ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

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!

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.”