Greetings to you all,
I hope you are all well. We have had quite a fantastic month of perfect weather in between with both sunny and rainy days.
Mamas are working on returning the kids to school so most of them have been working towards this goal. I have spoken to several of them, and a few of them have set money aside to ensure that these kids return to school smoothly. Some have bought educational/scholastic materials while others are getting requirements for the kids, things that the school requires of them to attend school.
The following are the Mamas that I was able to visit this week;
I went down to Wakiso to meet Sarah, our Mama who keeps goats but unfortunately she had gone for their Friday Mass at the Catholic church. Otherwise, I found her kids home and they had returned from school about a week ago. I was happy to see that she had repaired the goat house walkway. It had been damaged for months now but on that day, I found that they had repaired it and they had taken the goats to the field. They looked much healthier and Sarah’s boy was taking care of them in the field to prevent them from getting lost or being stolen.
It was good to see Hadija for the first time in about two weeks after her loss. She was at her roadside chips stall making chips for her customers. I was happy to see her composed and already on the go to try and make her life happen. Unfortunately, she had to close the second stall because they had run out of money due to hospitalization but it is good to see her back on the street to grind again. She is determined and wants to rebuild and set up her closed business again. She was thankful to ISEE for the support during these last two weeks, calling her and looking out for her to see if she is doing well.
It looks like Irene was happy during my last visit. She was working on a client outside her salon as it seemed to be a bit hot that day. She started cooking cow feet and selling silverfish from just outside her salon and it looks like it is paying up. We had a strong feeling to support her business-wise by enabling her to have alternate income streams rather than just financially. This empowers her to become sustainable.
After clearing up a small misunderstanding which arose between the Jolly and Angel, I decided to closely work with them every week by visiting their salon and encouraging them. By the look of things, it seems everything is going well and I will keep doing it for the next few weeks. They have been able to help in paying for treatment for Francoise, at least partially and that is a good thing.
Francoise is recovering well but much slower than anticipated because of many factors which include her long-term illness but also feeding and a bit of stress here and there. We decided to yet again work with her to set up her food business and ensure it is running so she can pay the remainder of her medical bit. Work will also ensure that the family has food and keep her busy not to stress a lot about the family. She also narrated a bad experience in the last week when a robber broke into their house but lucky enough she woke up and he ran out. The robber had opened the door wide open without breaking it even as the padlock was on the door. She said these robbers have also broken into two other houses by pouring acid in the locks and the locks disengaged.
Pulakiseeda is having quite a struggle for a long time as her shop is seriously needing a boost. She is one of the Mamas who have maintained their business for such a long time without needing help. She is even having a hard time coming up with exam registration fees for her son so we stood by her on this one. We are also working on a budget to see if she can be supported to restock the shop.
Jane is doing okay with her water business even though things are tough on the paperbag business. She says that it has slowed down and she is making two batches of paper bags a week as opposed to the three or four batches she used to make in the past months. Her grandson Francis has been doing good over the past few months and she says he has not fallen sick at all since the year began.
I followed up on Justine and work has been on hold for some weeks. She has not done any construction but has been waiting for some money from her son who is working in the UAE. They have been working on clearing the house from the rubble on the floor, flattening it to raise the floor higher than it used to be to prevent the previous floodings. She said that some money would come in by the end of the week and by next week hopefully they will be back in the main house again just in time before the kids go back to school. Otherwise, the vegetable stall is doing well and thanks to the renovation, the rain has not interrupted business activities much except the fact that the road has been messed up so she can’t bring in more vegetables as she would like.
I reached out to Anna to see how her baking business is going and she said everything was going as planned and that she has been making cookies mostly. The only thing that has not gone according to plan is the expansion of the clientele. She has a few shops she supplies to and has been doing some groundwork to ensure she increases the number of shops she is supplying. She is also working on now adding cupcakes or what we call queen cakes here to the cookies to expand further. She is also happy to be able to do it with her children too. I am happy to see that she has started to implement her plan slowly.
Lastly, I went out to visit Margaret and she had travelled to her village so I was unable to see her. I also tried to reach out to Jane (2) but she had been in the village for weeks now trying to take advantage of the rainy season to do some planting before coming back to send her children and grandchildren to school. This Mama is incredibly hardworking and she never stops going regardless of the hardships she has been through these past two years having lost her home and property.
Director of Programs, Uganda.
ISEE Solutions Society