ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Five New Mama Candidates

We had arranged to meet nine mama candidates today but one didn’t show up, one had her shop burn down today (we are looking at other ways to support her), one wants a different business, and one just didn’t fit…

Now it is up to you our dear donors! These women are looking to support their children, educate them, and provide for all their needs. You can donate through PayPal or by sending a cheque to our address in Kelowna. If I get enough to support a mama while I am here, I will be able to get her set up before I go. You don’t need to support a mama candidate fully, you can donate a portion to one or several as every little bit helps. A small amount can change lives. Please donate!

Webale Nnyo!

1. Dorah – $500 – Fresh Food

35 years old, 4 children, married (casual driver)

Dorah is the main bread winner for the family. Her husband drives someone else’s vehicle casually in the evenings when it is available. If he earns anything, that money goes toward the children’s school fees.

Dorah sells fresh produce and is asking to increase her stock. The stock she is asking for will last 2-4 days but gives her up to 30% profit so she will easily purchase the same amount again and save for school fees and other family needs.

She looks for other ways to make money as well, buying fish when it is plentiful and selling that and when fish is not available, she invests in chickens and pigs to sell at a later date when she has a need for larger sums to pay for school.

She is asking for 2 sacks of matooke (green banana eaten as a starch), cassava, irish potato, and sweet potato totalling 1,500,000.

2. Gertrude – $750 – Stationery Shop

28 years old, 2 children, married (carpenter)

Gertrude studied library systems and worked as an office administrator so has extensive experience in computers and print jobs. She is currently at home with her two small children.

Gertrude has saved 900,000 shillings to cover three months rent of a suitable place with reliable power and that is secure.

She is asking for a desktop computer, a three-in-one printer, and basic paper stock for the business totalling 2,100,000.

3. Jane – $875 – Water Tank

56 years old, 4 dependents, separated

Jane is a grandmother who has many grandchildren and children of others that she cares for. She still has 2 of her own kids that she is supporting but then she has 2 grand-daughters who are “permanent” fixtures in her home. One grand-daughter’s mother died and the other grand-daughter has parents who can’t care for her.

She and her husband started with nothing, built a home together, saved together, and once they were starting to move up, he found another woman and moved out, taking everything. He does not pay any child support.

Currently, Jane is growing small onions and greens in the swamp down the hill and selling those to support her dependents. The piece of land she was using has been partially sold so she’s waiting to see what she has left to use. Before this, she was getting wood from the village and making charcoal. That was more lucrative but is much more regulated now so she had to stop.

As she is older, she feels a water tank is a good choice for her. She can stay home and sell all day. The only other water available is either directly from the swamp which makes people sick or from a tap that is owned by a man who works during the day so the water is only available when he is home.

Jane will arrange to have the base built for the tank. She is asking for a 10,000 litre tank worth 2,500,000.

4. Zaitun – $550 – Catering and Hotel (restaurant)

28 years old, 6 dependents, married (second-hand trouser seller)

Zaitun was married young (before leaving high school) as being married was better and offered more security than living at home. Her husband already had two children and she has had 4 babies in the past 7 years. The youngest is 10 months. To help with money, she sells small items on the roadside.

Her sister has been very successful with a chapatti and chips stand, to the point where she has now purchased land and has built a home. Zaitun hopes to be able to be successful with her business as well. Her sister will help her get it up and running.

She is able to make the basics of chapatti and chips but has little experience in running such a restaurant. She says that she’s a hard worker, she is willing to try anything, and she has good customer relations skills.

She is asking for tables, chairs, saucepans, charcoal stoves, tableware, and 3 months rent. Eventually she wants to get a fridge. The total cost is 1,500,000 shillings.

5. Suzan – $350 – Fresh Food

35 years old, 2 dependents, single

Suzan has two children, aged 11 and 17. She had her first in Secondary 3 (grade 10) and the second when she was heading into Secondary 6 (grade 12). After her father passed away, she didn’t have money for school fees but really wanted to finish school so other ways of paying fees were suggested… I didn’t ask by whom. She did manage to finish secondary school despite being on her own with two small children. She had no support from her mother.

She desperately wants to ensure her children are educated and don’t have to go through the same situation. Her dream is to become a lawyer. She met a local journalist/radio show host named Ronald and together they have been working with women who are HIV positive to try to provide them with new opportunities. She has been volunteering with him and she was the one who brought us the applications after helping the illiterate women by filling them out. She is very passionate about empowering vulnerable women.

She currently sells fresh food from outside her home and has a good customer base. She says that selling food is perfect because everyone needs to eat and she always has food for her children.

Suzan is asking for a bag of matooke, a bag of cassava, a bag of irish potatoes and a bag of sweet potatoes worth 850,000. She would also like some used purses to sell as she has room to display them outside her home but for now, she would be happy to get a boost to increase her stock and earning potential.


Had an amazing day with Prossy yesterday! She is looking so well, happy and healthy, relaxed like I haven’t seen her since we first met.

She has moved to a plot of land that is 50m by 100m (your home probably has bigger dimensions) but she and her husband actually own the plot so she says she will never have to leave. She has been living there 8 months and has planted the garden, built a small brick home, and constructed a basic pigpen.

Her granddaughter, Pretty, lives with her and attends the local nursery school. Her husband still works in Masaka herding cattle with his brother and the three kids I know: Vincent, Helen and Prossy Jr, all live in town and work at the bakery. Prossy Jr had intended to see me but of course, her anticipated arrival of 1pm still hadn’t happened by 3:30pm so we didn’t actually see her. She called about 30 minutes after we had left to say she had arrived but by then we were well on our way. There is also another grand daughter, Katy, who was away at school. She is about 15 now.

Prossy lives in a beautiful area called Mityana and her plot is tucked away from the main road so it is quiet. She loves the fact that the neighbours aren’t walking through her property all the time like they did before. She enjoys the silence and we often found ourselves just listening to Nature around us.

We arrived just before 1 and she asked if we should eat maize before or after the food. It was decided that maize would be dessert so she served lunch – matooke, rice, bean soup, gnut and fish sauce, greens, and cassava root. I always ask Andrew to explain that I am not a big eater when in Uganda but it’s not because I don’t love the food. This was amazing. I love eating local. The a neighbour brought half a jackfruit so we ate that. Then we still had the roasted maize to eat!

After lunch, Prossy took me on a tour of her property and showed me the trees that act a markers for property edges. Then we talked pigs. She has built a pen that will house 8 pigs. She will get piglets that are three months old, already vaccinated and healthy. She has saved some money to put toward the pigs but also needs food for them and needs a few repairs to the pen like adding more iron sheets for the roof and patching the holes in the floor. I am concerned the piglets will break their legs failing through the holes between the boards.

The piglets cost a little less than we thought so we offered to purchase 8 piglets or 6 piglets and food. She has asked for 8 piglets and will find the food herself. Once the pen is ready, we will arrange to get the piglets to her. Thanks again to Gifts to Grandmas for the generous donation toward the piglets.

She thanked us for loving her and has welcomed any team to come and spend the day with her as we did last year. She and I call each other sister. I feel very welcome and at home with her.

At lunch, Apollo looked at me and said, “you are changing people’s lives.” Wow. That warmed me all over.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support ISEE’s work. We need all your generosity in order to be able to continue to do what we do. Webale Nnyo.

Have a great Sunday.