Greetings to you all,
It was an amazing week for me and Prossy when I delivered her the first batch of 50kgs of pig feed. Unfortunately, she was not home but her husband received the food with so much joy. The pigs will now get some vitamins, and deworming tablets, and start feeding on this mix made by Maria for the next couple of weeks. If there is an improvement, we might deliver one more bag of feed for them and the couple will have to continue until they are ready to sell them off and eventually, replace them with a new breed.
Sarah N. who keeps goats is also doing well. This week, I managed to find her in action in her garden trying to prepare the ground for the beans she wants to plant. The rains have not been very frequent the last few weeks but she said that just in case they came back they would like to have the garden ready for the beans. Her goats are looking fabulous lately as they are taking them more to the open fields to eat. The grass looks plenty at the moment and looks like the goats are doing well too. The goats and bricks that she makes have helped her pay school fees for the kids this term. She had a few goats give birth and decided to trade some of them because she needed to top up the school fees for the children.
I continued to meet Rehema this week too as a way of encouraging her to think of plan B, because the second-hand clothes business was not convincing enough as it involved a lot of walking as a vendor or hawker. This amount of walking is not necessarily healthy for her because Rehema is not very healthy at the moment and we would not want to endanger her health more. Hopefully she can come up with a more suitable business to support herself and her kids.
At last, I was able to meet Annet N, our Mama who makes tea and porridge at the roadside. Of course, technically it’s not off the road because she uses an open space just in front of a stall used by another business owner who lets her work for about 5-6hrs depending on how early she will report for duty. She usually has three charcoal stoves on which she will cook both milk tea and black tea, then the other she puts the porridge on. She also has a much smaller stove where she will fry eggs for customers who may like them. She later then puts the cups and bread tea on a tray and delivers them to customers around that place. During my time with her, there was some kind of popularity of this Mama as it looked like they had confidence in her and they trusted her too. It almost felt like the plan of having her move from this place to another is not a very good one.
Pulakiseda N. is doing incredible work for herself. I remember in my last report, her grocery store was looking empty because she had to take out some money to take her kids back to school. This week, I saw an improvement in the stock she had from the previous visit. She attributes this to the fact that she has a better location than last year. She is located at the very entrance of the market and she is the first grocery stall one sees as they enter the market. Although prices of everything have increased, Pulakiseda gets the opportunity to be one of the first shops that customers see.
Asia B. is also doing fine. Asia and Pulakiseda are located in the same market but both of them do significantly different businesses and also Asia is located at the very end of the market. Asia has been mainly dealing with books and beverages of late. Her fridge is working well and the shop is growing stable so let’s hope this can remain for the later part of the year as we try to lure her into staying in Uganda and doing business as she protects and provides for her family.
I have been keeping a close eye on Aidah K. over the last couple of weeks because I see she is struggling. She is a very hardworking woman and has not got a single day missed from her work unless the reasons were beyond her control. She is one of the Mama’s who have been most affected by the increase in prices right from the Irish potatoes to the cooking oil that she uses every day. I observed that she was using oil that wasn’t the usual standard as she always used in the past. She is very strong that she will not even ask on most occasions to be assisted so I have kept a close eye on her. The vegetables on her stall have also been reduced which is another indicator of a struggle. I will continue to check up on her to ensure she makes progress.
This week on my way to Kyengera to pick up food from Maria and also see Annet, I came across a wooden or eucalyptus pole erection across the road just like a bridge but wasn’t this time. This structure is usually erected when the Kabaka aka King of Buganda kingdom is going to visit one of his constituents. Usually, under this structure, you will notice or find a group of local dancers and drummers playing drums and dancing to local or traditional songs. It turns out that the King was going to oversee one of the most popular events during the year which is the “Kabaka Run” usually organized by one of the telecommunication companies as a corporate social responsibility stunt. Often, they target areas in which locals are struggling with shortages, like water for example, and so they supply water and it goes on up to things like helping create awareness against HIV/AIDs which is what they did this year. Thanks to the organizers, they had a wonderful turnover at the event.
Thank you for following our work this week. We love and appreciate all your support throughout the year. It is always an honor to interact with you on this platform. Stay safe as always. Till next week.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society.