are offered a wide range of different activities - such as crafts, sports, music, regular health check-ups and making use of natural materials. Scouting is another popular activity and we need to find a company (or perhaps a large group of Scouts??) that might like to donate us a bus that can double as both facilitating Scouts to go to National camps, giving all children the opportunity to go on annual school trips and allowing those who pay to be transported from far away villages each day a more comfortable ride to and from school.
Last month 15 of our children joined dozens of others and were confirmed in the local Church of Uganda, and volunteers and friends were invited to the service. Our visitors are always welcomed to share in local events and encouraged to visit local families.
One activity at the Lodge Cooking that is always popular is cooking & baking and the local style oven built by one volunteer is much appreciated. Teaching village teenagers catering skills is one of the subjects we plan to introduce in our Vocational Training Centre. Proposals to apply for funding are being put together, as are proposals for classrooms to teach other trades such as mechanics, building skills and carpentry etc.
Denis runs regular safaris for volunteers while they are in Uganda, to QE National Park or Gorilla Trekking and trips to a variety of other destinations can be organised. Volunteering is for all ages and Denis and his staff makes everyone who stays at his accommodation in Ruhanga feel most welcome.
Many of the children that have been accepted into Ruhanga Development School do not have a sponsor, and you can see those still waiting pictured on our website www.sponsorschild.co.uk Can you spare just £3.50p a month to help keep the fees that we ask the families to pay, to a very low level? It helps to fund their free breakfasts, uniforms, teachers salaries and educational materials, and helps with new build and the maintenance of existing facilities. This sponsorship scheme is run through a UK registered charity (ULCP) that supports various community initiatives in Ruhanga.
Denis makes frequent improvements at his Lodge where the volunteers stay and currently he is building 4 more Bandas for guest accommodation. Visitors often have artistic talents and many walls at the Lodge now have beautiful murals painted on them.
During the past 7 years I have co-ordinated more than 700 different visitors from many countries to go out to Ruhanga and stay at Uganda Lodge, and because of everyone working together to support what Denis is facilitating, so much benefit has been given to so many people in the surrounding communities. Thank you all so much, and also those of you who have supported us but not yet made it out there. Quite a few volunteers have returned several times and always cannot believe how things have moved forward every time they stay. Working in Africa is always frustrating and never easy but in the long-term I, and most who go there, find it so rewarding. Do contact me if you or any of your friends or contacts want a "Holiday with a Difference"
I would love to meet with any of you again - or for the first time - if you can to come to Shepperton 23rd-26th MAY for a Reunion and especially for the AGM of 'UGANDA LODGE COMMUNITY PROJECTS' on the Saturday afternoon. Please drop me an email if you will be joining us; I will also be happy just to receive a quick email from you if you have enjoyed reading the news from Ruhanga anyway.
Things may change, staff and managers may come and go but Denis & I are still around and thank you for your continued support and for reading this newsletter - if you cannot go to Uganda (again) right now - please keep it in mind for the future.
Ann McCarthy +44 786751388
Denis Aheirwe +256 701536197
Online Fundraising Pages :
(Virgin) http://tinyurl.com/ugandalodge (BT) http://tinyurl.com/ruhangaschool