ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

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

October 25 update

Greetings to you all,

I hope that you have been well.

The week has been good down here with scattered showers in and around Kampala. We have some minor floods in some areas, but no fatalities have been registered. The sun has also been kind to us ensuring that we get the balance for both animals and plants.

Ebola is continuing to threaten the public here and we are on a serious campaign to sensitize people to wash their hands and also go to the hospital in case they are presented with fever, body aches, bleeding, and other unfamiliar symptoms. 

This week, I visited the following Mamas:

Lorna and her chapati

Lorna K continues to perform well with her chapati stall and restaurant. The restaurant has been doing well and her customers have kept showing up but just like Rovence, the food prices have been high, especially sugar and charcoal. Sugar has increased dramatically about a week ago and it is affecting her porridge and tea sales. Otherwise, everything else seems well and she is happy. The only challenge was that her youngest son broke his leg at school so he was brought back last week. He has since returned to school. The older son stubbornly refused to return to school saying that school is hard and he doesn’t understand what they teach. He would like to opt for vocational training but Lorna doesn’t yet have the money saved.

Florence and her stall

Florence A is also doing well. Her challenge these past weeks has been cooking oil which has refused to reduce in price. She fries chips every evening and I found her cleaning her equipment in preparation for the evening job. The Irish potatoes have been coming in and that is a good thing. The salon is not doing well but like I have explained over the last few reports, she says she has a grand plan for December. She is going to restock all the hair and chemicals in preparation for the festive season. This is one of the best times of year for her.

Jane’s home flooded

On a sad note, Jane’s old house has continued to flood because the developers added more dirt blocking all the waterways which caused the water to back up in her house. I have been in touch with her to find out how the family is doing and if they are okay. Luckily enough some of the kids are in boarding school so she only has a few at home. The construction of the new house is also in progress so they will move soon. She is locating the gentleman who built the wall around the tank to help remove it so we can have it transported and rebuilt at the new site.

Aidan and her stall

Aidah is adjusting well. She is also teaching her daughter to make chips too. She often comes back from school early and joins her mother in peeling, washing and attending to the chips as they fry. This is a good way to mentor the child and also helping out with some chores ensures that the child is participating in paying for her school fees. It helps them grow up responsible and not take school for granted.

Aidan’s daughter frying chips

Hamida is working hard to set up her chicken coop and is also saving money for the chickens. She has finished wiring the house with electricity and has put a board on one of the windows that was broken. She has so far saved 200,000/- to help in the purchasing of chicks when the time is ready. 

Immaculate in front of her pharmacy

Immaculate M is also doing well with her clinic. She still works evening hours from 6pm till midnight. It looks like those few hours actually help to keep the clinic afloat with all the bills. The stock looks good so I am happy it is working for her at the moment.

Irene in her salon

Irene L is also starting to pick up on her business. It is still slow but at least she has managed to pay some of the school dues including her two candidate class boys. The salon doesn’t look out of stock and also the smell around the market has seemingly reduced. I guess it is because of the rain that is moving through the gutters around her salon. She is still looking for an option for the salon which is a good thing.

Rashida S is doing very well. She is diligent with her stall and ensures it’s all packed and stocked with goods. It is always a joy to see her smile in her vegetables. All the girls are now in school, and the fees have been paid. The season has been good for Rashida. The school also looks kindly upon her children because they know it is because of Rashida’s children that the water Purifaaya ended up in their school.

Thank you for following us yet again this week. We never take your following for granted. It encourages, motivates and energizes us each time you reach out and respond. It is a joy for me to put my fingers on this keyboard each week knowing that you are always waiting to hear about the Mamas. This week was not bad at all, yes, two people struggled a bit but we were able to sort it out. Please continue to spread the word, we still have a few Mamas to relocate and boost so we need all the help we can get. 

Report by;

Andrew Echel

Director of Programs, Uganda.

ISEE Solutions Society.