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!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Abraham and Emmanuel back in Amecet...

Emmanuel (left on the picture) and Abraham were yesterday re-admitted in Amecet. They are both children who have been in Amecet in the past, and now I mean, 10 years ago!! They were both in Amecet in 2004 and 2005. As small babies. During the years, we have been visiting them at home, in the villages and they were both in our Amun weeks, we have every year in December. We got alarming telephone calls about them, they do not live in the same village, Abraham lived with his grandparents and he was doing well. But both grandparents have passed away and now Abraham became a burden to the family. He has lost much weight and his blood levels are not good. He is on ARVs. Emmanuel lives with his grandmother, who really cares for him, but he got sick a lot,lately and she became a bit desperate. She asked us for help. Emmanuel is also HIV+. So yesterday they both came back in Amecet. They are both 12 years old. Today we started our doctors visits and blood was taken from them, we are waiting for results, in the meantime we do sputum test and urine test for TB and we see what else is coming up. They are happy to be here, they even went on the swing and the trampoline already. 
We are quite full at the moment, children come and children go. One set of twins went last week, Teddy and Lisa, we were happy to see how much they have grown and how stable they are now. But we also got a new little girl in Amecet via the Police. It was quite a case.. The baby was found (?) by a lady who used the baby also to go to churches asking for money. The lady was arrested and the baby was given to Amecet for safe keeping. The Police and our social workers have been searching for the mother or her relatives, it even was in the national newspaper:
 This was the article in the Daily Monitor. Up till now no one of her family is found. We have given her the name Joyce.
Two days ago, James was brought into Amecet, his mother just passed away, after the delivery she lost too much blood and she died. James is a sweet little man, he is starting to drink a bit better now. So we are busy with the children, but we do not have seriously ill children at the moment.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Good and bad news......

Let me start with some very good news.......
On the picture above you  see three beautiful ladies with three beautiful baby's.... The ladies are three of our staff members, who are taking care of the little ones, left is Winnie, in the middle, Barbara and at the right is Sharon. We are happy with them, but the good news is about the three baby's.
We had to test them all three for HIV, by the DNA test. Left is Richard, we don't know where his family is, he was probably stolen, but up till now his family is not found. At the right is Elias, he was found at the side of the road in Katakwi, but up to now, his relatives are not found. We do a HIV test from them, because we don't know what their background is. The baby in the middle is Tobias, his mother passed away after the delivery and she was HIV+, so we need to know the status of Tobias. But the good news is that THEY ARE ALL THREE HIV NEGATIVE!!!!!!!
It is so good, this means a lot for their future, so a little milk party was given!!!
Then I wrote that there is good and bad news, this picture shows the good and the bad news. We got a phone call from a grandfather of one of the children who was in Amecet before and was resettled back home. We always send milk money to them by Mobile Money. But the grandfather told us that the baby had passed away on Saturday. He was sick from malaria. So sad, he left Amecet weighing more than 5 kg. and he was a healthy, happy baby...... He was only 7 months old......
This morning we got visitors, Base lisa, a baby of 5 months, together with her grandmother, also called Base Lisa. The mother of the baby also died after giving birth, she was only a young girl, the father is unknown, because the mother never shared his name. The little baby girl was taken into Amecet for 2 months and then the grandparents took over. Today we saw a healthy baby girl, who could sit and starts to crawl, The grandmother came to bring a chicken, still to thank us for our help and to show off her grand daughter!! We went inside to show her the picture of Base Lisa when she came in. What a difference to see her now!!! It is the baby with the yellow background, Sharon tried to point at it.  The baby at the top of that row, with the blue background, is David, the baby who died on Saturday...
While I am typing this, I hear outside a child screaming, it is Jackson, the little boy I wrote about in the last blog, we started the anti TB medicines and he is already doing better. He is moving around again, playing and smiling, and also eating much better. He also likes to fight for toys, that was where the screaming was all about... We are happy, he still has a long way to go, but at least he is on the way!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Yes.... it is TB!!!

 Jackson came into Amecet, in July 2015, very malnourished and sick. He was tested and found HIV+, his mother passed away in the village, shortly after Jackson was with us. He improved a lot in the beginning, gained, started to play and crawl, he was already 1 year old! But at times he got sick, out of nowhere, fever came and after a week or so, he started to get better again. We took him to the doctor, did tests, nothing came out. They said, give him time, the ARV's have to kick in. So we did, we kept a close eye on him and treated any infection which came up, while giving him his ARV's every day.
Jackson started to move around more, got naughty, smiled a lot and we all loved him. We tried to get in contact with his grandparents, who promised to come and visit him, but up till now, we haven't seen them. I think everybody in Amecet loves Jackson, even when he can make a mess at times, like here, on this picture, throwing all the shoes everywhere.
But still Jackson got sick every time. Then he just get high fevers and he doesn't want to eat anymore, only wants to drink water, so he loses weight... He doesn't play and he is only laying down, often with a wet cloth over him, trying to get the fever down. His smile is gone and we are worried about him. We took him to the doctor, and again another doctor, more tests done, but nothing was showing. We thought about TB, when children are weak from HIV/AIDS, and there is someone around them with TB, it is just so easy to infect them also with TB. But X-rays were done, sputum  tests was done, blood test was done, no TB. It may sounds strange, but I was just praying that they would find TB with Jackson, the symptoms could be TB and TB is curable, but you don't want to start the anti TB medicines, because Jackson is weak and it might be something else.... It was hard, then the third doctor talked about a urine test to find antibodies of TB. Maybe he had TB somewhere else in his body than his lungs. I found the laboratory where they did that special test and yes...... it is TB!!!! So back to the doctor and with her prescription to the TB office and yesterday Jackson started his anti TB medicines. The doctor also had to change his ARV's because the combination that he had, could not go together with the anti TB treatment.
Today he already smiles a bit, but he has still a long way to go. We are so happy that we found the cause of his fevers and the other complains he had. At least we can do something for him. This story shows again that nothing is easy and clear, but that we should not give up. Jackson deserves the best we can give him. We now expect a happy ending of this story (in a couple of months)!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Tracing Story.....

This little boy was brought into Amecet on 23rd of March 2016. He was brought by the Police of Serere, a neighbouring District. They had found him on the road, all by him self.  Of course the Police tried to ask people around if they knew the boy, or did they see anybody with the boy, walking on the road?? Nobody had seen anything or knew the little boy. The Police brought him to Amecet, while running radio messages on the local radio.
We think, is he around 1,5 or almost 2 years old. he doesn't talk, but he can run and walk and play. maybe he doesn't want to talk, he cried a lot and he was unhappy. The toys he saw in Amecet helped a bit and also the food we offered him, but sleeping in a bed.......that was not what he liked... We had to give him a name, so we don't call him "boy"or so, the name became Ruben. But of course he didn't respond to it for days, but now he listen when you call him Ruben. He is much more happy and is playing a lot. He is a cute little man. You wonder how anybody can leave a child behind, what problems or despair are behind this all??
No one reacted on the radio messages, we kept contact with the Police in Serere, they still tried to find some relatives, but nothing worked out.
So last week, Elias and Emmanuel, our social workers, drove to Serere, with Ruben, to try to search and to hang posters with his picture. They hang the posters on different places, where people come, like the police station, the health centre, the notice boards, the shops and the drinking places.

Half way, they were called, people knew about this, they told Elias and Emmanuel that there was a certain woman who got a fight with her husband and she ran off and left the child somewhere on the way. The people were willing to bring Elias and Emmanuel to the father, who lived in the neighbourhood. So they drove and talked with the father, but no, he said, this is not my son, and he showed them his son, who was already brought to him....
Ruben stands at the left, they are of the same age and they went through the same experience, except that the little boys father was found fast and Ruben is still waiting....
This was not as rewarding as we had hoped, but the next day we got a phone call (our telephone numbers were on the poster) and someone knew the family. The father had left to the other side of the country and the mother was so frustrated and had left the child somewhere. We contacted the police and later they confirmed the story and they were going to find the mother. So we wait again, but there is hope that we can bring Ruben back to his relatives, and there is where he belongs!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Renovation 1

I start today with the first blog about our renovation. Amecet is operating since December 2001, so almost 14,5 years!! We have seen that our Amecet home really needs some attention. But how, we are always full with  children and there is a lot of work to be done: the kitchen needs work, the ceiling in some of the rooms, the floor in the whole house is not good, we have a cement floor and there are holes everywhere, the bathrooms needs work, the walls need to be painted again, in all those years we have have done repairs and we have tried to keep it nice, but to paint, that is a major job......These are some of the pictures which shows how it looks now.. It is really necessary to do something. So we came together to plan this, we will get help from a team from the Netherlands that is willing to come and work in our home, this will be in September!! We are so grateful for that!!
Now we are starting to plan this all: for the time of renovation,  we will move the whole Amecet home to our second house, Amun,  Amun was used to host our older children and the last years we used it for staff to live and for bigger groups of children who are coming for emergency. We are now busy with the Amun house, to bring it in a condition that we can move the Amecet home in. If you look at the first picture, you see a big hole in our fence. We have had at least 6 or 7 of those big holes. We got many visitors at night, every time we repaired our fence, but it made the fence to be very weak. For the safety we are now building a walled fence! Which was our first project in the renovation process!!!
This is at the back of the compound, the wall is almost finished, then we are going to the doors, the bathrooms and the kitchen.
We are also going to get new beds and I have been talking with one of the local welders to make the beds how we want it. We have seen that the old beds are too big, and sometimes not safe. We want to give our beds to small village hospitals and we get the new ones made. Today I went to see the first try out....
I had given pictures from Internet and the size and he made this first sample!! As you see, it is on the street where they work and he is very happy with the work, because if this one turns out well, we will order more from him!!! He can adjust some things, which we want different, this is how we shop.... a bit different than from Internet......
We are able to do this renovation because of a gift we received from a Dutch organization. Normally we would not have the extra funds to do something big like this, we also get help from  another Dutch Organization, de Figurant. We are so grateful for that. If there are among the readers of this blog, people who want to help us with this big operation, we would be so happy with that. Because when you start to renovate, you always find more thing to replace...  You could donate gifts to our account in the Crane bank, Uganda:
Beneficiary Bank: Crane Bank Ltd, Kampala, Uganda
Beneficiary Name: Youth With A Mission Amecet, Soroti
Account number: 1028011 06 0000108
If you do so. please send us an email, ( so we can trace it, if necessary.
Thank you so much!! We keep you informed about our process!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fire drill......

In our homes we have fire extinguishers. Once a year we let them check and renew the contents in it. Simon had a good idea, let us use this time to teach all the staff how to use them, we need them to be renewed anyway. So the Fire man from the Police department was invited and yesterday he gave all the staff instructions. 
Here they got instructions, how to carry the extinguisher and the differences between them.
The Police officer was showing them how to break the seal and to open them...... the first one who opened, the whole group ran away, they really were scared of the noise... Auntie Grace, our kitchen lady, ran all the way to the kitchen and had to be persuaded to come out.......
Emma's work was to make the fire......
The fire was on and aunti Barbara was coming into action......
The action was really good, she extinguished the fire in no time!!
Here is Winnie busy, we used all the bottles to give people a chance to do it, but we do hope that we never have to do it in real...
Auntie Mary, our cleaning lady, was also trying,  
We had a lot of fun, but it was very good to do this together, earlier this week we had a trainings day with the staff about the Children rights. It is important that our staff is knowing these things and understands that children do have rights and do need care and love.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Only 10 days young.....

 On March 18, we were called from the Hospital. A mother passed away, who just delivered a baby boy. If we could help with the little baby. Together with a staff  I drove to the hospital, we were met by the doctor and the father and we filled the papers and took baby Nathan to Amecet. The baby looked okay, but he had fever. So we took the baby straight to the doctor. The cord was made shorter and the baby was started on antibiotics.. There were no other problems, he was drinking fair, not very much, but enough, until Sunday morning...... He didn't want to drink anymore, we took him to the doctor, but nothing was found only oral thrush. We started medication for that and we put an NG tube in. We fed him every two hours. The next day the mouth was clear of thrush, but still he didn't want to drink on his own, so we used the NG tube. Monday afternoon he started to get difficulties in breathing, we contacted the doctor and he was started on IV fluids. In the evening we had to put him on oxygen.And the electricity went off... so the solar on, that also stopped , the last result was the generator, which was started by Elias, who was called by the night duty!!!
Tuesday morning Nathan was at first breathing on his own again, when I took this beautiful picture of this beautiful little man. But then it changed, the doctor came to see him, still no fever, no diarrhea, no chest infection, no vomiting. we saw him going worse. I was working together with Deborah, our Ugandan nurse and we decided to hold him in our arms on turns. We felt it will not take long and we can be with him and comfort him. I had called the father in the morning and he came directly, he also held him for at least one hour. I realized that it was probably the first time(and the last) for the father to hold his son. When he was born in the hospital and the mother died, it was all panic and stress. It touched me, to see him sitting with his little son.
He left after promising to keep his phone on, we had explained him that it was very serious. We went on holding him and praying over him, he was more peaceful now. At 4.15 Nathan passed away in my arms. He was only 10 days young...
The father came back to Amecet and Elias had gone for a small coffin. We brought them back home. Nathan will be laid to rest, next to his mother, behind their home......