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!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

YES!!!!! Another kilo!!!

 Sunday is our weighing day... All the children are weighed and we can see if they do well weight-wise. The babies are weighed on a baby scale and the bigger children are standing on the scale. With some children it is exciting to see how they are gaining. This morning, we cheered for Charles. He is with us for quite a while now and he gained this week a whole kilo!!! You can see at his face, he is so proud of himself, and so are we!! Charles loves to go to school, he is in P5 and is very clever. Last year he hardly went to school, because he was too weak. We have let him go for half days, he is going with the Harmony School bus. And he did so well in school, but his weight started to come down. We talked and told him that it was too risky to go to school when he is loosing weight, He might get sick and over tired and go even more down. Charles was not happy with me, but we kept encouraging him and when he started to gain again, he was allowed to go back to school. He was so happy, I believe that the school made him eat again. The children got their report from the first term, last week,  He was number 2 in the class!!!!  And today he gain a whole kilo!!!!!
This is how we weigh the babies, actually it was a very good day today, because all the children had gained!! Moses weighs 5.7 kg he one of our biggest babies. He came into Amecet because his mother was very sick in the hospital, they thought she was dying. It was so hard to care for the baby inside the hospital ward, on the bed with the dying mother. So they asked us if we could help and so we did.
The mother picked up a little, she is now at home in the village and the family requested if he could stay a little longer, so that is the reason that Moses is still with us.
Sometimes children stay a very short time. On Wednesday the police called, there was a six year old boy, I wrote about him in my last blog, we had to change the room, to make space for him. On Thursday I took him to the clinic next door, we still had no clue where he was from, I wanted to do a malaria test on him and I asked for a HIV rapid test. The HIV test came back positive, the little boy was HIV+ We asked him if he sometimes or every day had to take medicines, he said no. I spoke with the Doctor about him and she told me to bring him to the HIV clinic, he had to start ARV's. Still we had no clue where he was from, but on Saturday, Simon and Elias went to investigate, the boy had said a name of a school, So they found the community leader and he told them that the mother was looking for the boy since Tuesday. Later they came to Amecet to pick him and we had to ask the mother privately if she knew that her son was HIV+, she didn't know, she was taken for a test as well and came out also HIV+, but after some talking she admitted that she knew she was HIV+, but she didn't want anyone to know. We explained the situation of her son and how to give his medicines, she was not upset, but didn't want her sisters to know about it (she had come with 2 sisters). We found that difficult and encouraged her to be open to her home people, it would help her. The family doesn't live very far, we will follow them up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Always room for one more (?) !!!

As you all know, we have always a lot of babies in Amecet, many of the blogs go about babies, but we also have quite a number of bigger children at the moment. And most of them are boys. We have a room for bigger boys and a room for bigger girls. In the boysroom we had 4 beds, but the number grew, to 5, than 6. We changed a bed into a bunk bed, and we are full for boys, we said..... But then this morning, we got a call from the police, there is a six year old boy brought to them, he slept last night in the police post, they don't know where he is from, he only tells his name: Isaac. He is scared and he doesn't want to talk. What do you do then???? Elias and I went to the boys room, no place for another bed, but.... we could change another single bed into a bunk bed.... so we did!
This picture, I took today, it is a historic picture, because all 7 boys are asleep!!!! Most days we have to act like a police officer, trying to keep them in their bed, they are all over the place. After lunch we send them to rest for some time, many of the children are still weak and to have this time of rest, really helps them, and they sleep!!! At least this time :)
So Isaac first got lunch and then he was given a bed, a bed down, because he might fall from the top bed, in the village, many people sleep on a mat or a mattrass on the floor. After the rest they all got porridge and now they are playing and running around, I can just see outside from the office and I see Isaac playing, so I am sure that he will talk and we get to know more from his back ground and where he is from. 
It is holidays, so all the children are the whole day in Amecet. It gives a lot of noise, they  have arguments at times, but overall, they do well.
 Mary build a restaurant in our garden, they made little pots from clay and a compound made with the little sticks, just how it is (in big) in the village. They are cooking with leaves and sticks......
 Then suddenly we heard screams and they saw a snake....... Good that uncle Emma was around and he killed it, it was a green one, so not a poison snake, but still we don't like them around!!
 Drinking porridge, before going to
play again!!
But still, the children who are going to school, have some home work to do in the holidays. Auntie Lisanne and aunti Rosanne are helping them. We have some older children who didn't go to school yet, They just came recently in Amecet and we have to see how they are doing physically. When they are strong enough, we will let them go to school.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Baby Elias has got a family.....

 A happy moment: The Probation Officer from Soroti, hands over baby Elias into the hands of his new parents!!
 The Botting Family!!
In the beginning of January 2016, the Police officer from Katakwi brought baby Elias to Amecet. The baby was found at the side of the road in the early morning by someone who went to the borehole for water. They first asked the lady who found him, to look after him, while the police tried to find relatives from the baby, but all in vain. And on January 13 2016, he was brought to Amecet. Several attemps were done to find the relatives, by radio message, newspaper and community meetings, but no one was found. 
In the meantime the Botting family started the process to adopt Elias. They are living in the North of Uganda and are send as missionaries from Canada to live and work in Uganda. Elias is their first born child and they are very exciting about him!!
This picture is taken on January 13 2016, Elias is holding the baby, who we named after him, since uncle Elias also comes from Katakwi!!








Uncle Elias says goodbye to baby Elias. He has been busy with all the documents and paperwork for the adoption. We are sure that Elias will be loved and we pray he will grow up and be a blessing to his family and to many others!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The hairdresser at home.......

It is amazing what they can do here with their hair...... Mary Ikuret, Helen and Catherine wanted their hair to grow. But it is very painful to brush, every morning it is a drama, Cathy is crying because the pain... So I suggested to shave it again, but no, she wanted it long. The only option is then to braid the hair, which is also a painful process.. And it takes time, Mary and Helen are going to school from 7 am until 4.30 pm, it is hard to find the time to braid. Today they were free, because tomorrow they will get their reports in school and the first term is over. A three weeks holiday will be there. We asked the lady to come to Amecet to braid their hair.....
 Here are the three ladies: left Helen, who is still halfway, and it is painful, she is not happy yet... In the middle Mary Ikuret, her turn is coming and at the right : Cathy, she is finished.
I find it fascinating how they do this, with the children we use thread (cotton) and the braid it together with the real hair and kind of "extend" the hair.In the top picture, you can see the strings of thread laying on Helen's legs.
 The ends of the braids are burned, so they melt and do not open. It had started to rain, so they had to finish the process inside
 Cathy was number 1, she is very happy with her hair, and proud that she didn't cry during the process.
Helen is also smiling now and very happy with her hair.
Mary Ikuret was the last one, but she also looks very smart!

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)!!!