Greetings to you once again,
Happy Love month! February is the month of love and many people around the world celebrate this unofficial holiday. We spend lots of money on a single day, yet there is a lot more to live for during the year. Even though we have different opinions about it, I believe that we ought to celebrate the people we love and care about so for me this year, I want to celebrate you all. Happy month of love.
This week, I was blessed with some good news from Dorah’s camp where both the rabbits on her farm gave birth to more than 15 bunnies total. She got two more rabbits a few weeks after her neighbour’s dogs broke into her compound and ate all her rabbits but one. Now we are all blessed to have such an increase in the numbers in just one birth. It is said that they can give birth monthly which means Dorah could start to have an overflow really soon. This will enable her to open up a sales business. She is currently looking for admission for her daughter to a new school. She completed her Primary level education last year and attained a second-grade pass to join Secondary one.
Christine N also bought more chickens — 120 egg-laying birds and 50 broilers. She wants to mix them up this time so that they can support or supplement each other. The broilers grow faster so they will attract some mid-term cash to help buy food for the layers that take longer to mature but are more profitable because they give both eggs and meat later. I also saw her pigs; she has 7 piglets currently as she has sold a few to different people including Maria to get money to run her home and prepare her children for school.
Speaking about Maria, she is doing well. The sty has stabilized as she has had no more sick pigs and piglets over the last couple of months. She bought two more piglets from Christine in an effort to rebuild her farm. Maria is very passionate about her farm and I have seen such a fighting spirit in her to regain her business. She has sold all her birds from December and has bought two bags of pig feeds to ensure that they gain weight and grow bigger over the next coming few months as we head into the Easter holiday. It is amazing how fast time flies and people are planning Easter holidays already.
She also bought a water tank with some of the money she got from both the pigs and chickens she sold. It is an amazing step of growth for this family as the lack of water will no longer hinder their progress in farming and home use. She built a wall around it to protect it from the kids and thieves at large. It is amazing to see these Mamas grow.
Hadijja N is back in the community and is expecting but much later. She was sick recently but has since recovered and come back to work. She looks happy and healthy. She says they have made progress with taking their daughter and her son to school. They have bought the girl a bag, a food container and a few books to start school very soon. I encouraged them to do so because this is a crucial stage in life for school-attending kids. She said the business is picking up slowly so all will be well.
Jane N, the water tank lady, is doing well. The heat has given her business and that is good. She is also now selling or has come back to selling books this time round because she did so back in 2019. She would make books and sell them just like Annet started this year. This term she restarted the business to help boost her income because she had needs to send back her grandkids. She has also not been able to have Francis go for physiotherapy so we made it possible. It is important for him because he has gotten older and bigger yet she is not strong enough to help him stretch out so we wanted to ensure he has his dose at least this month.
I finally got the opportunity to meet Irene and she is doing well. I actually bounced into her when I was passing through the market after seeing Francoise. She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and he is now healthy. He had caught malaria immediately after he was born and he was put on treatment. He is a fighter and has since recovered well. She was looking good and she will reopen for business in the coming week when she feels better.
Angel N is also doing good. She has managed to send all the kids back to school with at least some bit of payment this time. She was also happy that her husband was a bit involved this time around. They bought them all the scholastic materials they needed and they started on the same date as all the other kids. This has not been the story in a while for her. The business is also looking good at the moment even though the prices have been a bit off because of the incredible heat. Matooke bananas has been very expensive recently and this is one of the most popular foods in the country. Sadly many people cannot afford this food now.
Justine’s stall has made great progress but yet again was hit by a small flood and I could not even reach her stall for over an hour. It looks like they might have more floods over the next few cycles of rain as the trenches are rebuilt by the developers. It was so sad to see people trying to sweep the water out of their homes and also thinking about how selfish these developers have been towards this community. Now what hurts the most is that even the authorities know but they are not reacting to help these people. I am even scared for Jane II because she is in the middle of this whole dilemma. Otherwise, Justine is okay, the grandkids are in school and very grateful for the new stall.
I was grateful to meet Rehema and she looked different. Seems like she has used this time wisely and has been trying to progress her life. She has been busy doing people’s laundry trying to save up for school for her grandchildren. When I asked her what she was about this time around, she said, “I am learning hairdressing. I would like to start a small salon with my daughter who came back recently from the Arab world trying to struggle.”
Her struggle was not successful at all as she was denied her pay and was only lucky to be flown back to Uganda safely. They have decided to join a local training program and learn this practice. I thought this was a genius and groundbreaking thought to see her look in this direction. She says there is not much of a salon at all around her area so she wants to braid and sell braids and hair oils.
My week’s challenge is when I failed to convince Asia to stay in Uganda. She has been trying to get herself to go to the Arab world and has convinced herself that there is nothing for her here. She has left the market and taken all her belongings to her sister and mother who will keep for her the kids as she has gone to try a new venture. I have not been able to get through to Margaret but I know she is well because she recently went for her after-surgery review. Immaculate who owns the clinic has been up and down, out in the field so she had to hire another girl to dispense drugs at the clinic. These clinics can’t be closed because they really help to support the livelihoods of the people.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society