ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

April 18 update


Good morning,

I hope you are all doing well as you read this blog. I don’t know about many of you but I consider myself fortunate to be here writing and talking to you. It is amazing how fragile life is and how many people take it for granted but I feel that most of us following this work have realized what we could do with the life we have. Being a part of something that transforms just even one life brings some kind of meaning or purpose in life, that is what most people look for in life. To bring meaning and to find a purpose, at least that is my philosophy. Thank you for always following what we do, for supporting the lives of both the old and little ones that we serve. My heart melts every single time I see the smiles on the faces of these wonderful ladies and their children, I admire their strength and courage to do what they have been doing. 

Over the past few days I have been struggling with some health issues as my immunity was low but I managed to see a doctor and I had a small infection in my system caused by the water I had been drinking. He gave me some antibacterial drugs I think and asked me to take bed rest for at least a day. I took a day off, cleared out all the drinking water in my storage pot and got fresher water to replace it. I am feeling way better after the rest only two days after, so thank you to the magic of medical magic.

This week like all you know, I continued to visit our Mamas and below are some of the wonderful works they are doing;

Dorah in her restaurant

I will start with the wonderful Dorah A. who has been doing really well over the last couple of months in her restaurant business. She at one point had an electric power issue that was later sorted out by her landlord and she is now making monthly payments for the power. The restaurant looks good, she has a new employee because her previous one got sick because she was not taking her medication and she relapsed. The new employee is also another young woman who is helping clean, cook and washing utensils. It is a good thing when I come across such stories where women are supporting women in our community. The only challenge that she has this coming month is the fact that a faction of her community, the Muslim, have started fasting this week. This has already caused a downshift in the number of clients at the restaurant. As you may know, our Muslim brothers and sisters started their month of fast a few days ago and we would like to wish them a wonderful month of Ramadan. 


Rovence N. another restaurateur in our project group is suffering the same consequences of the Islamic fast this month of Ramadan. It seems that this has always been the trend and our Mamas like Rovence and Dorah will have to ride this month in this groove. Otherwise she  has been doing great, the business is doing well, the furniture we helped her get is still holding up and it is a good thing. She will be featuring in our monthly “My Story” segment where we get to meet some of our Mamas personal life stories. She is thrilled and excited to share with us, which is a good thing. Stay tuned.

Betty hard at work

Betty N. is continuing with her tailoring school but yet slowly this time as she is struggling to find new students in her new environment, we guess it will take some time before people can get used to it. Otherwise, she is doing well in other business sections as she continues to get individual clients who need clothes done. During my visit she was actually finishing a dress for a customer who had made the order a few days back. Her family is doing well and her kids are doing coaching to keep them sharp before pre-school reopens for them.


The amazing Florence A. is doing really well despite having electric power issues as she disconnected because there was an illegal connection on her supply so they got disconnected. This meant that the salon business got troubled for a few days since the disconnection. In the meantime, her side business has been doing well with the chips and deep fried snacks. She has set her mind to continue doing this chips thing longside the salon. This is going to help her balance her finances and incomes and may also help to stabilize her life.


On the other side of town was Maria A. our piggery farmer, she is doing well with her pigs at the moment. The chickens have been a disaster because they have been falling sick and she has lost almost half of the chickens she got. This is the same story with Christine’s chickens too as they have been undergoing extensive treatment the last few weeks. She has treated them but has not had any breakthroughs which has then resulted in very low egg production less than intended. 

The pigs have not been bad and for the first time I witnessed the sale of one of her pigs during my visit. The piglets have not attracted the market she had hoped for so she has been finding it hard to get some buyers. Unfortunately, she was not able to attract a price that she wanted because the buyer was claiming it was smaller than he expected. The challenge she had was that two of her children needed to go back to school so she had to make some kind of sale. Anyway she was happy to sell  because she got some income to get a break and figure out her next move. We have decided to help Maria get some feed and supplements for the pigs to help them get fatter so she can attract a higher price.


Finally I dropped by to see Cissy N. to follow up on the business prospect she was working on and it turns out that there was no progress there at all. She cancelled it because the location was risky and the authority would keep bothering her because it was too close to the main road, so it was both unsafe but also unhygienic for her to cook at that location. She has resulted in working in the same shack with her daughter’s restaurant. This is where she intends to work for the next few weeks as she seeks for plan B, to create her own work space.

If there was anything in the world I would do to show you how grateful I am for all your support, in a heartbeat I would. All of you who are continuously mobilizing all the resources from you out there, ensuring all our group of Mamas are taken care of. On behalf of the Mamas, we appreciate you all. 

Thank you for the support and your continuous donations, they bring meaning to the lives of the people we serve plus ourselves too. Stay Safe, Maintain Social Distancing but Stay Sociable, the world needs us.

Jee Shukriya

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Echel

Director Progs, Ug

ISEE Solutions Society

Flossing a metal giant’s teeth

Sewing — that is, operating a sewing machine — is not a masculine pursuit on par with, say, wrestling alligators. Aside from the slight risk of pricking oneself in the finger, it is unlikely that one shall suffer a sufficiently-dramatic scar-inducing wound whilst running a zigzag stitch down a seam. Though there are numerous accessories with which one can, in fact, accessorize, there are not many skull- or dragon-themed after-market customizations available for my mother’s 40-year old Kenmore machine.

Learning to sew — as I did last weekend — is most assuredly NOT going to increase my testosterone.

Yet I’m proud to have learned this skill, and proud to be putting it to good use. While Erika serged seams, I zigzagged pieces together. In the space of a few hours, we made 85 shields for the sanitary sets we’re taking this summer. By the end of the time I was confidently loading bobbins, adjusting tension, and threading needles.

Oh, of course I wasn’t any good. Despite my assumption, the actual task of ‘sewing in a straight line’ is, in fact, rather hard. I have new-found respect for my mother, who effortlessly managed to sew lots of clothes for us on that self-same machine while doing all the countless other tasks she did to make our household run as smoothly as it did. And I’m looking forward to perhaps teaching other (younger) men to sew — perhaps in Uganda, perhaps here — so that they too may contribute and help young women get the education they so richly deserve.

I will continue to hope, though, for a skull-embossed bobbin case… and maybe a bit more chrome.

Just an added bit… this is an interesting article I found today from the Daily Telegraph about men who sew entitled “Sew Macho.”