Greetings to you all dear Readers,
I hope this finds you well and also ensuring that you all stay safe. Thank you for being ardent followers of the work that we do in Uganda. It surely means a lot to our organization and family that we have been creating since 2013 when Erika Van Oyen and Corey moved to Uganda for a year. It is from this time that the idea was conceived and from that time on, we have been working to ensure that this vision comes to fulfilment. It is an endless task that we can’t afford to keep our hands off even for a second. This is why even amidst the pandemic situation we are still pressing on, so we want to thank you all for being a part of this wonderful journey. We derive our satisfaction when we see the lives and families of our partners transform from a state of desperation, to the ability to sustain their livelihood and also take their children to school.
This week Uganda hit a 1k mark of infections (1006 to be specific) confirmed Covid 19 cases, but fortunately no death cases directly related to Covid 19. All the deaths are registered to Police and authority brutality. On the Monday 6th July 2020, a student from the largest University in Uganda, Makerere University, in Kampala, lost his life to what the family says was police brutality. The family of the student said that just before the student died he told them that a group of local defence unit operatives attacked and beat him up due to violation of curfew. It is reported that the student was coming from a short visit at his sister’s place who lives around the university. After his visit he decided to go to his house before curfew. Unfortunately this caught him before he arrived home. The defence operatives started chasing him while beating him until he couldn’t run any more. He managed to drag himself out of the university to a friend’s place who later notified the family members, who then took him to the hospital but it was a bit late and sadly he lost his life the next day. What hurts the majority of the population is the fact that whereas the virus has broken through the population, no death has been recorded but rather deaths related to such kinds of circumstances. Debates are going on between people that the government should allow people to live with the virus rather than the current lockdown that has caused deaths that could have been avoidable. We hope that these kinds of deaths can be stopped.
This week I wanted to visit two of our farthest Mama Nguvu partners Prossy L who has a piggery down in a place called Mityana and Sarah N who rears goats.
Prossy’s piggies are doing well regardless of the limited rainfall. They look good and clean which is good too. The pig sty we helped her construct looks really good and well taken care of. She said that they wash it once a week but sweep the droppings daily.
The feeding has been a challenge because due to the lack of rains they can’t use vegetation to supplement the feeding. Because she is keeping a piggy for ISEE Solutions I gave her some money to help her buy some feed to support the farm.
On a sad note her husband H, lost his younger brother so they went for the burial and returned safely. They were both happy that I went to visit them. Unfortunately I couldn’t physically interact with them but they were really happy that we care for them.
Sarah on the other hand after losing a baby goat has picked up well. The goats look great and the remaining baby goats are healthy. The mother goat had given birth to four kids but unfortunately one of them was weak and couldn’t make it after a few days.
She has a total of 8 goats in the goat house and the goat house looks great. They have been taking good care of the house, it doesn’t smell and the goats have plenty of grass to feed on.
Sarah’s children go to the bush and cut grass for the goats every evening before the sun sets.
Lilly A managed to get treatment for her infection but unfortunately the medication started to react with her body. After a few days of medication Lilly started noticing an allergic reaction on her skin, swellings all over her body so she had to go back to the doctor. Going back to the doctor he said that the medicine she was given was reacting with her body so they changed the medication. Otherwise she is okay but hasn’t been able to do much due to this condition, so she has to wait for another week until she feels better.
Jennifer N this week started to work temporarily as her building has started operating but temporarily. She is working half day because first she is tired of staying home and secondly because she needs to make some money from the remaining shoes in the shop. It’s unfortunate that when the lockdown was initiated no one was prepared so lots of her shoes remained in the store and she said they were getting spoilt. This week she decided to use the opportunity that her building was being opened for the veterinarian shops, so she has a bit of access to her shop. I asked her to try and be safe obviously and ensure that she protects herself for her family. Otherwise her family is doing well, her kids are doing great.
It is sad that Annet C lost her vegetable stall last week. Another person may call it mismanagement but someone else may think otherwise and I am torn between the two. Mothers do anything to sustain their families and homes and sometimes they have to give up their businesses to feed their families so Annet this past week decided to feed her family on what was left of the vegetable grocery business. Fortunately she still has some of her salon business supplies and her hope is to get some money to purchase more cosmetics so she can sell to people who might want to salon at home or privately. It is sad that the president has still not authorized salons to operate as they can’t possibly observe social distancing as required of all human interaction in this Covid 19 erra.
Hamida N is still in a dilemma trying to find her lost receipt for the chicks she booked from the hatching company. As you might remember she lost her receipts during a house flooding because she lives in a swampy area. She said that during a storm the house flooded so in the event as they tried to move things around the house the receipt was misplaced. The company that she purchased the chicks asked her to get a letter from her residential authorities but she hasn’t managed to get that. During her visit at the council office the chair asked that she goes back at a later time which she hadn’t yet gone back. It is the habit of these council leaders to toss people around and delay them but I hope this will not be the case for Hamida. I don’t want her to lose her business in such a way, so I will continue to encourage her to go see this gentleman and get the residential letter.
Things are getting maybe better for Aida K our chips Mama. Aida owns a chips stall along one of the roads in a place called Namuwongo. She has been doing this business way before we met her in 2015 when she joined ISEE Solutions Society. She recently has had challenges with her landlords and it has been going on for almost a year. The landlords want to sell the property on which she is working but they have a few minor administrative issues on the sale. This is where Aida has been caught up in the mix because there is no clarity. She has been doing really well on this plot for the last 4-5yrs since she moved on it. Now the situation has changed that it looks like they might stay, as the sell meetings look like they have halted. The landlord has asked for rent so she thinks that she might keep the place for a while. Finding a new place has been one of the hardest things these past few months.
Gertrude N has not had a good week. Her daughter fell sick over the weekend and they had to spend the entire night in the clinic because that was the only place they could get some attention. The following day they managed to get themselves into a proper health facility where her daughter started to feel better. We sent her some money to help them get medication and treatment for the little girl. As we speak she is doing well and has recovered fully.
The nerve pains in Margaret N feet still exist and is finding it difficult to live with. She told me that the pains are more persistent at night so she wants to go for proper examination. We sent her some money to help her family take her for the examination. The cost was high so what we sent them was to give them a small boost so the burden is reduced a bit. She called me the next day to thank us, so I asked her to ensure that she gets the examination. Margaret is unable to sew because of the pain which makes it hard to peddle her sewing machine.
Anna M’s plans to open a Mobile Money shop where people go to access money from their phones have not kicked off yet. This is a popular business in Uganda because it is very successful and easy, more so that a large number of Ugandans don’t have bank accounts but they have Mobile Money accounts. They are easy to open as people only require a phone to have such an account. This is the easiest way to move money around and Anna wants to engage in this business. It requires some money to start of course but it also requires a lot of requirements like letters from local council leaders, identifications and much more. Anna has been trying to get these things done but also the money she was waiting for hasn’t come so she is stuck a bit.
As ISEE Solutions Society I am glad to announce that our family of younger girls is also still in our minds. Our other wing of operations as some of you might know, the reproductive health clinics still have plans. We know even during this pandemic most of our dear girls still lack pads. This week we spoke to our Sewing mothers Betty N and Lorna K contacting them about the possibility of making flannel sheets and bags respectively. I am happy to say that both of them are interested in sewing for us and also that they both can actually find fabric. This was our major concern but it is good that they can access the fabric in this lockdown. Lorna has been finding it hard to find work to do lately during Covid 19 era so we wanted to see if we could offer Betty and Lorna an opportunity to help. ISEE Solutions dreams of the possibility of creating a sustainable and dependable team of Mamas who will be able to make these kits locally, so this gives us an opportunity to build this team starting here slowly.
Thank you again for keeping up with us. Your support, time and interest in what we do means a lot. Surely without you all and our volunteers who have been attending our sewing bees there is nothing much we would do. You are our strength. Thank you for all your support.