ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

New week, new work

{ed. note: This blog post has come from Erika but had to be sent to me (Corey) via email, then posted from Canada, because for some reason WordPress could not be accessed from Uganda. Just one of those things, I suppose. Anyway please forgive the eccentric formatting of this piece as it came imbedded and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to remove it. Weird, I know.}

The team is home after a slight delay in Amsterdam. They were so awesome! I am so lucky and thankful to have had them.

After a busy Sunday, packing and moving things from the dorms to Andrew’s and to Apricot (including delivering a hefty load to the cleaners), we took 36 hours of rest.
I enjoyed a long walk along tank hill and sipped a juice while watching a football game on Sunday and then on Monday, we just walked around the neighbourhood, ate awesome pizza in a thunderstorm, and saw our friend Henry at the Ivory Castle. It was a lovely day.
Back to work today… no time to keep resting! We were on the road at 8am to reach Kyengera for our new Mama Nguvu intake presentation. We had asked for a maximum of 100 women and I was nervous about what we would find but in the end, we only had 35 attend.
Everyone received an application form and I will return on Thursday morning to collect them so that we can go through them and start the difficult selection process. I am glad to have Andrew and Anna there to help me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the school has started to build a base for the 10,000 liter water tank than the students in Kelowna have sponsored. Glenmore, North Glenmore, and Dr Knox collectively raised enough money to buy the tank and install eavestroughs to collect the rain so that the students don’t have to walk to get water every morning. The tank may even be there before I go! That would be amazing.
We then went to the Days for Girls office to meet with Diana about the work they are doing and to learn what areas they are working in. As Days for Girls Uganda is an enterprise, we always want to respect the hard-working individuals who are making the kits to sell. We don’t want to be giving our free kits when they are also trying to make a living by selling the kits to the schools. I was surprised to see that they are now using Days for Girls branded flannel for their pads!
Anna, Andrew and I enjoyed lunch and debriefed our meeting and discussed some new ideas for the direction they feel ISEE could go – it’s always great to get local feedback as they know the needs and systems in Uganda. I am SO fortunate to have such an awesome team to work with.

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2017 report to donors

{This is the text of the 2017 Report To Donors that we just stuck in the mail this weekend, along with all tax receipts. It appears in a slightly different format here because I can’t get Word Press to accept my pre-formatted version 🙁

 

ON BEHALF OF ISEE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

2017 was a great year for ISEE, and we must thank our generous donors in the community for helping us continue this work. We could not do it without you, and we rely on your continued donations. If you haven’t already done so, please consider making a recurring donation of $5, $10, or $20 per month. These recurring donations help us plan for our limited time in Uganda and enable us to better target our work. As always, you will receive a tax donation for any amount over $20, and as always 100% of your donation goes directly to our programs.

2017 was one of our bi-annual Group Travel years, so Erika organized a trip for 8 women in July. During the trip the women presented our reusable sanitary kits to 2000 girls and young women, bringing our total to over 4500 distributed kits. A special thanks to all the sewers who gave up their time, effort, and fabric to make the kits. We have 4 sewing bees a year (usually) and we are always in need of willing hands. Anyone can help — for details email Erika. If you have quality cotton or flannel to donate, please contact us and we will arrange pick-up or drop-off.

During the 2017 trip, Erika had the chance to speak with some young women who received our kits two years ago. They live in a remote section of northern Uganda, near the South Sudan border.

They report that they are still using their kits and still attending school! Yay! Exactly what we hoped for!

ISEE currently has sponsored 35 Mama Nguvu candidates including Jane, in Bwaise district of Kampala, who was the recipient of our largest grant (both financially largest and physically largest) when she received and successfully installed a 10,000L water tank. Her children are now in school with fees paid and she’s been able to turn a profit from water sales to her neighbourhood.

 

Andrew, our Ugandan project coordinator, continues to visit and report on our Mamas was well as provide an invaluable on-ground presence. His reports are on our website as are photos and stories from the Mamas. This year he will be assisted by Anna, a friend of ISEE and social worker from Kampala, who will return to the schools we have visited to do follow-up and provide counselling services for the girls. Her focus is on counselling and so this gives her a chance to practice her skills while at the same time adding a useful service to the girls.

This year we were thrilled to meet and partner with HEYFU and YIMBA, two amazing Uganda-based NGOs, and we hope to continue working with them. HEFYU found us many new Mama candidates and YIMBA organized the massive show in the picture below. We are overwhelmed at their passion for helping youth.

We are always thrilled to partner with local organizations in Uganda or Canada. Thanks this year to Rotary Canada and Gifts to Grandmas, both of whom have provided invaluable support.

Both Andrew and Anna will join Erika in July as we look to expand our work outside the city and move into more remote locations where the girls have even less access to sanitary supplies. Erika will be in Uganda for the month of July and already the itinerary is almost complete but she will definitely meet with our Mamas and distribute more kits. Andrew is currently sourcing new villages for our presentations.

She is now collecting applications and inquiries about the 2019 trip. There are only 6 spots this time and several have been booked, so now is the time to get your name on the list if you’ve ever dreamed about visiting the Pearl of Africa. Email her for details. We will likely travel to Uganda twice in 2019 — once at Spring Break (just Corey and Erika) and once in the summer.

For the first time we decided to host a fundraiser. Deck The Halls was held Nov 29 at the Forum on Ethel street. It was organized in a very short time by board member Bree and she pulled together all her social and family network to make it happen. A major thank you to her for the effort. The silent auction was brilliantly organized by Louanne and Lois who also donated many of the items that were auctioned off. All total the event was very successful (and fun!) and we will plan on having another one in 2018. Probably we’ll start organizing it a bit sooner, though.

If you’re interested in helping, we are always looking for: large sized Ziploc Freezer Bags; clean, quality flannel, not white; and PUL. The best way you can help, though, is through a recurring donation. These are so helpful and allow us the flexibility we need to meet the needs of those we serve.

On behalf of ISEE, the board of directors, and all our Ugandan partners: Thank you so much for supporting us.

 

Corey Mazurat
Vice President, ISEE Solutions Society