ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Annnnd we’re back!

{note: Welcome back! We hope you all had a peaceful and happy holiday season.

The general election in Uganda occurred on January 14. In order to “prevent alarm and unrest” {ahem} the government shut down social media, and eventually internet access, on the 13th. We have had a few sporadic text messages from Andrew but he has been essentially incommunicado for several days. His house is in the same area as candidate Bobi Wine’s complex and so Andrew says there has been an increased police and military presence in the area for the last week or so. He has hunkered down in his home (Andrew, not Bobi) and will venture out once the area feels safe again.

In a piece of good news, though, earlier this week we received news from Andrew that Christine — who you may remember as the Mama with the piggery — has successfully argued her case in district court and received a judicial ruling which prevents her husband from selling Christine’s land. She told Andrew that she got photocopies of the decision and delivered them with haste to the local police station, magistrate, and her husband. This is a huge relief to everyone except, presumably, Christine’s husband.

Thank you once again for all your support of us and our work. Hopefully 2021 will be better for all of us. Once the internet is resumed in Uganda and he feels safe, Andrew will continue to provide updates on our Mamas. -ed}

Happy New Year to each and every one of you, our dear readers. It feels good to be back after almost two weeks of holiday. I know most of us had Christmas and New Year celebrations under lockdown but I hope you had a good time. As for me, I tried to have a good time by traveling to my ancestral village to celebrate with my mother whose birthday happens to be on the 25th. It is usually about 6 hours drive to my village in a place called Lira district. We arrived safely and the next day we were to surprise my mother with a beautiful cake. She was so happy that she prepared us a goat which my friend Andrew enjoyed roasting the whole night. Over all we really had a great time celebrating Christmas in the village. 

This week I returned to work. Of course it has been a slow week as I am trying to get myself back in work mode. Nevertheless, I managed to meet Florence, Rovence, Pulakiseda, Cissy, and Angel. 

Florence in her salon

Florence said that the season was good yet again as she managed to make some cash during the festive season. It was good to hear this because she had been planning and preparing for it during my last visit of the year. She was buying hair pieces and chemicals to use on her clients, so it was good to hear that she was able to get some returns. 

She told me that she would be going to the village and won’t be able to vote in the coming elections on 14th Jan 2021. Like her, many people anticipate some kind of violence during these elections as the atmosphere has been building up towards it but we hope that doesn’t happen. Therefore Florence has decided that she will travel with her kids for about a week or two until she can determine safety. 


Rovence N. is back on the job as she didn’t get much time off during the season because her location is so prime that the people around her don’t rest until 9PM because of curfew. She will also work through Christmas and New Year’s because the trading center doesn’t close. She is happy to make some money during the festive season and closed for only two days to rest and prepare for the year. 

The challenge is that her landlord decided to cut the power supply from her restaurant because they all shared the same meter. He wants them to each have a separate meter so they can pay the bills easily because they would know how much they use. This has given Rovence a challenge because her fridge hasn’t been running since so she has been losing money because she has to go and buy cold drinks from another shop. 

{note: we have been working with Andrew to try and assist her in this venture, as he has experience dealing with the bureaucratic maze that needs to be navigated to get utilities organized in Kampala. We will update as we hear more. -ed}

During the festive season Rovence was poked by a nail in her right arm and has been trying to nurse it. She was very wise to get herself a tetanus shot so we wish her a quick recovery. 


Pulakiseda N. is doing really well. I went down to the market to also buy some supplies for myself after many days away from my home. The boost from the hamper shopping from her shop helped her to restock her shop for the season. She was really excited to see and thanked us so much for shopping at her shop when we were putting together the hamper we distributed. 


Cissy N. has also reopened the restaurant this year but business has not been any good so far. She said that her customers have not yet returned so she has even cut on the amount of food she has made in the last few days. 


Angel N. is still trying to pick up herself after the shopping we did during Christmas. The idea was to spread the expenses between Angel and Pulakiseda as a way of supporting their struggling shops so they can make some profits and boost their shops. Unlike Pulakiseda who is almost comfortable right now, Angel is still picking up her shop and trying to balance the shop items. 

My first week has surely presented me with some mixed results both good and bad. It was nice to see the Mamas again after a long two weeks of rest for me. Like I said earlier for me it was a good time to rest and reflect on how the year went down especially with the challenge of the pandemic. It was a time to reflect, adjust, strategize and adapt to the new world that requires us to be more cautious and present ourselves to the world. 

Thank you all who have supported us during 2020, we hope that we can still move forward with you in 2021 as we continue to make a difference in the lives of our Mamas and their families. 

Yours sincerely 

Andrew Echel

Great start to 2020

Happy new year!

Thank you to everyone who came through for the two mamas who were in crisis at the end of 2019. Mama A had left her abusive husband and was living in her shop with her children and Mama N’s sewing machines had been confiscated by the landlord because her husband had not paid his share of the rent.

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to restock the shop in time for the busy holiday season and help Mama A earn enough money to support herself and her children as well as enjoy Christmas together. She is also able to use her earnings to keep the shop well stocked so that she can save some money to pay for the new school year which begins in February.

Mama N was also able to pay the arrears on the rent and reclaim her machines in time for the intake of her new tailoring students. The tuition from the students and the earnings from her own tailoring will help her continue to pay the rent and support her two small children.

Three other projects that have moved forward in the past month:

Cissy has started to build the extension to her restaurant and is cooking full time with the supplies she received through the generosity of Leola C’s sponsorship. Once all is running smoothly, Cissy will receive the final item for her restaurant: a popcorn machine.

Sarah’s goat pen is built so they don’t have to sleep in her kitchen anymore! She has also added 3 more goats to her heard, and adult male, an adult female and a female kid. She is very excited about the pen and about the prospect of having a growing business! Thank you Mary W. for your sponsorship.

Christine’s chickens are growing so much and doing so well (she lost very few) that she is having to build an extension to her coop to accommodate all of them!

Thank you again to everyone who has been so supportive of these amazing women who desire what all mamas do – the best for their children. Webale Nnyo!