Hello friends of ISEE.
I hope you are all well and that August is proving to be a good month for you. I am eternally grateful for all the love and support that you have provided over the past 10 years that ISEE has existed! Yes! 10 years! It was in June 2013 that we officially received our charitable status, just before Corey and I moved to Uganda. In those 10 years, we have:
- educated 10,000 girls about sexual safety
- distributed 10,000 period packs to those girls
- educated over 5,000 boys about sexual safety, hygiene, and menstruation
- educated hundreds of teachers about sexual health so that they can then educate their students
- sponsored 45 women and their businesses so that they can keep their children in school
- bought land for React Now to Save Young Mothers to build their permanent training school
- provided school supplies for classrooms
- offered professional development for teachers
- created the opportunity for children in Canada to exchange letters with children in Uganda
- worked with amazing women and men who have participated in making the kits
- taken several teams to share the beauty and the challenges of Uganda and its citizens
- partnered with amazing Ugandan organizations and individuals such as Yimba Uganda, HEYFU, Lamwo Rock Foundation, React Now to Save Young Mothers, and Margaret Hasasha
- sponsored other Ugandan organizations and provided supplies for their programs
- shared the stories of Ugandans and educated you, our dear supporters
This summer, we were excited about Bree’s visit to Ghana to learn more about Project One Million and Kassia’s work in her community. She is using the components of our period packs that have been sitting in Mum’s garage since 2020 as well as the kits made up to sew the guards and pads to train the girls at the local high schools on making and using the period packs. It is wonderful to see ISEE’s work continuing in a new country.
However, as you know, ISEE faced a huge set-back in April when the 1200 period packs that we sent in Niteo’s shipping container were seized and destroyed. Uganda has decided that they will no longer accept period packs that have not been certified by international standards to be safe for the girls. We fully understand and commend this decision but it has been impossible to find anywhere that will verify these period packs and at the same time, girls continue to use old pieces of mattress, clothes and sand to manage their periods and they continue to miss school. As one individual wisely said when I explained what had happened, “As long as I eat well, it is fine that you starve.” This is so true of the system we are up against.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the board’s decision to close ISEE Solutions at the end of 2023. We will continue our support of the Mamas until that time and Andrew will continue to send us weekly reports. We are also hoping to have enough funds to provide the Christmas hampers one more time for each of our Mamas and families. Andrew has begun to let them know that we are closing down. We will continue to offer boosts as long as we have funds to do so. If you are a monthly contributor or if you want to continue to donate, we will accept funds until the end of November.
We are also continuing to support the making of the period packs and have just ordered 2 rolls of PUL to be given to Yimba Uganda and Margaret Hasasha. Yimba has received all the kit components that have been in Andrew’s home (photo above) and will use them for their outreach programs around Uganda. The PUL will support their tailoring program and outreach program as the youth being trained are expected to make period packs for distribution. Margaret Hasasha was recently recognized by Rotary for all her outreach work to support disadvantaged girls and has used up most of the roll of PUL we shipped last year. This new roll will help her continue her amazing work.
It is sad to see ISEE come to its end but it is amazing to reflect on everything that ISEE has accomplished over the past 10 years. We are also very happy to see that ISEE’s work will be carried into the future through amazing individuals we have had the pleasure to meet and partner with.
To all the individuals and organizations that have supported ISEE’s work over the past 10 years, we thank you from the bottom of our heart. To those who traveled with us, thank you for allowing us the honour of sharing Uganda’s beauty with you. And to those who donated fabric and countless hours sewing for the Ugandan girls, words cannot express how much we appreciate you.
As always, in friendship,
PS – Many individuals have asked about continuing to donate fabric and attending sewing bees. The Kelowna Community Fridge has expressed a need for bags for the individuals who are collecting food from the fridge so we are wondering if there would be some interest in making shopping bags. Please let me know if this would be something you would like to do either from your home or at a sewing bee in the fall.