Greetings to you all,
. We celebrate women across all borders, from Uganda to the rest of the world.
As the ISEE family, we have been having a tough time because of what has been going on with our reusable sanitary kits situation. A lot has been lost in this effort but I guess sometimes life is tough. Nonetheless, we are all in deep despair or anguish at what has happened to us but we have to press on and hope for the very best. Living in the practicality of this situation and having nothing to do to turn this around guts me to the very last of it. A country that I love and cherish that is destroyed by greedy people because of personal or party interests, this breaks my heart. These little girls could easily be my daughters and sisters in another life, and being denied basic human rights to free sanitary kits surely has gutted me. All I can say is this was not just a reusable kit, it was a ticket to stay in school, and it was an avoidance of many vices that could have befallen a girl child. The sex education that came with it was empowerment to the girl child to stay firm and stand steadfast on her dream to become that which she was destined for. I have personally grown from a conservative young man to a believer in the empowerment principle. Thank you to all of you who have spent countless hours and resources empowering those little beings. Your efforts were not wasted even once. I have been trying to look and hopefully, we can get the kits certified someday. I hate to think this is the end of it all and I remain optimistic.
Work continued amidst this challenge and I visited a few Mamas as always, it was a great joy to see and chat with them.
Lilly was having a good week working on an Indian garment for a client who I think had to attend. Lilly seemed happy to work on a new challenge that is not the usual tailoring she does. It was good to see her take this one on. I wished her luck and off I was a few minutes later so that she could attend to her client.
Harriet is doing okay also with her tailoring practice. She has lived longer at her current address than I anticipated when they got notice a few months’ ago. I guess our authorities can be a little different. A couple of times the order to leave was revoked. But I am not sure what is ahead of them at the moment. I keep checking on her just in case it goes down with only short notice. She has three children who she is supporting almost entirely by herself, especially the firstborn child. She is now in secondary school and performs very well in music, dance and drama at school so the school gets to keep her a few weeks longer than kids that are not. Her talent gets her excused from being dismissed or sent home for school fees.
Irene the salonist is having quite a hard time this year round. The salon is not performing very well at the moment. Yet she has a newborn baby who is about 2 months now and all four kids are not in school. The boy who sat his S.4 would like to continue but will try vocational training. The girl is in S.4 now but can’t start school because of her current financial position. I have therefore been talking to her to see what we can add to the business to support her. She has been speaking about cooking cow feet and selling silver fish on the side of her salon to help boost the income situation and I think it might not be a bad idea. It is something I think could work for her so I will keep asking a few questions.
Francoise had just recovered from a high blood pressure situation when I visited her. She woke up early in the morning, as usual, to pick up the things she uses at the railway line food stall and boom she was on the floor. She woke up moments later at the clinic receiving some treatment. She is glad to have had some cash she has been saving aside that she used to get her treatment. She seems happier and business for sure has been good for the last couple of weeks or even a month. She looks much better now.
Dorah’s rabbit situation turned bad last month but guess what, this business seems to turn around really quickly as it presents a very high potential to succeed. The two rabbits that lost the 14 bunnies are now pregnant again and she is excited at the moment. She will be more vigilant because what happened the last time was the fact that the rabbits were immunized or vaccinated while they were breastfeeding so the milk must have gotten contaminated at this point hence the unpleasant result. She is back now from a three-week break that she had taken to go back to her village.
I took the long trip to see Prossy’s project and I am impressed with what Henry has done with the pigs this time. They look healthier and bigger this time around. He has ensured that he buys food and gives them a lot of water. He now wants to transform his kitchen into a poultry house and build a small kitchen beside it. I thought this is a brilliant idea because he has been earning some money off maintaining neighbours’ gardens. Prossy herself is doing well and she comes now and then to see Henry and the pigs. She is taking care of her mother’s property and the grandchildren she left behind.
I visited Rehema and she was attending to her child who broke his leg in three places from a falling swing at school. The boy is recovering well and he can even move at the moment. He can play and even laugh unlike the last time we spoke, you would hear him in the background crying. Quite a tough time for the family. As we spoke, she is still interested in making a salon with her daughter and they handed me their list of possible items. Rehema says that many years ago she trained in hairdressing but never got the chance to practice because she liked her chips business at that moment.
Finally, I made my journey to see Lorna at her shop but that didn’t go well as she was not able to pick up her phone. She had her home and restaurant locked so I was unable to get anything there. Otherwise, I hope she is well and I will look out for her again next week.
Once again thank you for everything and for keeping up to date with us through it all. We appreciate all your efforts.
Director of Programs, Uganda.
ISEE Solutions Society