ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Update Feb 28

Market day near the railroad track

{ed. note: this is actually two reports smooshed into one. Due to some complications we didn’t get to post one last week. Please enjoy and come back in the next couple days for a report on our period packs that went to Ghana with Kassia.}

Greetings to you all,

I hope that you are well.

This week has had one personal highlight for me and one sad note. Firstly, over the last couple of months, we have been trying to organize one of my childhood friend’s wedding which eventually happened on Saturday 18th February. Seeing him walk down the aisle with his wife was such a wonderful moment.

On a sad note yet again, one of my friends lost his father and we had to bury him on Friday so my friends and I travelled far East to Bugweri about an hour from Jinja district. The burial, like most Ugandan burials, took forever because of politicians who took over the celebration.

We also had a public holiday within the week called Janan Luwum day to celebrate Archbishop Janan Luwum who was killed by Idi Amin Dada in the early years of the 1970s. When Amin was overthrown by Museveni’s Rebels as a strategy to reward the people of Uganda, he designated this day as a public holiday for Christians in Uganda.

Therefore, this week, I was not able to physically see as many Mama’s but I spoke to most of the phone. 

Francoise and Jordan
Francoise and her bean cooking pot. Beans have gone from 3200/kg to 5200/kg.

I visited Namuwongo to see Francoise’s business and also to ensure that Jordan is in school. Her business is not doing badly, she is thankful for the umbrella that has helped her shelter from the scorching morning sun lately. We have not had enough rain in most parts of Kampala and the country at large. She says the price of maize is not so bad as it has not increased since last month. The beans are the ones that have become scarce and the tomatoes too but luckily, she doesn’t use tomatoes in her cooking process. Jordan is adapting well and the distance from school has given all of them rest because Jordan walks to school alone. 


Rovence is also doing well with her restaurant and most importantly her Saturday outside catering job that she found most recently. We helped facilitate the Saturday program and this week, she started reimbursing as agreed. Mamas who take boosts after their initial program is done and successful are asked to reimburse some of the money they borrow so that other Mamas can later access the funds. For Rovence this meant she was able to get all the beans, rice, posho and other ingredients she needed in bulk.

Amina cooking dinner

Amina is also doing okay. The sun is affecting everyone. Amar her daughter is doing okay and has maintained consistency in attending school since last week. Amina seems happy and much more relaxed at the moment which has helped her focus on her business even though her sales have been not as good. The situation has not changed much as no shopkeeper wants to buy her chapatis. All they are saying is, “Who will buy our bread?”. Shops here usually get bread from commercial bakeries and then sell it on in return for a commission. The chapati, because of its freshness and deliciousness, affects the sales of bread. This has limited the increase in sales of Amina’s chapati.

Salume the nursery teacher is doing well. The soap is moving at the moment as the school requested a substantial amount to help in hand washing and cleaning the school’s classes and dormitories. All her three kids are already in school and one of them is in a candidate class already. She is excited for him because their father abandoned them a couple of years ago.


Harriet is also doing well. She struggled and managed to take her eldest daughter to school as her partner still doesn’t support her in this venture. He only pays school fees for his other two children so Harriet has to sort this issue out. I am glad she managed to get something small and pushed her into school. They have been lucky so far because the railway people have not yet returned to evict them so she will milk whatever she can from that location in the meantime.


Rashida is also doing well. Her daughter and nieces are also back in school too. She said that the headteacher of their school thanked them for the water purifier. Her stall is looking okay just a scarcity of tomatoes yet again so she sells them very expensively. The sun came too soon and affected the produce again so a few things are scarce in the markets.


Aidah is doing okay. She continues to train her daughter every day she returns from school. This is one way of protecting her because Kisugu is not an easy place to raise children, especially the girl child. By doing this Aidah ensures that Angel stays in school and also keeps an eye on her. Angel helps to fry chips, and peel the potatoes but is never allowed to do delivery because of the risk it involves especially with customers.

I spoke with Prossy and she is doing well. She was very thankful for my previous visit on her farm and also the suggestions we made. We were selling her the idea of capitalizing on her piggery and turning it into a serious farm so she can earn more intentionally.


I also contacted Justine about improving her stall to stop the water from spoiling her business. We are looking to improve the timber walls to continue limiting the water from entering.

The Month of Love has not been bad for us but has also come with some challenges. It has been a hot month for sure with a few scattered showers but we have made it through it all.We started well with Christine starting her poultry, then Dorah receiving bunnies, Hadija coming back and finally Hamida booking and receiving her chickens. Hamida had been on the waiting list to restart for months but also when we were able to get to the poultry farm, we were given a month to receive the chicks. I am glad that this was done and as we speak the chicks are already in the custody of Hamida. 

Hamida happy with her chicks

Hamida was scheduled to receive her chicks on the 24th of February 2023. She received 102 chicks and we were able to buy her the starter food worth 25kgs. These chicks grow very fast and usually within 6-7 weeks  they are ready for the market. We spoke lightly about the way forward and she plans to remain consistent for the next 5-6 months to stabilize her business. She has received inspiration from another lady who is her neighbour so this will be a good thing to receive support and inspiration nearby.


It was nice to see Annet the salon and decor Mama again after two months and she is doing well. The business looks stable but not much business at this time of the year because parents are taking back kids to school. It was wonderful to see her and she has graduated some of her old students and is left with only two of which one is her helper and the other is still a student. She is also operating a grocery store just next door to her salon so this is good for her. This ensures that they have income coming in all the time.

Anna and her son

This trip to Mukono to see Annet ensures that I can see Anna too who is doing okay. She has since recovered almost fully from her foot injury but says every now and then her scar itches for a few minutes. I guess this is because she is healing slowly on the inside. She is not doing anything yet at the moment but has a few plans to restart her cookie business and maybe add ceremonial cakes and pastries to it. The cakes will be added in due time because she is yet to train in this particular practice otherwise, she has been doing cookies so she will do it sooner than later. She is only in less capital to buy flour, sugar, flavours and other ingredients to start but before she starts, I asked her to look for the market in that when she started, she will have delivery spots for sale.


On the otherside, i also got to meet Margaret for the first time after her surgery and she is looking great. They have advised her to start wearing sun glasses every time she walks out in the sun as her eye is still delicate but also to help prvent the dust from entering her eye.  It was bloody for about two weeks but has now started to clear and look like a normal eye.

Irene in her salon

Irene is back in the salon. She has been struggling to buy scholastic materials for her senior four girl but has managed to put a few things together. The girl was late by about 3 weeks because Irene was giving birth three weeks ago. She stayed not only because she had no fees but also to help her mother. It was unfortunate that during birth Irene had a complication and she may not be able to have any more children. She has now sent her daughter and her third last born to school but the eldest boy will have to wait to join vocational school sometime when Irene is stable. Fortunately, she is back at shop so we will examine progress in the next couple of weeks as we might try and have her running again.


Lilly is continuing to survive in her market stall and everything was going smooth until a couple of weeks ago when the lady who she rents the shop from returned to the market stall. The lady came in with two machines to take up some of the space that was available in the room. She came with an industrial straight  machine and an overlock machine as she intends to restart her own business which surely interrupts Lilly’s business because they do the same things almost. Lilly now has to move her little treadle machine and sew from outside the shop as a result. Meanwhile, things have not picked up in the last couple of weeks for her landlord so she is thinking of moving already. On the other hand, Lilly is working on student uniforms sewing the students names on the uniforms.

Lorna’s stall. The door is closed to help block the sun.

Lorna is doing okay and business is getting back to normal since the fire a few weeks ago. The boy who was working for her, has returned to the restaurant and is making his chapati as usual. He had taken a break due to trauma and illness immediately after the fire. It is good to see them back to business and also her grandchild Jeremiah is back in school so, this is a good thing. Our interest is that he stays in school no matter what because he is at a tender age and it is vital that he attends school. Lorna is dedicated to educating her children but on some different occassions the boys have expressed no interest in school.

Dusty and dry conditions due to the long dry spell

Generally the week went well. I had a small glitch with my phone but all is sorted now. Hamidah is up and running, she has all her chicks and feeds she needs for the first one or so weeks. I am now working on Anna to see if she can also be set up in the next few weeks as she avails the information that we need to set her up as well as the funds required. Thank you for always following what we do week in, week out. It is a pleasure working with these amazing group of women who are dedicated in improving their lives and the lives of their children. Looking forward to a wonderful week ahead of me. It looks like the rains are coming back again. It was much needed because the sun has been unbearable.

Report by;

Andrew Echel

Director of Programs, Uganda

ISEE Solutions Society

Category: Uncategorized