Amecet n'ainapakin (Shelter of Peace) is a ministry of Youth With A Mission (YWAM)in Soroti, Uganda. We are reaching out to HIV infected and affected children. We also are caring for new born babies, who lost their mother after the delivery. The third group of children we help, are children who need a safe place, they mostly come via the police. In this blog we want to share with you our stories, our pictures, our needs and blessings!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sad news..

Yesterday, janneke and I took Max back to the doctor for review. We are woried about Max. He came in Amecet on Feb. 19. (read the blog of feb 19). He was very weak and the doctor put him on second line ARV's, (stronger meds.) He is eating well and has gained 3 kg. since that time, but we feel that he has gone backwards in his emotions and movements. He is not talking and he can't walk alone, he is very scared and it is hard to get contact with him. The doctor asked us to do a CT scan from his brain. That can't be done in Soroti, so today we drove with Elias to Mbale.
Janneke had installed Max very comfortable on the back seat in our van, he was a bit scared, but he even slept some on the way up.
He was scared to have the scan done, but Janneke stayed with him to talk and to make hime relax. when the scan was done we had to go to another hospital with the scan to the doctor who would interpret the scan and write the report. The doctor looked at it and wanted us to go back to the first hospital to do the scan again, but now with contrast fluid in his veins. So we drove back to the hospital and they gave Max a canulla and we had the scan done again, with the contrast fluid. After the scan, we went again to the doctor who would write the report and after some time we got the report! It was not good, the brains are getting smaller and they think that the HIV/AIDS is the cause of that. All the way we had been scared of this, but you hope that it is maybe TB or Toxoplasmosis or something what can be treated, but now we know.... It is almost like dementia and that in a boy of 11 years old!! It is so sad and we were very quiet on the way back to Soroti.
Back in Soroti we saw the two new baby's who were taken in by Dominique and Esther that day, twins of two days old!!  We have a very full house now!! The good thing is, that they will share the bed!
Steven and Evalyn

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Triplets re-united

In our blog of January 7, you can read the story about the triplets. The mother couldn't cope with the three crying 2,5 month old baby's. The oldest is a boy, he was looking okay, but the two girls were small and cried so much! That time we decided to take the two girls to Amecet for a while, to give the mother and the grandmother and the great-grandmother a break! The mother was very happy, she came to visit her two girls several times while they were with us. The little girls were gaining and doing well, so 2 weeks ago we asked the mother to come and pick one of them, Maureen. And today we brought Ruth the third one back, to re-unite her with her family.
It was a one hour drive to their village and three of our volunteers went with us. Here we are at the home, at the left: Carline with the boy, Henri, then Marieke with Maureen and Elinor with baby Ruth.
The mother was very happy to see her daughter again and Ruth was very welcome! We heard that Maureen is doing well and that she is not crying, but sleeping during the night!!! At the right is the mother and the lady left is the grandmother. The family is very supportive of the mother and the three baby's!
It must be a strong family, because at the left on this picture is the great-grandmother. We asked her how old she was, but she didn't know, maybe 75?? All in all it was a happy trip, we felt all good about bringing Ruth home and also to see that we had really helped the family. Now they can cope with the three baby's and also the baby's are stronger now, they can drink porridge. We help them with some regular milk money. The neighbours have cows, so they can buy the milk and the children will grow!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Our trip to Bangaladesh...

Yesterday, Simon, Elias, Amos, the Probation officer and me went to Bangaladesh... By car..... Bangaladesh is a small fishermen community at the shores of Lake Kyoga. It was far, we drove 3 hours to get there. We were going to meet a father of one of our baby boys in Amecet. The baby came to Amecet because his mother was unable to care for him, she has a mental problem and she was on the streets. We met the father also, he was in the police cells because of drunkenness. We have been talking with both families, trying to resettle the baby in one of the families, but no one is willing to care for this sweet little boy. So we were going to talk with the father and his brother and sister together with the Probation officer, if they are still not willing or able, than they will be asked to write a letter where they are stating that they give up the boy and that we are asked to find a family for him.
We had a flat tyre on the way, but it was fixed in no time!! Amos and Elias were removing the flat tyre, while Simon got the spare tyre and I took pictures!!!
It was a beautiful sight, the community was at the shore of the lake, a lot of small huts where the fishermen families are living. Left are the little boats where they were fishing with, early in the morning. It is a poor community with many small children playing around.We met the family and after talking they wrote the letter, the Probation officer explained everything one more time, so they understand what was all going to happen.
On the way back we stopped to meet Doreen. Doreen has been in Amecet for quite a while. You can read her sad story in the blog of Sept. .4 and 7, Nov. 13 2013. She was resettled the end of December and we had not seen her since. She was very happy to see us and she looked great. She gained some use of her left arm and her baby Els looked so cute. While she was in Amecet, waiting for the birth of her baby, we got her a sewing teacher and we gave her a sewing machine when she went home. She uses the machine to earn a small living, while she is living with her mother. Baby Els was also happy to see me, she was laughing a lot.  
In the meantime in Amecet, Janneke received a small little baby, Barnabasi, his weight is only 1.4 kg and he is already 6 days old. His mother died after giving birth, we think they didn't feed the baby, only with some water.. We have a full house, this week alone we got 4 children via the Police, for different reasons. One child was living with her grandmother and decided she wanted to go to her mother and started to walk. It was a journey of more than 100 km, so she stranded in Soroti and was brought to us. Another little boy was mistreated by his stepmother and he is very malnourished. A baby of 7 months was brought, the mother was depressed and wanted to throw the child somewhere and commit suicide. Then a boy of 12 years was brought, he was in the bus and lost his father during the trip. The bus brought him to the police in Soroti and they brought him to us. So work enough......

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The wedding of Esther 2..

Yesterday we went to the wedding of our staff Esther 2 (we had more than one Etshers). Most weddings are on Saturday and it takes the whole day. On the card was written that the church service would start at 10 am. But we are a bit longer in Uganda, we know that there is African time....so we went to the church at 12.30 and there were not many people yet... At 12.50, the groom came in with his best man and the bride arrived at 1.30 pm. There was a lot of singing clapping and shouting, a lot of excitement for the young couple. They looked beautiful and very happy. Esther looked very bright and she was a smiling bride!! Very often they are very tense and serious, but Esther was just herself and relaxed. The whole ceremony was in the church and even the reception was there as well. There was food for the entire congregation and everything was finished around 7 pm.
Esther we wish you and Paul, God's blessing as you start your life together!!! and we are happy that you will still work with us in Amecet........

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy "eye" day, today!

Last week, the same day that Simon and I handed over the Anesthesia machine, Janneke and Elias went to the Eye hospital in Tororo. The eyes of Joshua are not doing well and after calling over the phone with the doctor, we had to come back. Joshua was admitted in the hospital. We had that idea, so we had asked the auntie of Joshua to come along  and to stay with him in the hospital. That was not a problem, so they talked with the doctor that they could call us and  left money for food for the auntie and Elias and Janneke came back to Soroti. During the week we had contact with the doctor and heard that Joshua was fair. Yesterday Elias and I went to Tororo to visit Joshua. It is a three hours drive and we also took Josephine's mother
with us. Josephine is Simon's wife and her mother became blind (3 weeks ago). So Josephine and her sister also came along, ready for admission.

Joshua was just having a some injections in his eyelids, under anesthesia, so when they brought him back, he was still asleep. His eyes were both covered and the nurse told us that they would remove that tomorrow.
The mother of Josephine was lucky, they found our that she had catharac in both eyes and they were able to put her at the end of the list for operation that same day!! The doctor told us that we could pick both patients tomorrow to take back home.
So today we drove again to Tororo, now Simon was the driver! Both patients were ready for home, they had packed everything and after the paperwork we could go. Josephine's mother was a different person!!! She was so happy, she could see again and now she was talking and smiling, while yesterday, she was a very scared lady, no talking, very weak. They operated only one eye, the second eye will be done in two weeks.
 Joshua was also happy to come home. Here he is smiling, while we are driving back to Soroti. I am so amazed how good he takes everything, he comes for his medicines and I think he is the most easy patient ever! We have to go back for review in 2 weeks.
So we were all in a happy mood, driving back to Soroti!!!
In the mean time, left Elias for Katakwi. Some of you, who read this blog and who have been here in Amecet, may remember Evalyn. She has been living in Amecet twice before, in 2008 and in 2010. Evalyn is HIV+ and she lives with her brother in Katakwi, very far from Soroti. Evalyn doesn't get ARV's yet, she just gets a prophylaxis from a health centre in Katakwi. Normally everybody who is HIV+ has to have a CD4 test every 6 months. Recently we found out that that has not been done with Evalyn. The last test was done when she was with us. So we asked her brother to bring her to Amecet and we enrolled her in the HIV pediatric clinic in Soroti Hospital for the test. The test was done and her CD4 was even higher (= better) than before. She is not in need of starting the ARV's. We will get her to come to Amecet every 6 months for the test and we are all very impressed with the brother of Evalyn, he is taking so good care of her! I wish that there were more brothers like Evelyn's brother!! On the picture, you see Evalyn standing at the right, she is a big girl now, 6,5 years old, left is Jesica.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The anaesthesia machine has arrived......

In September 2012 two of our nurses attended the Cesarean operation in the theatre in Soroti Hospital. The new mother was a 13 year old girl, who was brought to Amecet by the police. They had a good talk with Dr. Ouna, the doctor who performed the operation. Later I had a talk with him and he asked if we could help him. There was no monitor for the mothers in the theatre, they were loosing mothers, just because there was no way of seeing the warnings. I told him that we didn't have money, but I would try to see if I could find people to help. I found an organization who wanted to help: Metterdaad, a Dutch Christian organization who does radio and TV reports about needs they feel should be met and people can send gifts towards the needs. In December 2012, we were in Holland for holidays, I had a radio interview, which was on the radio in June 2013. And in the mean time I met with the doctor Ouna and asked which machine and in faith I ordered the Universal Anaesthesia Machine. The money was send in December 2013 and last week we got a phone call on Friday that we could come to Kampala to pick the machine!!!
So, on Tuesday Simon and Elias left at 5 am. to Kampala to pick the machine. They shared the driving, and that was good, because they arrive  at 1 am. in the night, back in Soroti. The next morning we brought the machine to the store in the hospital. We couldn't carry it inside (150 kg.) and to keep it on the back of the car was also risky, because the machine is worth more than 16.000 US $.
We organised with Soroti Hospital that the official handover of the machine would be done on Friday (today).
Today, we gathered together and were wearing the white operation room boots, but we were allowed inside the theatre. And we saw the machine, which was already installed by the company where we had bought it from. 
 One of the senior surgeons was leading the meeting and we got a demonstration, done by the two anaestasists who are going to work with the machine in the future. There was a lot of excitement, it is a very good machine and even when the electricity stops, the machine will still work.
The machine is given to the hospital,  to the community of Teso, so there were some official people from the government invited to testify this event. Left is the L.C 5, this is an important man in the community and next to him, the Mayor of Soroti. Then there were people of the press, the local and the national newspapers, also from the National TV, there was a reporter.
Doctor Ouna gave a speech, he is very happy with the machine, we, as Amecet, work quite a lot with him. Regular we get a phone call from him, please I have a baby here who needs help, can you take the baby in Amecet. At the moment we also have a child who came via him in Amecet, the mother passed away. He is a very compassionate man and he cares for his patients.
 The nurses and other medical personnel were also present. I think they are ready to use the machine as soon as we were gone.
This is the senior surgeon who is thanking, via me, the people of the Netherlands, who have donated so freely for the purchase of this machine. It will be a big different, when they now operate, and something goes wrong, the monitor will warn, so that something can be done. I also want to thank the people who are reading this and who have been helping us to buy this machine for the Hospital, it will save the lives of the Teso mothers!!! Thanks to Metterdaad, who saw the need and helped us so much!
EYALAMA NOI, NOI, NOI.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 new born baby's....

It has been so busy, the last weeks, that I hardly got time to write the blog. We also had serious internet problems, but it seems to be fixed now...so here we go!!!
Five new born baby's in the last 12 days. Five beautiful baby's with 5 sad stories. Honestly, Janneke and I said to ourselves, after loosing two precious baby's (blog of Feb. 22 and March 8) for now, no more new little baby's!!! But what do you do when they are on your doorstep?? You take them in and care for them!!
From left to right:
On March 7 a police officer came to Amecet, carrying a baby boy. He was found in a carton box, still connected with the placenta, in Kumi market. We called him Jonathan, his head is a bit out of shape, but for the rest he is fine. Up till today, there is no news from the police about his mother.
On March 8, Anna Grace was brought. Her mother started to bleed after giving birth and she passed away. She has 8 brothers and sisters! This was the same day that baby Kave died in Amecet, it was a strange day, death at one side and a small new born baby, Life, at the other side.
Moses was brought on March 10. His mother went into labour, but it didn't progress and they tried to find transport to the hospital. When they found that, the mother was so tired, that they had to do a Cesarean on her when she arrived  in the hospital. She passed away directly after the operation.
Then the fourth baby is baby Promise. She was brought yesterday. Her mother went into labour, in the hospital. But after the delivery the mother started to bleed. They tried all they could, but all was in vain. She died, her last words were that the name of the baby was Promise.
And today baby Martin came into Amecet. He is born at home, in the village, but  the placenta didn't come out, so they tried to get a vehicle to bring her to hospital. The mother passed away before they found the vehicle. 
Five precious little baby's are brought into our trust, we will care, love and feed them.
Tomorrow we are going to hand over a Anastasia/monitor machine to Soroti Hospital. It will be used for the emergency operations and the Cesarean operations. We hope to help to save the lives of the mothers of Teso. I´ll write more about this tomorrow.