Funding The School

In 2014 the school has over 400 children attending daily, plus a boarding section for teenagers. This requires ongoing funding for salaries, school breakfast, educational materials, maintenance and upgrades. Families a nominal fee to send their children, but the majority of funds are raised through our ‘Child Sponsorship Scheme’. It costs just £5.00 per month to support a child, please choose one here if you are able to help: Sponsor A Child. Alternatively, if you are able to make just a single donation, you can do your bit by clicking on the “Donate Now!” button (above) and contributing a fiver.

Please remember we have no admin costs and donating via the above two options is 100% free to us so ALL of your donation goes directly to the children. Help make that difference and build a better future for the children and wider community of Ruhanga by acting now.


The School

The Ruhanga Development School is set amongst the rolling hills of SW Uganda about 40kms past Mbarara on the main road to Kabale and on towards Rwanda. The school is managed by the local PTA and a Ugandan NGO called ‘Stand On Your Own’. It is supported by the UK charity Uganda Lodge Community Projects (registered charity no. 1150023).From early beginnings in 2008 the school has rapidly gained in popularity and today offers education to well over four hundred pupils from the local community.

Contact Details

Other ways to contact us:

For Ugandan Enquiries

Denis Aheirwe (Project Director, Uganda)

Ruhanga Development School

C/o Uganda Lodge Community Projects

PO BOX 368 Ntungamo

Mbarara – Kabale Road

Ruhanga (Itojo)


WhatsApp/Mob +256 701536197

or +256 774768090

For UK Enquires, please contact:

Ann McCarthy (UK Coordinator)

44 Cranwell Grove, Shepperton

Middlesex, TW17 0JR, UK

WhatsApp +44 7867998414

Mob: +44 (0) 7867 513588

following this volunteering link.

Contact Form

Please fill in the form below to keep in Touch


Who can Volunteer at Ruhanga Development School!

Ruhanga Development school welcomes English speaking volunteers from around the globe who has just one qualification ~ enthusiasm! Children at the school simply love having volunteers around who can not only give them much needed one-to-one attention, but who can share new stories, games and just quality time with them.

Qualifications If Needed

If you have a teaching qualification that is great, but most of our volunteers do not, they simply have a strong commitment to the well being of the children and that makes a real difference. If you have qualifications you can liaise with the headteacher ~ after you’ve found your feet ~ as to how you could best be deployed, including taking on a whole class for certain agreed lessons. Others can liaise with our on site volunteer co-ordinator(s) to explore how they and they skills can best be used.

Meet Their Families

After school many children enjoy being walked home and introducing volunteers to their family and during school holiday periods there’s also lots to do redecorating the classrooms and helping out with holiday activities.

No Travel Required

Volunteers at our school stay at Uganda Lodge which is within the same grounds ~ so no travel! Visit the Uganda Lodge website here for lots more information about volunteering opportunities FAQs and how to sign up! Don’t forget, we charge no volunteering fees just a small amount to cover your accommodation and food.


History of Ruhanga Development School

Ruhanga Development School was built and opened in 2008 at the request of villagers in this rural area of SW Uganda, using money raised by volunteers and visitors staying at the nearby Uganda Lodge. Before opening the school, it was explained to the parents of potential students that although Mzungus (white people) had built the school they could not expect charity from us forever. Between us we agreed to keep the fees at a very low level, making no profit but just collecting enough money to cover the teachers salaries, teaching aids, pencils and books, a free uniform and very importantly a large mug of porridge for each child every morning for breakfast.

Numbers quickly rose and by the start of the new school year in 2009 there were over 40 students attending regularly. However as most families living in the surrounding hills are subsistence farmers there was little spare cash for the little ones school fees. We had been tending to run at a loss with Denis ( our MD ) and Ann McCarthy in the UK subsidising things by buying sacks of maize meal for the breakfasts, and sending out school uniforms, books and pencils sourced from car boot sales and charity shops in the UK.

Why Childdren Were Not Attending

While Ann was out in Ruhanga over Easter 2010, she met with a young Canadian volunteer Kayla Rocca who she was very concerned over the number of young children that were living up in the nearby villages and still not attending school. They did some research, asked some questions, and found that many families had 3 or 4 children between the ages of 3 and 7, some were caring for orphans as well as their own children, and others were single Mums whose husband has passed away and they themselves were not in good health. They were just struggling to grow enough beans and matoke (a green banana steamed and used as a vegetable) and provide the children with a small meal each day.

Records of Children Not Attending

They decided to start a register and get a photographic record of both youngsters who were already attending school but struggling to have their guardians pay their school fees, and others who had never before had the opportunity to attend. A baby nursery was subsequently opened in 2008 in a refurbished chicken shed and they rest, as they say, is history, with new classrooms opening each year and over 400 local students now attending.

What You Can do to help

Today we need you help to make this education a reality for more children by helping us finish building two new classrooms. We need £7,000 to complete this work and you help help us by clicking on the “Donate Button” now and contributing a fiver.


This video explains how going out to this part of uganda is a personality and life changing experience.

This video gives a tour of Uganda Lodge, the surrounding area, its branches, connected projects and communities.

Daviot and Old Meldrum Scouts Video Journal of Uganda Trip

Ruhanga Development School

Who can Volunteer at Ruhanga Development School!

Ruhanga Development school welcomes English speaking volunteers from around the globe who need one qualification -enthusiasm! Children at the school simply love having volunteers around who can not only give them much needed one-to-one attention, but who can share new stories, games and just quality time with them.

Why The School is So Popular

Part of this popularity is that the school is probably unique in the whole of South-West Uganda in that English speaking volunteers from across the world assist in the classrooms; broadening the children’s horizons as well as offering help with the development of much sought after ~ and needed ~ English language skills.