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!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Christine's tragic story...

Today I want to tell you the story of Christine, a girl of 9 years old. I have to go back to the end of May: The family of Christine had had their struggles; the first wife of the father died and their 2 children were living with them. The second wife left the father around 1 year ago and took the 2 youngest children with her. The 2 oldest children (Christine and her sister) stayed with the father.
Owning land means wealth, food and having a home, a place to live. There are many problems about who owns which land. In families people will kill their own brother, because of the land. In the family of Christine were also land issues. And at the end of May 2014, someone threw a granate through a hole in their hut, while the family was sleeping. There was a big fire, the father and the 2 children from his first wife were killed instantly. Christine and her sister were injured and brought to the hospital. Her mother was called and she stayed with them in the hospital. The sister died shortly after that in the hospital. Christine survived, but was very fearful and traumatised. The hospital staff and her mother requested if she could stay for some time in Amecet, while her wounds were healing and also her emotions got some rest and healing.
Christine was fine within the Amecet compound, but when we would take her only for a little walk or to do some small shopping, she was very scared and would not let your hand go. Some counsellors from the hospital came to talk with her and also our staff and social workers kept encouraging her. Last week we took her on a trip to her mother in the village. Her mother went back to her parental home and Christine is very welcome there. She met her two little siblings, her grandparents and other family members as well. It was so good to see her relaxed and happy,
Christine was sitting with her grandmother (near the tree) and even she was a bit shy in the beginning, after a little while she was looking around and smiling. Together with the family, we agreed that we will bring Christine back to her mother in 2 weeks. We can prepare her a bit more and she can still go to school there and will not miss too much.
Such a tragedy, Christine has seen so much and has gone trough so much! But she still can smile!! Here she sits together with her mother, we believe that she still has a future with people who love her and will care for her!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Many mini (wo)men.....

Little Anthonia was born on 14th of May 2014. She was 2 month premature and her mother passed away shortly after the delivery, due to extensive bleeding. A very bad start for such a tiny little girl who got such a big name!! The father was confused and 3 days later, the uncle, with the help of two nurses from the hospital, came to Amecet for help.
 It was a lot of work, feeding by NG tube, sickness, but what a joy when we saw Anthonia going home today!!! She tripled her weight, is a smiling, chubby, beautiful little girl. 
On the picture you see the father, together with his daughter Anthonia, he came to pick her. It is such a reward, seeing this little girl going home. Especially Janneke, our nurse, has put a lot of her energy and heart into the recovering of this little girl. We said goodbye lately, to some other of those mini people, Sabina, Lawrence and Barnabassi all went home healthy, while they came into Amecet in a very critical condition.
At the moment we have two other mini-men in Amecet. When they came, one day apart, they were both under the 1,5 kg. They are no brothers, but they are very alike. Janneke had a lots of struggles with them in the beginning, but now they are both almost 3 kg! They doubled their weight and they are doing well, no sickness, just sleeping, eating and crying like on this picture, it was time for their bottle. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Run for a child" Marathon in Soroti

Yesterday, Saturday morning at 8 am, it was quite busy on the Sports field in the middle of Soroti Town. There were already many people registered and they were receiving their running number. Of course the fan club of Amecet was also present!!!
We parked the car close by so we could use it to rest and to change diapers!! Even Max was with us, this is a miracle, you can read about him in our previous blogs.
We were encouraging our auntie's of Amecet, six of them were running: Sharon, Martha, Barbra, Winnie, Faith and Rebecca (not on the picture). The Marathon was 8 km. long and some of them were running on their slippers.  
The Guest of Honor was the Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Ecweru. On this picture he (in the blue) gives the last instructions and on the blow of the whistle, he will lead the group, running from the Sports.
And there they go, as Amecet fan club, we hopped in the car and we drove to a spot where they would pass and we cheered and encouraged them. We were just back when the first runners arrived back on the Sports. 
After all the runners were back on the Sports, we had a gathering with some speeches and MP Ecweru gave Amecet the money which was raised. I was receiving for Amecet 5,420,000 Ush!! (around 1,700 Euro). We were very happy, also for all the appreciation and the trust we received from the community and government officials.
There were some prices made available for the first runners who arrived, the first one was a boy who left quite a while after everybody and arrived as the first! He must be the next Kiprotich!!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

100 Years Uganda Police:" Run for a child" .

The Ugandan police is celebrating 100 years of existence on 3/10/2014.
As part of the activities, they are organizing a marathon in Soroti on 6/9/2014. The purpose of this marathon is to raise money towards support for the vulnerable children in Amecet!
We are working a lot with the Police, many children, who are in a crisis situation are brought to the Police and they bring them to Amecet. The child is safe and in the meantime the situation will be assessed, by the Police, Probation office and Amecet. Our Social workers Elias and Simon are quite busy with the children who come via Police. There are sometimes children found in town, they are lost, so the family must be traced. There are children who are abused, that cost a bit more of time and counselling to find a safe home for the child again. Sometimes there is a new born baby found, this are emergency cases and we are happy to help.
On this picture the Soroti District Police Commander is visiting Amecet. It is good to network and have good relationships with the partners. We are very honored that the Police choose Amecet for their celebration activity from several other NGO's. It means recognition of our work and a chance to tell more people about our Ministry and how to care for their vulnerable children themselves. Simon has gotten the opportunity to speak on several radio stations in Teso, to talk about the children and people can call in to ask questions. There are 4 places in Soroti where people can register to join the 8 km. Marathon trough Soroti town. We have up till now registered 200 people in Amecet alone and people can also buy a T-shirt, which are donated and the money is also for Amecet.
I let you know how the day went!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When it rains, the garden must be ready...

I first want to let you know that I (Els) am back in Soroti. I have had a very good break, longer than my usual vacation, time to rest, visit old friends and enjoy the life in Holland!
It has been very busy in Amecet and very quiet in this Blog. My colleagues were so busy and they had not much time over to write in the blog, our apologies for this.
 I will try to bring you up to date, lots of things happened, so check on us in the coming days.......

It is raining quite a lot in Uganda, that might mean a good harvest coming up... The people start preparing their gardens and as Amecet we also play a role in that. We have a group of grandmothers of children who have been living with us for a while, most of them are HIV+ and have lost their parents due to AIDS. To help their grandmothers, we provide them with seeds, so the family has enough to eat and sometimes even can sell their crops. Simon and Elias have been busy the last couple of days, providing the families with seeds.
 This grandmother cares for her grandson, she is a sweet old lady and is always so excited about the seeds we give. When we visit her on other times, she always shows us her garden.
We not only give to grandmothers, this is Susan, a 15 year old mother The seeds help her to provide for her and her son.
Around 10 years ago, Martha lived in Amecet. After she became more strong and healthy, we resettle her to her grandmother and her aunt. The seeds help the family now for many years to survive.
 We do also work with the grandfathers, this is Isaak's grandfather, happy with the seeds.
 Ivan's grandmother is cripple, but together with her grandsons she is able to work in her garden.
 When we have enough funds, we give also other help to the grandmothers. In the past, we gave a goat, orange trees, a plough and a bull and one year we gave a cow to the every family. Mary Christine shows here her last calf, she has in total 4 cows now. They look very well after the animals and it is a big investment for the family.
Evelyn gets her seeds from Elias. Evelyn lost her parents and lives now with her brother and sister. There is some family living around them, who keep an eye on them, but the seeds mean a lot to them!
This grandmothers project is a very vital part of our ministry, we help the families to be stronger and able to look after their own children.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bye Bye Michael!!!

As you probably all know, we had a wonderful boy in our home for the last 2.5 years. Michael came to Amecet after he was left alone in the hospital. Because his mother was never found again, we have been praying for a family to come along for him. Michael has cerebral palsy and needs help with everything. He can not lift his head or control his muscles. But this boy is incredibly bright and happy. He was the sunshine of almost everybody in Amecet. If you have a bad moment or bad day, just go over and talk for a while with mike and he will make you day. Often we had worries about his future because staying forever in a baby home is not what we hoped for him. Then a family came along from the USA.
Michael handed over by the probation officer.
They fell in love with him as soon as they saw his profile at the adoption agency. His God given parents have been spending time with him when they came over in the end of June and Michael started to love them as well. Because of the paperwork and another son, they had to go back without Michael for one month. In the mean time, we talked with Michael about his parents and showed him pictures every day, and he loved it. Last Thursday his mother came over to pick Michael. He was so happy to see her, and even when she just had to pick a bag from the car he already started crying.
We found saying goodbye to him to be very difficult to do. We prayed for him and his family and sang our special goodbye song for them.
Now when you enter the living room in the mornings something is missing.  Our morning greetings from Michael.
But we also know that God has giving him this family and that puts us in awe of God's faithfulness!
Michael and his parents

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Baby's and one more week with Michael!!!

There are always new things happening in Amecet! Often so much that it is difficult to keep up with the blog at times. 

Right now we have our 3rd set of twins! Apio Mary and Achen Betty came on Tuesday. Both weigh a little over 2kilos and lost their mother while giving birth to them. 

Friday baby Samuel (left picture )came who also lost his mother during his birth. He is premature and only weighs a 1.5kilos.

 Then just today (Sunday) Simon Peter arrived. He also weighs only around 1.5kilos. Both are being fed by NG tube and being kept in the medical room. We ask that you join us in praying for both of these little guys.  That they would tolerate the milk and that all their bodily functions would be working properly! They are both quite susceptible at this point of their little lives.
We have also seen the return of Tom and Lazarus. Both have been here before. Please be praying for both of these little guys as well. That they would both continue to gain weight and be healthy. It’s wonderful to see them smiling and laughing once again.


                                                                      As we are saying hello and welcoming all of the above children, we are about to say a bitter/sweet goodbye to someone very special. Many of you know Michaels’ story. He is an amazing little boy who has a smile that lights the whole room up. We have prayed for quite some time now that God would bring an equally special family along for him. And now Our Faithful Father has done so! Michaels’ God given mother will come to get him around the 29th. They will leave for Kampala where they will stay a couple weeks to get his passport and visa. Please be praying for this transition for all who are involved. There will be many new things Michael will be experiencing for the first time. Although we love Michael very much and a bit sad to see him leave, we are equally excited. His opportunities will be endless! We know that God’s hand has been orchestrating this from the very time Michael was brought here. We will keep you posted with Michaels’ situation!