ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

October 24 update

Good weather everyone!

This is a greeting that one of my classmates liked to use. His name was Andrew, just like me. The first time I heard it, I laughed hard. I felt like he was showing off yet again it was interesting so most classmates used it for fun. 

I don’t know if most of you follow international news and in this regard to African news because something tragic is happening on our continent. Many people are dying in Nigeria. The causes are said to be politically motivated and many people are crying on all sorts of social media platforms asking people to check on their relatives. 

The political situation is very alarming so we ask you to please send positive thoughts to our Nigerian brothers and sisters because no one deserves to take another’s life because we give it not. 

This week in Uganda, the most famous opposition party right called National Unity Platform had a case in court and won the case. This party, which is led by a former musician and now political personality named Bobie Wine has caused a lot of turmoil in this country. Many people have been shot and jailed due to demonstrations. In effect to the court session this week of which they won the case, as  they jubilated in a place called Wandegeya where police fired tear gas to disperse people. {note: in Uganda all large gatherings, but especially ones that may have a whiff of criticism about the ruling party, must have ‘proper’ clearance and permits from the government. This celebration that Andrew writes about was likely unauthorized and thus the target of government crackdown. -ed}

Jonathan Ssekitondo on Twitter: "Protests spreading from the city to as far  as 'Ku bbiri', Wandegeya as people show their dissatisfaction to @GovUganda  holding @HEBobiwine. #FreeBobieWine…"
protests in Wandegeya (photo by Jonathan Ssekitondo via Twitter)

When I observe the pattern of what is happening now, this might actually set a precedent for electoral violence in the coming year 2021. Uganda is set to have its presidential elections in March 2021 and we can only hope that at least it is a peaceful election, but it is in my greatest of doubts. 

An article published by The New Vision {newspaper} on October 20th 2020 titled “How Covid-19 has affected women in Uganda”, by Lillian Magezi shared some real life challenges that Ugandan women have faced during these times.

Some of the noted effects included husbands drinking thrice as much as they normally would and also stated increased physical abuse towards both children and mothers. These vices have been as a result of the loss of employment for most men who have resorted into drinking as a way of killing time and frustration. This is one of the reasons why we have embarked greatly on the course of boosting Mama Nguvu partner businesses to ensure that we bring about balance and sustainability in these homes.

The Covid 19 situation still extends everywhere and we continue to feel its effects. Uganda has registered just under 11,000 infections, 7,194 recoveries and just under 100 deaths. This week seems as though the figures have reduced and we hope this stays this way. 

Schools have reopened officially as we have started seeing more and more students in school uniforms walking to school. Most of these students like I mentioned last week are candidates from finalist classes. We can only wish them the best of luck and that they can succeed in their academic endeavors.

My week has been a bit light work as my main aim was to ensure that Mamas who needed a boost got the boost as required, so I met with Asia B, Dorah A, Rovence N, Justine N, Amina A and Hadijja N.

Asia B at her stall

Asia B., needed a boost to help her acquire a second hand fridge at a relatively cheaper price as the original owner was selling it at a give away price or goodwill if you like. It came along with some soda glass bottles, saucepans and other little things, so we provided her with a financial no-interest loan of which she is required to pay back only 60%. She was very excited when we presented her the offer because this equipment now fully owned helps her to improve her business by providing cold beverages like soda and other local juices.

Dorah at her (almost) restaurant

After the long wait for Dorah’s new restaurant room, this week we went and deposited towards her rent. The house is still under construction but at least she has edged closer to owning the shop. She had been scouting and house hunting for almost a year now, reaching this milestone is such a great improvement on her success. She will be able to start business hopefully as soon as the house is completed and by the time of our meeting, the floor tiles were the only thing left to finish.

Rovence, patiently waiting for her new furniture to arrive

I visited Rovence N., to follow up on the furniture progress because it is a carpenter thing to deliver work late so it requires us to constantly follow up work until it’s done. When I spoke to Rovence she had said that the carpenter had promised to complete the work by the weekend, so we will wait to see what the work looks like.

Justine selling vegetables

Justine N., has been struggling to get back her broken saucepan for a year now and we want to ensure that she gets it back soon. We help Mamas like Justine acquire business items like these to ensure that they can impact their lives with these things. When they do not have them at their disposal, we can not ensure this transformation. Justine said that one of her challenges, like many, is the fact is the fact that social gatherings where these pans would normally be used, like weddings or funerals, are currently not allowed and so her market has shrunk. She has not been able to save up enough from daily sales of her vegetable stall to redeem her saucepan. We have decided to provide a no-interest loan from which she will redeem her saucepan and be ready for business when the country re-opens. 

The slightly less-toothed but happier Amina

Amina A, went for her second last dental appointment where she got her 3 teeth filled but she remains with 3 more to be worked on. She had been suffering for many months now with a lot of toothache and through our medical emergency support we have helped her remove 4 badly damaged teeth and now filled 3 of the 6 that are not as badly damaged. She now only has 3 more to go and maybe can get replacements because she has no molars left, so she can not chew her food well enough. She said. “I am glad, I can sleep now”. She had not had any proper sleep in months, so for two days after her surgery, she only slept.

On the other hand, I am also happy to say that she has managed to sustain her yellow banana business and the business is going on. Regardless of the dental challenges and appointments, Amina is keeping her business act together. I constantly like to encourage her that this is an opportunity that she has to take advantage of and change her story. 


Lastly, I met with Hadijja N.,  and she is doing well. The business is not yet up to its best because her bar is not up and running but she improvised with a cassava chips stall in the morning hours. She paid part of her Covid loan which is usually a sign that the business has improved.

I also collected another 50,000/- Uganda shillings from Aidah K. who was also paying part of her boost contribution.

These are the type of finances or collections that we use to help our Mama get boosts and other forms of financial support.

I want to continue thanking you all for the support and contributions you make towards the work we do. I must say we appreciated you so much and please continue supporting us. 

As for me on a daily basis I continue to witness the transformational power of what your support keeps bringing.

It is sad that this week we received an email from Geoffrey, our brick making partner due to the heavy rains that caused the breaking of about 1,500 bricks. As you might know by now, this work is very labor demanding therefore any breaking is such a great loss. Let us hope that the rains stabilize and stop being brutal to destroy the bricks.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Echel 

Director of Prog, Uganda

ISEE Solutions Society

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