Bits of ME
“Please find me something to do, anything to do, I am desperate! I can be your housemaid or if you can talk to any of your friends who may need one, I am willing to work otherwise I don’t know how I am going to feed my children. I am their mother and father,” pleaded a woman.
“Their Dad doesn’t help at all”
Except for the waves and the smiles, I hardly knew this woman but with those statements, the stench of need( without) in her life was clear.
In just a few minutes she had pulled me into her life!
As a tailor, schools and other institutions are what put bread on her table, pay tuition for her own children, and there is nothing left to buy a lotion.
With the shutdown, now what?
In the first lockdown, she made and vended face masks. And in afternoon, she alternated with making french fries. That was enough to take her through the opening months when ‘lockdown naive’ customers did not have enough options.
As months went by with no customers to buy new masks and as people found cheap substitutes for her fries, the taps dried up.
With another lockdown that was declared recently; four mouths to feed and monthly rent to pay, she is out of her depth!
Bits of YOU
During the first taste of the lockdown, as reserves emptied, friends and family offered a helping hand. Not many are that willing now, or perhaps well placed to display this kind of help.
A reckoning for those who had broken ties with their kindred and a nightmare for many with a thin circle of friends.
These are times when we need each other- don’t label us beggars!
There are many calls for help in our inbox from teachers looking for alternative entry into other jobs, the warning notices of halted salary payments, that we now have phone alerts reading; STORAGE FULL’
What these anecdotes preach to us is all of us are involved- either as sufferers or Samaritan’s.
Maggie Kigozi (Director-Crown Beverages said many people innovate and try to find alternatives to survive.
Others, she said, have even carried their market products online trying to make sales and do deliveries here and there but unfortunately this lockdown is longer.
Others are sitting back helplessly, ebbing away to hopelessness.
The elephant in the room is: have these times recalled our humanity?
Recycle the untold experiences of those reaping big from these unfortunate times.
The extortionists are spoiling it for the genuine souls!
Imagine a distraught friend /relative frantically calling to STOP a save a house eviction from pending rent arrears.
Only to be reawakened by several of your mates in the same circle to have received a similar call from the same person and rushed to Mobile Money accounts to rescue the friend.
Maggie Kigozi recalls a woman she helped who consistently kept nagging her for help.
“When I blocked her number, she changed to another…and I wondered how many other people she had told the disastrous story…it has become a business for some,” Kigozi said.
Words from the wise that I have come across that consistently fit within challenging times inspired Galatians 6:2- “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” are as follows –
Like they say : No one does anything alone. You can help friends and family get through life’s big and small obstacles, and they will do the same for you.
For those who are going to receive government’s Shs 100,000 Covid-19 relief fund, Kigozi advises on how one can use it gainfully.
- Buy and sell something people need eg tomatoes, vegetables like Covid-19 favourites ginger, garlic, lemon etc
- Do some simple value addition. Simple Rolex and tea, roasted g nuts, gonja, maize and sell. (You should hear Salongo of Samona’s story.
- Buy some seeds and plant food products like beans, maize, mushrooms, chicken rearing, vegetables etc
- Try to make contact with people who need cleaning, washing, baby care services etc
- Partnerships work; family or friends supporting you and sharing the profits etc.