Greetings to you all,
I hope that you are doing great through this season. It seems unbelievable that the month is ending but more unbelievable that the year is coming to an end. The rain has continued to be nice to us in so many ways but of course has left a few damages here and there, destroying a few roads and bridges around the country. The sun too has been good to us helping to dry up our muddy roads which usually become impassable when it rains.
The week has not been bad at all, I have been trying to figure out a few things with Rehema, Dorah and Asia. otherwise, the rest of the Mamas are doing seemingly okay.
Asia B’s shop has been closed for more than a month and she has been living by scraps through this time. She has been doing laundry once or twice a week or so but nothing much has been brought to fruition. I spoke to her just to try and encourage her but also to help her figure out her next move. Her options were not as many as she looked at buying candy and repackaging it, preparing foodstuff and making hot beverages like tea and porridge. A few months ago she had purchased a dozen cups to try and include hot beverages in her business as this seemed more of a workable solution for her but failed to do so. This looks like what we will help her do because she has the cups, saucepans and stoves perhaps to do it. She also has a stall in which she can do this business.
Rehema N is still struggling with her health and there is nothing we can do for her at the moment as her back hurts so bad. When I went to see her, she had taken a trip to visit a herbalist to help give her some medication but nothing has worked so far. She has quite a strong belief in herbal medicines so there is nothing I can do for her because she tends to find them more appealing and less expensive. We surely need her to find herself something she can do that we can support but as for now, there is nothing I can do.
Dorah A is doing great. She has plans to reopen her restaurant and told me that she will call me and surprise me as she is working on some final details of her plan and activity. Otherwise, the rabbits are good and alive. The challenge is that they have not yet gotten used to each other as they tend to fight so her son got a cage for the two new bunnies to sleep in every night to avoid fighting. Dorah also wants to reinforce the next room to provide more space for these two new ones or else they might be affected by limited space and poor hygiene as the cage is too small.
Pulakiseeda N. is continuing to enjoy a good season of business through the rainy season especially groceries, although the cold beverages are not doing the very best as it is a cold season. This is understandable. She has taken all the kids to school now and paid half the school fees for them and said hopefully by the end of next month, she will have cleared the school fees.
Justine N is doing very well at home. Her cold beverages continue to rock as more parents now are buying juice for their kids to take to school. They come with bottles and refill them daily so this is good for her business and the environment too because ordinarily, they pack the juice in small polythene bags which usually end up in the water drainage systems and block the flow of water. Due to the heavy rains, one of her pit latrines broke and on the day of my visit, I found her trying to get it worked upon. Her son sent her some funds to help cover costs and, together with her savings, she can secure their health by providing this facility for themselves.
Amina A is also doing well. Both her kids are now in school and her chapati business continues to thrive. This has helped her sustain her family and provide for the kids’ daily transport to help them go to school. The season has been bad for people living in her area with a lot of flooding happening so she has been collecting rocks/gravel around her area to add to the sand she already has in preparation to construct a better floor for one of her rooms. She has an extra room she wants to renovate and help her collect some rent from it so she can have some extra cash to pay fees and sustain them.
Sarah N, our goats’ Mama, is doing incredibly well for the season. She finished her bricks and tried to dry them but the rain is slowing down the process. She was able to take her children to school and needs the bricks to dry so she can bake and sell them off. The rains on the other hand have helped her provide adequate grass and leaves to feed her goats. They look very healthy and well-kept.
Hamida N, one of our poultry Mamas, has finally finished the construction of her chicken coop which has taken longer than anticipated. The floor has been cemented, and the door has been fixed but one window lacks panelling. If she is going to keep chickens, she will need this panel fixed either with wood or glass to protect them from wild and stray cats. Cats have been a huge problem for Christine, our other poultry Mama, so I emphasized this before we can proceed with her request. She will also buy a couple of sacks of wood shavings to help insulate the floor for the chicken and then add electricity to help light and warm the chicks when she finally submits her proposal.
Lilly’s business has been very slow these last few weeks. She has not had any table cloth orders but only had a few school uniform repairs as most kids have returned to school and they tend to ruin their uniforms while playing. She is simply surviving, she recently got money to send her son Phillip to school and he is back in school with at least half of his fees paid.
Aidah K is doing okay but the rain has distorted her movement and mobility because now she can’t easily fry from outside her stall but also move as Namuwongo is not a very paved area, especially in her current location. Customers call her during lunch hours but unfortunately, she can’t deliver on time because of bad weather hence reducing her sales of the day. Everything has become slow for her but she remains firm in her business.
Otherwise, thank you for keeping up with us this week. We appreciate all your support and kindness through the work that we do. Some weeks are good and others bad, some Mamas are doing well and others continue to struggle nonetheless we can’t give up on them. Through your encouragement and support we provide the guidance and support we can offer. We deeply care for them and support them individually so thank you for your support and we encourage you to continue.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society