Hello dear ISEE supporters. I wanted to extend our thanks for your continued support of our work in Uganda. Thank you to those who are donating toward the Mama relief fund and thank you to everyone who is working on our new menstrual set components. We are glad that we are able to keep you busy! A big thank you to the ladies at Gifts to Grandmothers who have donated toward the Mama rebuilding fund so that once these mamas need to rebuild their business, we have some capital available to them. Webale Nnyo! Stay Safe – Erika
Greetings to you all our dear readers…
It is week 7 of the lockdown since the first series of lockdowns was started in March 2020. It all started with 2 weeks then 3 weeks and again 2 more weeks, so we are currently exhausting week 7 of lockdowns.
The streets as of today are getting busier as the people are starting to get tired of the situation and starting to dishonour the presidential directive to stay safe and stay at home. The number of vehicles on the streets is increasing; more cars flooding the roads with more people going into the city centre opening up shops to do business. The police have actually had to forcefully close the shops using tear gas, forcing them to close and head back to their homes. This has been majorly caused by the frustration that the people haven’t been able to receive the food as promised by the government.
Although this distribution of food has taken a bit long, some of our mamas have actually received the food. I spoke to one of our Mamas called Lilly L, who managed to get almost 20kgs of Posho and 16kgs of beans. This was really nice because over the past few weeks I had been speaking to her and she was looking forward to receiving her share of the food, whereas some Mamas, like Lorna K, haven’t yet received any food. It gives me hope that they will get food at one point.
During this week, the government decreed that no one will be accepted to go to public places anymore without masks. The government has encouraged all people from now on to wear face masks if anyone has to go into town, so we protect one another from possible infections.
This past week I have been in touch with some of our Mamas as usual to assess and follow up on how they are…
Salume S started a vegetable stall to help supplement her feeding and home maintenance. This week we extended some financial help to support Salume in expanding her little business, increasing her supply of vegetables and other supplies.
Betty N, is continuing with her tailoring during this Covid 19 season. She received an order of 150 face masks that needed to be delivered by the end of Friday the 15th. According to our last conversation, she had finished the masks and had sent them to the organization that had ordered them. Otherwise, she is well and her family has been doing well throughout this season and they have had plenty of food.
Jennifer N, is doing well and her family too. Jennifer owns a small space where she sells second hand shoes to retailers and ordinary people who buy them for their children and family members. Since the lockdown initiated, her business was closed entirely and she says that she has not opened her shop even once. When we spoke, she expressed to me that she has used up all her saving and was now encroaching on her actual stock capital. This was a bit worrying majorly because our concern has been trying to avoid this very situation where the mamas have to use up their capital as they try to feed their families. I sent her some money to help buy some food stuff for her and her kids.
Lorna K, as I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, has not yet received the government distributed food. She lives a bit further than all the other mamas so we keep our fingers crossed for her. I sent her some money to help her buy food supplies for the family as they wait for the government distribution to reach them.
Lilly L received food last week on Friday so I am really happy for her. She is a tailor and is one of the first people who were affected by the lockdown and were not allowed in the market because they didn’t offer food supplies. Therefore, her getting the food was a really good thing for her and her family.
Jolly B, and the Francoise family are doing well. They are managing the business well and everyone is participating in trying to help the snack business stay afloat. She prepares and fries the snacks whereas the boys sell and vend them within the area. I spoke to Francoise and she is also doing well; she has her medication so that’s a good thing.
Annet C, who we talked about last week, has also bought more vegetables using some of the money we sent her. She used the remaining money to buy braids and weaves for her shop so she can sell to people who ask for them. We spoke about her not braiding and weaving as it is particularly not safe for her so she only sells for people to take home and do it themselves.
Annet N has also increased on her supplies like sugar and maize flour which are fundamental for her business. When we spoke, she stated that the funds helped her attain 15kgs of flour and 15kgs of sugar to help her boost this week’s business. She said that she didn’t buy a bag of charcoal because she preferred buying it daily as she didn’t have enough space to store it or else it would have been stolen.
On the other hand, my frustration this week comes from me trying to find Gertrude N the entire week but all in vain. I have called her at least twice each day but she hasn’t returned my calls. It breaks my heart that I am unable to reach our Mamas because at a time such as this it scares me the worst. Our intention is to always try to find them and assist them in the best possible way.
Thank you so much everyone who reads our blogs every week. Thank you for all the support and positive thoughts towards what we do. It’s not easy but we are always doing our best to serve the Ugandan population in the best way we can. Stay safe and stay sociable; we can make a difference. We only have to keep trying.
Regards to you all.