ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

June 27th

Greetings to you all,

It’s an honour to write to you again as the month ends.

This week, we continued with our efforts to continue to create opportunities for our Mamas to better their lives and families. I was able to visit Francoise, Lorna, Irene, Amina, Justine, Angel, Hamida, and Lilly.

It is wonderful that Hamida has raised almost all her 150 chickens while having lost only 6 of them. This statistic is quite incredible for most poultry farmers to only lose less than 10% of all chicks. The chickens are now just over 5 weeks old and ready for sale. She was waiting on a buyer who had promised to go to her to buy a few chickens.

Francoise is also doing incredibly well ever since she restarted her job. She has been lucky to have found maize and beans at a reasonable price these past couple of weeks so business has been good for her. She was able to save up some little money to top up on the school requirements for her grandson Jordan who is always excited to attend school. She says that Jordan is very bright so this encourages her to always send him to school on time. Otherwise, she is happy and looks very healthy at the moment so I am now more relaxed with her.

Lilly is doing okay. I found her on babysitting duties for a friend who had taken another infant child of hers to the hospital because of pneumonia. Otherwise, business is not so bad for Lilly and she continues to do business as usual with her tablecloths. She is doing a bit of repair on people’s clothes but nothing interesting for her. 

Lorna is doing okay at the moment. She had gone to a lady’s conference a few days ago to teach them a little bit of business skills. I found her cleaning up and washing utensils from the lunch meal of the day. Otherwise, her daughter Catherine stopped work because she thought she got a spiritual attack so she decided to stop work.

Justine is doing well, she has entered the house so it means that all the debris was cleared out and the floor is levelled. She also had the glass in the windows and doors fixed so she is super excited about living in the house because she never thought she would live in a house such as this. Her son has done incredibly well in supporting her and ensuring that the house is habitable. In all things, the one thing that makes me happy is the fact that her vegetable stall is still firm and operational. 

Irene has decided to venture into village rotational markets to sell her silverfish. They go out to villages targeting local markets to sell different items. This time Irene and her friend have targeted a newly created refugee camp for people coming from Sudan. They will sell at this market for about three days before they return. If all goes well, she can do it twice a month and this can go on for 3-6 months.

I met Amina at a time when she was in pain and couldn’t move freely. She had lymphoma on her right hip. It had been there for about 4-5 years. When went to the doctor, he said Amina needed surgery asap and he scheduled for her surgery the next weekend. He wondered how Amina had carried this thing for so long. Long story short, it was done last Thursday and I am glad it got done quickly because she was starting to be superstitious about surgery and everything.

I went back to visit the girls, Angel and Jolly. They are not doing so okay but they are doing what is necessary at the moment. They have managed to pay their electricity and rent bills. They also contributed a little money to help buy Jordans’ scholastic materials.

Thank you for following us yet again this week, thank you for supporting us yet again. It is always a pleasure working and seeing our Mamas work through their challenges like Francoise who has worked through her health challenges and is getting back to her feet and Hamida who has managed to raise almost all her chickens is now ready for sale. I look forward to visiting again next week to see what she has done with her income and also see if she has placed an order for more chicks to be able to continue with the sequence. And finally, Amina who has had her lymphoma removed and recovering well. Without your support, some of these situations would have been harder for our Mamas. It is a blessing to walk with you always. 

As the Mamas always say, “bbandabile mikwano gyaffe”. Regards to our dear friends. I like that they don’t call you anything else but friends. (Mikwano gaffe)

Report by

Andrew Echel

Director of Projects, Uganda 

ISEE Solutions Society 

June 21st

Greetings to you all,

Happy Father’s Day to you all fathers on this platform. It is always a good feeling to be celebrated, so we celebrate you all. We hope that your close friends and family specially celebrated you all fathers. Thank you for fathering and being good husbands.

This week, we had a few encounters with our Mamas and this is what transpired from our meetings;

I will start with the long journey I made to see Annet C. who started a salon and decor business in Mukono, a place called Mbalala. She has been one of the most phenomenal Mamas and has done exceptionally well over the last few years. She started with a beading business but has now built a salon and decor. The business is still doing well and at the time of my visit, she was braiding a customer’s hair with the help of three of her trainees. It was really good to see her after a long time.

Angel is also doing well. The vegetable stall is doing okay and she has now moved her fridge into her wooden shack. She had been fearing for months to bring it to the wooden shack but she has bought an iron box reinforcement cage to help protect it from burglary. This was a good move because the stall is right by the roadside so safety is paramount. She is doing well and has sent all her kids to school as the term began about two weeks ago.

I had the opportunity to meet Jane whose house was destroyed a few months ago. There is not much development at the moment with her situation, but it is only that we have always been concerned about the tank. The tank was removed after the plot she was on was sold off and she has been keeping the tank at the neighbour’s house because he has a fence but most recently, he was asking Jane when she was taking the tank. Jane has secured a small space in her new plot so she is going to build the base and we will take the tank soon.

Jane 2 is also doing okay but the season has not been the very best for her water business. Unlike Jane 1 above, Jane 2 has had her tank fixed in the same spot from the time she got it about 5 or so years ago. It has been safe and no one has tried to destroy it ever since. It provides the community with water both in season and out. This season the rains have been plenty over the last two weeks so business has been slow. She is now making her paper bags to supplement the income gap even though that too is also slow at the moment.

Sarah who raises goats is doing well. The season seems to have started well for her as she has been selling a lot of her avocados and most recently, her goats gave birth to 4 kids. She is excited because the goat house was depleted of goats as she sold a few of them for school fees recently. She said that every time she gets a problem, she sells one or two to help her solve the problem. I am glad she has something to exchange for cash when she needs it.

Maria is also doing well. Her giant pig finally got pregnant so in a few months, she will be back in action. She had lost and sold a few at the beginning of the year for school fees-related issues. She has been feeding her infant ones and now one of them is soon giving birth to a few more piglets so she can rebuild this sty. She feeds them well and tends to them well so I am sure she will be back in no time.

Betty is doing very well for sure. When I spoke to her recently, she has been getting a lot more embroidery gigs from some organizations and she has been working on some samples. The challenge is that she has to go to town now and then to get the logos formatted so the machine can read them. Otherwise, I am so glad that things are working out for her.

Annet the soap maker tried her first batch but it didn’t turn out as she or as we expected but she was able to make her first sample. It turned out bad as it took longer to dry and even when it tried, it was not as perfect as she thought it would be. She then made a few calls to inquire and they gave her some more tips. She needs to buy two more ingredients or chemicals which will make the bars firm and dry quicker. We are going to get her the two chemicals and surely I will post a success story next week.

Finally, I went to see Dorah but she was not home. I only found a maid who was helping to keep the house. Her rabbits have grown and it looks like she got another set a week ago. They look fabulous but one of them was sick so I asked them to administer some glucose to it and we fed it so by the time I was leaving it looked a bit stronger. Otherwise, all her kids are in school except the youngest who always disturbs me when I go visit them.

It was a good week although some of my plans didn’t go as planned because twice it rained in the middle of the day and I was stuck for a few hours. Otherwise, everything is good. I am looking forward to seeing Rehema also grow in her business too.

Report by;

Andrew Echel

Director of Programs, Uganda

ISEE Solutions Society