ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Updates & News Nov 2022

{ed – We are very happy to announce that the Niteo shipping container carrying around 1200 kits is making its way — slowly by slowly, as they say in Uganda — across the ocean towards Uganda. We don’t know when it will arrive but we’ll keep you posted.

We are also at the time of year where we are preparing to make Christmas Hampers. The rising prices of market goods, fuel, and petrol means that these will be more expensive than ever before, so if you were considering making a donation, please know that now is a GREAT time to do so! You can simply click on the big yellow “donate” button to the right of this text block to use our safe PayPal-based donation system. Of course we are also happy to accept etransfers or cheques — all of our details are on this page. Thanks so much for all you do, and happy reading!}

November 22

The atmosphere here continues to unfold as expected and schools have continued as the closure date fast approaches. The issue of Ebola continues to threaten our communities and sadly Covid too still exists. I heard of a gentleman who dropped dead last week and when they did a postmortem, they found out that he had been killed by blood clots which lately have been closely related to Covid 19 in Uganda.

The rains have continued to bless us here whereas the sun too has been abundant. The only sad part is that many people have lost their lives in motor accidents this past week with 54 fatalities. We usually record many accidents during the festive season but this time round looks like things began too early.

Amina

My week with our Mamas went well and I will start with Amina A who incidentally sold her business because she needed to make timely payments for her children to be able to sit for their final exams. As a result, she closed her business and withdrew all the money to pay for her kids. I have made it a point to ensure that she is back in business so I will follow up next week.

Hadijah

Hadijah N is doing well. I visited her too early this time and she was still at home peeling her Irish potatoes for the evening session. She usually buys her Irish and starts to prepare them at home before she can carry them to the roadside stall. She said she likes to start at home because she can sit and peel without pressure but also under the shade. They are not allowed to bring tents because usually, the authorities confiscate them. Otherwise, she is okay and her foot has continued to heal progressively.

Annet with Gomeshi dresses

Annet C from the Mukono area is doing well for herself too. She has built a very strong and successful salon and decoration business. She has also added gowns, wedding dresses and suits for hire which is another step of growth in her business. She also continues to train students who are usually young ladies in her salon and currently works with one on a more permanent basis. She has grown to a level where we don’t need to check on her weekly so you will hear about her much less in the coming months because she has almost attained all our objectives of sustainability and empowerment of women-owned businesses. Thank you to every single one of you who has contributed to the journeys of these amazing women.

Maria and pigs

Maria A decided to sell her two pigs that recently gave birth because they were looking very fickle and she didn’t want to put them to another gruesome time of pregnancy. They had started looking weak so she decided to sell them off and focus on the young ones. Unfortunately, she lost six of them to a very bad sickness that she tried to treat but all in vain. It was by the mercy of a fellow farmer who visited her at such an opportune time and referred her to using a particular tablet that within 24 hours the rest started to respond. Otherwise, she is well and all her sons have returned home from school due to the directive from the government.

Christine and pig

Christine N is also doing okay. She has decided to discontinue her poultry in the meantime as she figures out her business. She will continue to do her piggery as she already has two pigs that are expecting very soon. She has three more little ones that have fallen off the pace a bit and Maria says it might be because she is not feeding them well at the moment. I advised her to pay more attention to this project now that it is the only one she is looking at in the meantime.

Hamida in her coop

Hamida N our other poultry farmer is pushing her efforts to ensure that she gets back to the business. We have been trying to work out a comeback right before Christmas as we wanted to make our first sales during this time. She has finished her poultry house, fixed the window, connected the electricity and bought the wood shavings she needs for the flooring of the poultry house. She is looking at starting with about 150 chickens so we see how it goes.

Jane’s former house

And on a sad note, Jane’s property was destroyed by the rains last week and has been forced to move even before the new house is finished. The developers decided to pour more dirt around the house and they blocked water trenches so the water found its way into her house destroying almost all her furniture, beds and most of her clothes. She had to stay a bit longer because she had a garden and she is trying to remove whatever can be removed including sugarcanes, and yams which I found her peeling to eat for dinner. She can’t leave because then scrap thieves can easily come and remove all her doors and windows. 

Jane trying to salvage yams from her flooded home

Finally, I spoke to Margaret and she is back in town. I will go see her during the week. I also tried to reach Anna M but she was unavailable. I am trying to see how we can reactivate her business life. All women like her need to get economic empowerment as she is a single mother trying to raise 4 kids all by herself. 

It is always a great pleasure to write to you every single week, to keep you up to speed with the different projects on board. Thank you for your relentless contribution, there is nothing small when it comes to the work that we do. 

Mwebale nnyo “Thank you very much”

Yours,

Andrew Echel

Director of Projects, Uganda

ISEE Solutions Society

November 5 Update

(photo courtesy The East African (c) 2022)

Salutations to you all,

The issue of Ebola here is getting worse and talks, and recommendations for Kampala’s lockdown are starting to circulate. A few articles have been written in the papers stating that we might not have the capacity to handle Ebola if it actually spreads more. The most recent discovery was in school students and some schools were forced to cancel parent visitation the next weekend until further notice. Parents were urged to send money to their children via the different avenues provided as schools tried to limit physical contact between outsiders and students.

This week, I made visits to several Mamas and the following are some of the outcomes of these visits;

Betty in her shop

Betty N is doing well with her tailoring. The season has opened and she is receiving a great number of orders at the moment. She continues to work with two girls now at the shop teaching them both how to tailor. 

Hadijja making chips

Hadijja N is continuing to heal tremendously and these days she doesn’t carry her clutches anymore. She says that her foot is still sensitive sometimes but it is bearable. The chips stall is doing okay and the authorities have not bothered them in a few weeks now. These local authority guys have been such a menace to these roadside food vendors, confiscating their items and even arresting the people. The past few weeks have been calm and she is enjoying herself at the moment.

Amina and her chapati stall

Amina A is also holding up well with her little chapati business. She is even talking about delivering at one of the schools her children go to. This is a good way to expand her business and also start making more money because as it stands right now, she is only making money to feed her family and slowly pay loans of school fees. Otherwise, she is well. I found her cooking on her stove dinner which she was happy to invite me to but as always I declined because I had no time.

Angel and her vegetable stall

Angel N is also doing well. Her veggie stall looks good at the moment. She is enjoying a monopoly around her area but the thing is that most of the homes around her have gardens so they don’t buy much. Otherwise, everything is okay and her kids are doing school so she is happy.

Annet shelling beans
Annet and Andrew

Annet N is loving life at the moment. She said most of her items are reducing in price as sugar has greatly reduced from 5500/- to 4300/- which used to be the normal price. This is good because sugar is a key ingredient in tea and porridge and customers are more likely to buy from a vendor if these items are sweet enough. Her children are doing well as they are all in school. 

Lilly at her sewing table

Lilly A is also doing well with her tailoring. She is working on several orders for tablecloths so I am happy for her. The previous months had been very slow for her and it was getting hard to go by every day. Otherwise, the pick up in business is good. Her children are all back in school except the girl who has not yet decided what she wants to do but occasionally helps out at the shop.

Maria and her pig

Maria has been doing very well with her piggery farm just until the piglets started being sick last week and we had to intervene. Between the two pigs, she got 14 piglets so she decided to split them between the two each time they breastfeed. These babies are a bit rough and they have been biting their mothers so Maria decided to control their feeding by allowing them to nurse once a day and let the mothers heal. The rest of the time they feed on the grass and leaves Maria provides.

She has also indulged herself in a bit of poultry farming of local birds. She got a few local chickens that laid for her eggs and because the pigs and chickens share mash, she decided to add to her jobs. They are still little but she would like to continue with the venture so we keep our fingers crossed for her.

Francoise cooking maize before she was sick

Francoise L was unlucky the other day because just after I had finished visiting her and having a beautiful chat, she caught malaria and some other infections. Her daughter called me saying that Francoise had failed to get out of bed and was throwing up after eating anything. At the end of the day, she was very weak so I asked her to take her to the hospital and offered for ISEE to pay her costs. They took her to the hospital and she after testing was done she was offered bed rest and immediate treatment. I am happy to report that now as we speak she is actually back home and recovering nicely.

Jennifer’s shoe pile

I also passed by to see Jenifer at the secondhand shoe place and she was doing great. She was actually packing up to close and leave because she was working a half-day. The stock is coming in well, the prices of the taxes have not changed but they continue to go by. All the kids are in school at the moment and she is having a happy life as she looked very happy when we were chatting.

New Hope Nursery School

Lastly, I took the liberty to visit New Hope Nursery to see how they are doing with the Purifaaya. I am glad that they are utilizing it very well and the administration is very excited about it. They are so grateful and one of the teachers likes to pose by the Purifaaya.

Teacher and student with the Purifaaya

He says that is where he sits most of the time to help the kids with the tap while collecting water. Otherwise, I am really happy when I see these kinds of things utilized to provide safe drinking water for the kids. Thank you all who provided these items to both homes and schools.

It was a beautiful week, the rains had stopped but now they are back so it is a good thing. The only problem that is threatening us is the Ebola situation which is starting to make us all uncomfortable so I wear my mask and use sanitizers as much as I can. I ensure to remind our Mamas to remain safe and protect themselves by simply washing their hands with soap. 

Always a pleasure keeping you posted, I look forward to a wonderful week ahead as we continue to support our Mamas. Thank you

Report by;

Andrew Echel 

Director of Programs, Uganda.

ISEE Solutions Society