Hello! Because we shared Margaret’s story last week, the weekly report was left to be added to this week’s report. We hope you enjoy the double update!
Greetings to you all,
The situation in Uganda has not been very bad. The economy has continued to open up more and more. After losing our Speaker of the House, last Friday 25th March, he was replaced by another Speaker who will carry on the Parliamentary business.
Justine N. has been in the business of deep-frying snacks, selling vegetables, and hiring out large saucepans for large-scale cooking. She wanted to quit the cooking business and was saving towards this goal. This week, she was very happy to get her new fridge. She will now focus on the vegetable and beverage business in the meantime.
Asia B. has been struggling to get back on her feet after missing out on business for more than 6 weeks because she had to go take care of her mother. During that time, her fridge broke down and this unsettled the business more. The fridge was repaired this week and an electric stepdown was purchased to protect it from the unstable power supply in the market. She was really happy that the fridge was repairable.
Jane N. has been facing a lot of challenges with the process of moving from her old place to the new one majorly because they were offered little money and she had to share it with her separated husband. When we spoke, she had been glad to get a new place and was waiting for the developers to go start the construction. I reminded her that when the time comes to move, we will help her move the tank we got for her in 2019.
Irene L and her son have not been feeling well for the last couple of weeks and actually, her son was almost admitted to a hospital bed. This could not be possible because of the fear of the bill so they have been commuting to the hospital every day. Her two sons were also to be sent home for failure to pay examination registration fees as they are candidates or final year students. Failure to pay would mean that they would have wasted 4 and 7 years respectively. The boys had already called the mum and they were crying. The boys have now been registered so they will sit for their final exams this year.
Margaret N. is doing okay. She has decided to go back to her sewing business as all other options seemed to be either too expensive to start or required more energy to do. On that day, I found her cleaning her sewing machine and had put it out to dry in the sun. The table had broken so it needed some fixing and it looked fixable so I will follow up on her to see how far these plans have gone.
Pulakiseeda N. continues to do well with her grocery business. I had to go there this week to pick up some food items from her shop as always. Otherwise, her business is doing okay and her fridge is still functional so I was happy that Justine’s fridge was purchased at the same place as hers.
Lilly A. is also doing well. Her tailoring shop has been very busy these last few weeks with several people ordering tablecloths and others bringing in clothes for repair. It was good to see her smile telling me all these updates. I hope things stay this way for her as it has been a while without so much to do.
I also went to see Hamida N. see the progress on the construction of the chicken coop after having called me. There was not much progress on the chicken coop but they had built a fence around the house. Her neighbour who wanted to have access to his plot negotiated with her and she asked him to build her an extra room if he wanted to have an access road. They both agreed and now the process is in progress. I was happy to see some kind of progress here because she was having some challenges keeping her chickens on another person’s property. I will check on her in the next few weeks to assess her progress.
I also made a few phone calls and Hadijah N. with a broken leg, is doing better. The last two medical reviews have been positive so they asked them to go back on 11/04/2022 to assess the broken bone and see if it too is healing. I have also spoken to Rehema N. and she is making an appointment for the rib check so I will post to you about the outcomes. She has to attend an X-ray appointment.
Rashida S. is doing good with her charcoal and vegetable stall. Her stall looked terrible on the day but only because the vegetables were finished and she only goes to the market to shop twice a week and the veggies last about 2-3 days. Therefore, she only shops twice a week. The charcoal stall is also doing well, the timber is giving up and she is looking into fixing it soon so the charcoal remains dry during the wet season.
Immaculate M. is also doing well at the moment. She has now decided to start working in the clinic all by herself after being let down by the last two nurses she had hired. They would steal money directly from under the counter and also charge patients but not record it. She one time found out on her daily visits when patients would come to pay unrecorded debts or bills. She has decided to open the clinic only during evening hours when she clocks out of the main hospital. She testifies that even though she works less than a day, she has been able to make rent for the last two months.
Rehema N. finally had her X-ray done but was unable to get the reading from the doctor. She was later sent to another specialist who was also able to find that Rehema has stomach ulcers. The next step now is to make another appointment with the doctor to interpret and prescribe medication for the ailment she has. Otherwise, she is okay and has been continuing with her laundry work around her community.
There have been babies this month and Christine gave birth to a healthy baby boy. He is very healthy and looks good. Otherwise, the poultry business has been off for the last two weeks. She sold all of them young because she figured it would be hard to balance the baby and the chickens. The wise decision is that she then booked another batch which comes in less than 10 days. She says the boy is now about a month old so he now has a routine that is good for her to sort out the rest. She also has two pigs and one is pregnant and expecting in about a month.
Other new babies as I type this blog because Maria’s pig was so heavy when I visited her last week. One of them has surely given birth to 6 and the other has less than 6 because apparently, you can tell how many pigs it would have by looking at its teats. Usually, the number of teats that develop is the number of piglets it will have. She is excited because she lost a few during the swine fever season and then more when her daughter had a baby and they had to pay for the C-section. I am excited for her because Maria can rebuild her “stable” again.
Annet N. is merely surviving if I might say. Things have gotten bad to worse in the market, the sugar has risen from 2600/- to 3400/- and the posho has risen from 1600/- to 2400/- which is ridiculous in just 3 months. Annet sells tea and porridge at the roadside in Kyengera and a cup of tea costs 500/- whereas porridge costs 1,000/-. The porridge is mixed with milk and the milk has also come from 1400/- to 2400/- so she barely makes any profit but here comes the worst part is that some customers regardless of all the above, go without paying. This greatly affects business on Annet’s side.
Harriet is still surviving by the railway line. It’s my solemn promise to follow her up until she finds a place that is safe for her. Otherwise, she is continuing to sew from her railway side stall. We will look out for her again next week.
Francoise is doing okay. The business is moving on slowly and she looks good too. She had some allergies on her face a few weeks back but they have all dried up since. The kids were in school and look like this week is the last in school and they will get their holidays.
For Florence, the time is flying too fast as she edged close to her wedding this coming Friday. She has her dress fitting this week and by Friday morning, the dresses will be ready. Otherwise, the business is moving on with her girls working hard to ensure it stays afloat. She joked about being back at the shop on Sunday after the wedding ceremony. She is always grateful that I look out for her and she has given me an invite on behalf of ISEE Solutions so I will surely attend.
Lastly, my final visit of the week was with Sarah N. who raises goats. It was unfortunate to not find her there because she is a devoted Catholic and she has gone out to one of those events called “Way of the Cross”. Luckily, I was able to meet her daughter who had come back from school. She is one of the few candidates who will be sitting their final S.4 exams this year. The good news is that Sarah was able to pay for registration all by herself.
I want to continue to thank you for all the support you give to us. Thank you for following our weekly blogs. Have a wonderful week and month.
Director of Programa, Uganda.
ISEE Solutions Society