Salutations to you all,
Greetings to you from Uganda @60 yrs. We had our independence day celebrations on Sunday 09/10/2022 celebrating 60 years of pretty much nothing but some kind of independence. We hope that you are well. Thank you for being a part of the last 10 years of our lives as ISEE Solutions Society, helping to create independence by reducing period poverty. We appreciate all the efforts you have put into making the homes and families that have become since we started serving this nation. The task we took on obviously was and is quite immense but we take the strength and pleasure that every day or every week we try to make lives and families better. We believe in creating educational opportunities alongside the economic growth and independence of the Mamas.
There has been a lot of military presence on major highways, towns and junctions which surprisingly has not created a lot of tension in the public. I guess we are getting more used to them now than actually fear them. Traffic has been disrupted and stopped for more than 25min every now and then because the president is going to pass. We are getting used to this too because it actually comes unexpectedly until you reach one of the major junctions.
This week like I do always, I will start with my favourite visits with the Mamas.
Maria A welcomed 14 piglets this week from her two pregnant pigs. One gave birth to 8 and the other 6. All of them came out well but they got attacked by some bugs or flies that started hurting them so they needed a bit of treatment. Therefore, we got them some vitamin tablets which they mixed in the water and some pesticide which they sprayed on their ears and bodies. They are now looking well and the pests seem to have gone away and stopped attacking the pigs. The idea of enlarging the sty has gone to a halt for a moment because they still need to feed together with their mother. Maria wants to do it in January when they grow bigger but for now, they need to feed and be protected from their mothers.
Hadijjah N has now officially dropped her stick and is using both her limbs fully. She says it is a bit painful but the doctor said that the bone and joint have healed properly. She can now apply more pressure but pain and itching should be expected for a while. She is now fully back on the street frying chicken and chips at her roadside stall. The problem these previous months has been the authorities and the unpredictable rains that fall from time to time. Otherwise, she is back and happy with how things are going at the moment. Some of her clients have returned because they see her around lately so it is easy for them to deal and order chips, chicken and sometimes tea. She makes tea on the side to complement those who need it. It was good to see her again fully in action this time.
Annet N is also having a good season in these rains. She now leaves her work a little later most days; usually she will leave at 12 noon but now often leaves at 2 pm. She wants to buy more cups and plates to meet her demand. Some days, of course, have been interrupted by the rain like 2 days ago it started raining at 6 am and didn’t stop until 12 noon. She struggled to go but reached late. But generally, she has been okay, all the kids are in school and have cleared most of the fees.
Amina A has struggled this month and actually lost her business and savings when an unfortunate circumstance happened at her daughter’s workplace. Her daughter worked at a phone shop and 2 phones went missing so the owner had her arrested and taken to the police. She spent there a night but Amina was able to find some money and paid off the lost property. It was unfortunate that she had to sacrifice her business but it was surely inevitable because her daughter was more important at this time. I have worked with her this week to help her get back on her feet. Wheat flour and cooking oil which is mandatory for her business have shot up in price from 6,500/- during Christmas to 9,500/- a bag. She has to be back on the grind because she has two more kids to keep in school.
Pulakiseeda N is doing well. I had to go pick up another batch of supplies from her shop this week — I’ve been eating a lot lately. Her business has been doing well these last few months, with a lot of activity in the market which is good. I saw a lot of foodstuffs in the market meaning the rain has been good. Lots of greens and eggplants, tomatoes, onions and many other vegetables. I actually also bought some oranges in the market and the gentleman offered me free tangerines, which was nice. From Pulakiseeda I got rice, posho, sugar, cooking oil, salt and noodles.
Harriet L is doing well with her tailoring shop. She had such a bright smile on her face. I am actually surprised that her stall has not been broken into with such a machine in it. Namuwongo is quite an interesting place and it is a place prone to and infested with crime. This is why I have always been worried about her starting her shop in the place she is. Otherwise, she has been seeing a few more customers since my last visit with her. It had been a little slow for a while but had seemingly picked up. She managed to take her daughter back to school which is nice.
Christine N has been slow this season. Her pigs have not given birth yet like Maria. Hers seems to be about a month behind or a few weeks from Maria’s. They are looking good though. She has started to prepare for the chickens as you might remember she lost very many of them during her last attempt to rear her poultry. The rains have also slowed her brick-making business and the drying process has become longer than she expected. She thought by now, the baking would be done but the rains keep dragging her back with a lot of water. The good thing is that the kids go to a local school just by her house so they are allowed to stay in school at the moment.
Rovence N is still struggling with the rainy season business as not many people are able to walk to the restaurant so she has to try and get the food to her customers. This is of course not easy due to the fact that the ground is wet almost all the time. Rovence is also advanced in age so mobility is not as used to be but she has managed to keep up and sometimes sends the younger lady to deal with the food delivery. Meanwhile, she is okay and healthy.
Jane N has been very slow, surely it might not change in the short time because these rains look like they are not stopping anytime soon. Her water tank is almost full all the time because she harvests water too. She has in the meantime set her eyes focused on her paperbag-making business and it is doing okay. Francis her grandson received physiotherapy again last month so he is fine.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working with Asia trying to ensure that she gets back on her feet. It has not been easy because one of her kids fell sick during the week and she had to go attend to him. Otherwise, she is well and the process is still going on. I finally found Prossy and looks like I will have to go down to her village and pay her a visit. She has temporarily now moved to her mother’s house and taking care of the property that was left behind. It also includes a cow and a garden, therefore, requiring more attention. I spoke with Henry her partner and he says the animals are doing okay and perhaps they will be ready for sale in December this year.
Thank you for following our activities yet again this week. We hope the rains keep coming because we honestly need these food prices to go down so that we can comfortably afford the food supplies. Sugar has recently gone up and affected the entire economy. We produce a lot of sugar as a country but we don’t understand why this happens. Keep your fingers crossed for us and we continue to celebrate our independence from Colonial rule.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society