Miss Uganda North America 2017/18 Yvonne Kushemererwa completed her Cares Tour of Uganda on Thursday January 11th, 2018. The tour, dubbed ‘Tourism, Culture, Charity’ by its Austin-based organizers, included visits to Tooro Kingdom, Kabarole’s crater lakes, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Jinja Town.
The Uganda Tourism Board provided a vehicle for the queen to be able to visit these places and tour activities were coordinated by Kibira Safaris and Travel and the Kingdom of Tooro.
The queen stayed at some of the Fort Portal’s most famous hotels, including Crater Safari Lodge and Kyaninga Royal Cottages. The most notable stay experiences included the boat ride on the crater lakes at Crater Safari Lodge – one of Africa’s most renowned eco lodges, a tree planting exercise at Kyaninga Royal Cottages and lunch at Kyaninga Lodge.
“My tour has been a door into the incredibly diverse and beautiful nature of Uganda. I’ve never felt so consciously connected to the land as I was during my tour. I am also glad that I got to use my skills as a community support worker during our charity runs,” said Ms. Kushemererwa about her tour ending.
The beauty queen also carried out various charity activities. In Fort Portal, she delivered 4 specialized wheelchairs from the Ugandan community in North America to Kyaninga Child Development Center. In Nansana, she visited Pelletier Teenage Moms Foundation, where she delivered food and bursary from the Miss Uganda North America program. And in Jinja town, she participated in a book reading and delivered over 50 books from the program to Alpha Junior Academy, a school that is supported by Ellah Foundation Uganda.
“We want to promote a culture of reading because knowledge is power,” said program president Tibba Murungi Kabugu.
Asked about the significance of this year’s Cares Tour, Mrs. Kabugu said.
“This year’s Cares Tour opened a new connection between communities and businesses here and Ugandans living in North America through tourism, culture, charity and leadership. We intend to have the Cares Tour every year. There is a lot to do, with each year’s charities depending on the queen’s passions. We are very thankful to our partners. We are also very proud of Yvonne for the way she has carried out her duties and wish her continued success.”
During the remainder of her reign which is expected to end in August 2018, Ms. Kushemererwa plans to continue working to promote Uganda’s tourism industry through her initiative ‘Come With Me To Uganda’. She also plans to open a group home to support persons with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.