Greetings to you all,
Happy New Month of September. Wow, time surely does fly and it all goes away in the blink of an eye.
I hope that you are well and that the smoke and wildfire effects have reduced in your atmosphere. I am one of the people who struggle when the air is smoky and not fresh so I feel for all of you who are in the BC area where the fires were.
The week was not bad at all and as promised I was notified of the fabric rolls that are to be distributed between Yimba and Margaret Hasasha. They have arrived in the country and we were able to clear both the taxes and agency fees so I look forward to receiving them this week and delivering them to the concerned parties.
I also visited a few Mamas right from Maria whose pig gave birth to 6 piglets and it was a bit exciting as they all looked healthy and alive. She was happy to notify me and we also worked on getting the food supplies as the season has really not been good with the feeds and leaves from the garden. The extensive drought has affected lots of farmers within the country. Otherwise, things are well for her and she will be looking to offload some of the pigs that have refused to respond so she has enough room for the 6 new piglets.
Lilly is doing well. The sack of silverfish has been depleted and has now ordered for more to come this week. She is also doing well with her tailoring as the orders have come in more this past week so a lot of work for her. Her daughter is back for the holidays so they are working together as Lilly is tailoring. Her daughter is also selling the fish in the market. The tablecloths she makes require a bit of skill so, she has to be the one to do the tailoring.
Betty is back and running, I had the opportunity to see her during the week and she was quite happy to see me too. She had been battling with brucella and typhoid at the same time. She was admitted twice and she says, “…I feared for my life..” The treatment seemed not to have responded quickly so she was admitted again and then it worked. She is now back and she had to return the machine as it had a fault which required some working on luckily for her, it still has its warranty so they will fix it for free.
We were also also to set up Amina who has been on the waiting list for the soap resale business for some time now. She has just recently recovered from a surgery on her hip that involved the removal of a lump. It was successfully removed and she recovered well but it required a lot of money which was then taken from her chapati business. After healing, we had to find another way forward because children are soon returning to school so the need to be financially sound is required. She was very happy and she said that they would try to sell as quickly as possible so that she would have some money to take back the two children to school.
Angel “Nalongo” which means twin mother is doing fairly okay this holiday. The business has been slow these past few weeks as food has become an issue in our country. Some Western and Arabic countries have discovered a supply of foodstuff like matooke, onions and tomatoes and have invaded our economy. They are offering good money for these things and taking it all over to their countries creating scarcity within the Ugandan markets. These things have almost become unaffordable for even people like me who have to cook at home because we can’t cook without onions and tomatoes. If you know Ugandans, “We love our food in some oil”. We literally fry anything so having these items not easily available or affordable then is disaster.
Margaret is back from the village. I was able to meet her but nothing much rolling on her behalf but she is generally okay and much healthier. She hadn’t set up camp for her tailoring on the day I went to her house but she said, she was doing some little work slowly. Her eye has recovered a lot better and she is still looking forward to continuing with her tailoring.
Pulakiseda is doing well. The grocery has stabilized in the sense that she has maintained all the stock we boosted her with. She has not pulled out anything at the moment so I would like to see where else she can grow. We worked on the budget the last time so I like to see some effort when we visit the Mamas. I was able to grab a few things for home like rice, sugar, cooking oil and tea leaves.
Lastly, Hamida has nothing going on at the moment. She told me that she has something up her sleeves but she is waiting for some money to be able to get the chicken feeds. One of her challenges is feeding. She is always first to book and pay for the actual chicks but then she runs out of the feeding money because she spreads the money around catering for the kids. This last time, she had to send her daughter to nursing school. Her daughter is at that sensitive age so she had to send her to school to prevent her from the scarvenging men on her village. There was no come back from that line so I surely did understand.
It was really amazing to set up Amina with her soap business. We have been working on setting her up when we finally did, it was good to see her with her daughters smile at the shop. She was accompanied by her daughter who traveled via motorbike (boda boda) and Amina took a taxi as I felt like she needed to travel much safely especially after her surgery. Thank you for making Amina happen, it is always a privildge to serve with the Mamas but also seeing their smiles and faces light up to a possibility of a better future.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society