ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Amazing Glenmore Schools

North Glenmore Elementary

 

In November, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the grade 6 We Day Celebrations. I was asked to share with the students about being a critical consumer through the social justice lens. I shared about how the media can portray events in certain ways to sway donors and that they need to be discerning when investigating projects they want to invest into. I taught about how charities must submit their budget on a yearly basis and that the Canadian government oversees the way that money is spent. Financial information should be posted on websites. Transparency is important to build donor confidence. Where does your dollar go?

After sharing about being a critical donor, I shared about ISEE’s work and how girls don’t attend school once they get their menstrual period. I talked about gender equity and the importance of educating girls.

I was thrilled to be able to share with the students and parents about finding their “spark”. I always tell them that my “spark” is the work ISEE is doing but that I wanted them to find what their “spark” is in order to serve the community and world around them. It may not be ISEE but it is their responsibility as citizens of this world to find their “spark”.

The grade 6 students came to Dr Knox this week and presented a cheque to ISEE. The students and staff at the school had a “privilege day” where the students and staff members could purchase a privilege for the day. Want to chew gum all day? $1.00. Want to play with the ducklings for 10 minutes? $1.00. Everyone participated and it was a huge success. What a great idea! Thank you Mrs. Davies and all the grade 6 teachers and students involved in this initiative.

 

Ecole Glenmore Elementary

Ecole Glenmore Elementary has always been a strong supporter of ISEE’s work and we are truly grateful for the support over the past 10 years. Glenmore Grizzlies have sponsored Mamas, a chicken coop, a school library, sporting equipment, and musical instruments for schools in need. In the fall, Mme Godon’s class held a toy sale and this month, they held a garage sale where the students brought in items to sell to their peers and all the money raised went to ISEE. They also had the Salvation Army local thrift shop involved by donating items to sell. Merci beaucoup!

 

Ecole Dr Knox Middle School

Ecole Dr Knox Middle School has very active leadership and social justice programs that have raised funds for ISEE over the past few years as well. To date, Knox Falcons have sponsored three Mamas. This year, students held an international food fair, a pink cupcake sale, and an ice cream sandwich sale. The money raised at the food fair was used in March to sponsor Gertrude and the students have just presented another cheque to ISEE to further our work in July. Merci Mme King, Mrs Stone, and all the amazing middle school students.

 

I am excited to see what we can do with these funds this summer. There are lots of ideas so we will see what develops in the next two months. We are so lucky to live in such an amazing community! Webale Nnyo Nnyo Nnyo!

 

 

 

Preventing Period Poverty, Empowering Women, and Promoting Stronger Schools

Preventing Period Poverty

Two shields, eight pads, two pairs of panties, one facecloth, two Ziploc bags, and a bar of soap, nicely held in a drawstring bag: all the items needed to keep a girl in school for three years. Seems unbelievable that such a simple package could make such a life difference.

After another amazing sewing bee this month, we are now beyond our goal of 1500 kits for distribution this summer and we are starting to create kits for distribution in 2020. We may even attempt to take 2000 this summer! Here at home, we sew four of the pads and the two shields and these components are now all done.

We also hire 6 Ugandan women to make four of the pads (so 6000-8000 are needed for July) and the drawstring bags (1500-2000 of those) and their work has just started. For the Ugandan portion of the kits, we need about $3.33 per kit to pay for the fabric and to give the Ugandan women a fair wage so we are actively seeking donations for this project. You can donate through our PayPal link on the right or use our recently launched Go Fund Me page called Prevent Period Poverty with reusable sanitary pads. We need $5000 to fully fund this project.

https://www.gofundme.com/erika039s-campaign-for-isee-solutions-society

Lucky us! We’ve had two articles in the local media showcasing our work to prevent period poverty and our need for funding for these kits. You can read them here:

Daily Courier

Castanet

Since 2012, we have spoken to over 5000 girls about reproductive health and safety and given these girls kits to be able to stay in school. One school matron contacted ISEE recently and said, “One parent, a single mom, called me and thanked me for preparing her daughter because when she started her period she was not scared and she knew how to use and care for her pads! This girl was in P4 when Erika came to our school. What an impact.”

It’s great to hear that the presentations are successful.

Empowering Women

We’ve very happy that our three new Mamas are now either set up or well on their way.

You may remember from my post in March that Jenn was not well when I visited as she had malaria and was sick in bed so her shop was shut. She had also had the misfortune of being sold expired soda and so when she sold it to her customers, they were angry and demanded their money back. Once Jenn was fully recovered, she was able to purchase new soda and supplies for her canteen thanks to a generous donation from a Kelowna donor. We are thrilled that she is feeling better and is working hard to build up her business.

 

Jane in Bwaise received sponsorship from Gifts to Grandmas and had built the base for her 10,000 litre water tank but wanted to wait until the underground plumbing came through for filling the tank.The Ugandan government is currently installing cameras all over the city so all the workers are involved in that project and no water lines are being installed. Jane decided that she would get the tank and pay for water delivery so that she could at least start her business, rather than wait indefinitely until the government got the water line in. Her profit may not be so big to start but she is happy to be starting and earning some money for her family. We wish her every success!

 

Lastly, Gertrude has been searching for an ideal location for her computer printing business. She had money saved for rent in 2018 and kept that money safe so that once we had a sponsor for her business, she would be able to rent a secure location and have ISEE provide the equipment for her. This past week, she finally found a space that is safe and close to home so that she can take her infant with her to the shop without worrying about transport. Next week she will go shopping for the equipment she needs for her business. We are looking forward to see how she progresses.

 

Stronger Schools

Corey spent many hours this month putting together a video about Kyengera Preparatory School in Nabaziza distict. This is a new school to ISEE but I worked with Elias, the director of the school, when he was a teacher in Nateete district. He is a passionate and dedicated individual who believes strongly in the power of education and potential of every child. We are excited to be looking into ways to partner with this amazing school.

And one more feel good story

A few months ago, I wrote about Francis, the grandson of Jane (a different Jane) who was born with encephalitis. Each month, he has the opportunity to go to physiotherapy and get medication but Jane was only able to afford to go sporadically. ISEE has been supporting Francis and his medical visits (we are still actively seeking a monthly donor for Francis for $50 per month) and we were sent a photo yesterday of Francis, looking much healthier than his previous photos. The driver who takes him to his monthly visits says that Francis seems much happier and healthier since he started the regular treatments. How wonderful!

 

 

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Thank you again to everyone who supports us either in one time cash donations, through monthly cash donations, or through the donation of time and resources. We could not do the work we do without people like you.

Webale Nnyo – thank you very much.

In friendship,

Erika