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!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Amecet outreach......

Every week we go on "outreach" as Amecet Ministry. Dominique, Emmanuel and me visit the local Prison and the Therapeutic Feedings Centre (TFC) in Soroti Hospital. In the Prison, we visit the women side, where also mothers with children stay. We started this weekly visit, many years ago. We got  a malnourished child via the social worker from the Prison. We took that child in Amecet, but then we saw that there were more children staying with their mothers in the Prisons. Some of the children were even born there! The children were not doing so well, their diet was poor and they were sickly. As Amecet leadership, we decided to do a weekly outreach to the Prisons. Every week we bring the mothers with a children, one kg. Sugar, one kg. Porridge flour and a bar of laundry soap. I think we do it now for more than 6 years. If there is a child which is really not doing well and there is no way that relatives of the mother will help, we do take the child for some time in Amecet. When the child is stable, the child goes back to the mother. We bring sometimes clothes for the children, bananas or oranges, we help sometimes with medicines and we bring them sometimes some toys. In 2014, we were able to build a small playground in the women section of the Prison yard and the children can play now.
At the moment there are 14 mothers with young children (between 0-3 years) in the Prison. the number changes every time, mothers are released and new ones are brought to Prison. We have seen a big impact from our small weekly gift. The children are doing well, but it is sad that the children are growing up in such a place.....
The second place where we go to every week, is the feedings centre in Soroti Hospital (TFC). There are mothers or caretakers staying with severe malnourished children in this centre. The children are referred by other wards or doctors, to TFC. They have to stay here, sometimes for months..... It is not easy for the caretaker to stay with the child for a very long time in this ward, often there are other children at home and they  are worried about them as well. There are often very sick children in TFC and it does happen regularly, that when we come and we ask about a child who we met there the week before, that we get the answer, that the child died.. The nurses ask us sometimes to admit a child from TFC in Amecet, we have a good relationship with the TFC personel.
We give the same packet as in the Prisons and the small supplement helps towards the healing of the child. They are always very thankful with the gift.
This little boy was very malnourished, he had oedema and was very sick. This week, he was so happy and smiling. The porridge flour, sugar and soap made him very happy.
This little girl is still very sick, the grandmother is caring for her and she was  encouraged by our gift.
This boy is doing also much better, he might even be discharged by next week, when we come again to TFC. One week there are 4 children, the next week 7 and after that maybe only 3 children. It changes every week. We sometimes bring some clothes or small toys. we pray for children and try to have small talks with the caretakers. We know that our visit gives them hope and encouragement!!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mensje wat ben je mooi / little person, you are so beautiful

This is baby Jennifer, a very sweet baby with Down Syndrome. Yesterday, she was brought in Amecet, when she was 4 days old. Today we brought her back to her village, to be buried.  
Monday we were asked to come to the clinic next door, there was a small baby born by an emergency Cesarean operation. The mother was very young, around 15 years, she was a Down syndrome and she was very confused. The doctor wanted us to see the baby, in case the mother would reject her, to be cared for in Amecet. We told them that is was fine, but of course, first they would try the mother (and the grandmother) to care for the little girl. But yesterday, they asked our help, the mother didn't reject the baby, but could not feed her and the baby was very weak and quite yellow. We took the baby in, tried to feed her, but she couldn't suck, so we had to give her a NG tube, through the tube we could feed her every 3 hours. She had fever and we had to give her medicines via the I.V, 
The whole story was very sad, the mother was raped and that is how she got pregnant, the delivery had had quite an impact on the young girl, and the emergency operation as well.
This morning I had just laid Jennifer before the window, in the daylight, for her jaundice, A bit later I came back to check her temperature and she was gone.........It was such a shock, just like that, gone...
I went to the clinic, next door, where the mother and the grandmother were still admitted, I talked with the doctor and they talked with the grand mother. They came to see the baby and later they brought the mother. My heart went to this young girl, she was confused, she recognized her baby, but I don't know if she realized that her baby had died. She was so young, so vulnerable, so sweet and so lost...
We talked with the doctor and they told us that she was ready to be discharged. So after we got a small coffin, Elias and I drove to their village, with the Mother and the grandmother and the small coffin with the body of  Jennifer. 
The words on the shirt of the baby are in Dutch: mensje, wat ben je mooi, it means in English: little person, you are so beautiful !!! And she was beautiful and we cared for her for only 22 hours. But she made an impression in my heart. And so did her small mother, I feel anger towards the guy who took advantage of the good trust of this young girl. There is sometimes so much injustice and so much suffering because of that injustice....

Friday, February 2, 2018

Read about my "baby-day"......

 It was a real "baby day", today. The baby on the picture above, Mary, was one of the three new baby's we got in Amecet today. But it all started with Joseph:
 This is Joseph, He was brought early in the morning. We just finished our small meditation, which we always read in the morning with our staff, when we saw them coming into our compound. The story is sad. On Monday, the mother felt labour pain and went on her way to the health centre. But the baby came, she got some help from some ladies, who took her to a neighbours house, there was Joseph born, but the mother died, due to heavy bleeding. There is a lot of confusion in the family, there is someone who wants to care for him, but it was the best solution that Joseph for some time in Amecet stays, so the family can organize themselves. When we had all the information and Joseph was laying in his bed, Deborah (our nurse) and me went with 4 children to the hospital, for their ARV's (HIV medicines). This took some time and when we were almost finished, I got a phone call from the maternity ward in the hospital. There was a little baby, who lost his mother yesterday, the family was desperate, could we help?? We brought the children back to Amecet and Deborah and I went back to the hospital...
And there we heard the story of Simon (sorry for the pink clothes, but this is a boy) The mother was referred to the hospital from another health centre, because, the labour didn´t go well. They took her to the theatre and she had a Cesarean operation. the operation went well, but later the mother got problems with breathing, she died shortly after. The grandmother was with the baby and they didn´t know what to do. The father wasn´t there. She was very thankful for our help. the baby looks healthy and we got all the information about the family, we were ready to go, when the doctor came to ask us about another baby......
And that baby was Mary! Mary was born 3 weeks ago, also by a Cesarean operation. But the mother has a mental problem and is malnourished, the baby is also severe malnourished. They are still in the hospital and the grandmother tries to care for both of them. This baby needs help, the doctors had advised the family to bring the baby to Amecet, but the family didn´t dare or didn´t want. Now they saw us coming in and talk with the family of Simon and they saw that we were going to take baby Simon to Amecet, now they asked if we also could help baby Mary. We saw that baby Mary was in a bad condition, so we talked and asked the grandmother to come, with the baby in our car, to Amecet. So we could do the intake there (I had no extra forms with me..) We arrived in Amecet with two new baby´s instead of one. We weighed Mary and her weight was only 1.8 kg and she is three weeks old! We heard from the grandmother that they had feed her sugar water, they had no money for milk... 
This means that we have now 18 little baby´s in Amecet. yesterday, the hospital called me for baby Stella ( on picture left). She was also born on the way, her mother was on the way to the hospital. Her mother got severe bleeding and she passed away.
Than Gideon came to us, also via the hospital, the mother has a mental problem and he was born on the streets in Soroti. Later brought to the hospital. The mother walked out of the hospital, leaving Gideon behind....

These are twins, they were brought to us last week. left is the girl, Beatrice, her weight is 3 kg and at the right is her twin brother, Michael, his weight his 2 kg. He has some problems with drinking, he doen´t drink enough, so we gave him a NG tube, only for some days, so he can get his feeding without the hard work of the sucking..There mother died after a Cesarean operation, the baby´s were both breech.
We got baby Noel and the next day another baby girl was brought, baby Noelle, both had lost their mother. A baby boy from around 2 months was found along the way in Serere (neighboring district). The Police brought him to Amecet and they are doing the tracing of the mother. Baby Ruth was brought from Jinja, her parents are working with YWAM and the mother got serious complications after the delivery. In total we have 18 small baby´s.
Please keep us in your prayers, Pray that baby Mary picks up, she is not doing well, pray for the staff, it is a lot of work. All the new baby´s are fed throughout  the night......  Every time when we get a new baby into Amecet and I am writing down the story in our intake report, I am touched, several of our new baby´s were born on the road, those poor mothers.... All those families are now without a mother...who cares now for all those children? The mothers have a very important role in the family. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

We are proud of our fruits.......

Here are three of our children from the beginning... We are so proud of them! At the moment they all three work in Amecet. Mary (at the right) is waiting for her exam results from the nursing school, Sarah (at the left) is waiting for the results of her Senior 4 exams. And we said goodbye to Kevin (in the middle) she finished her primary teachers education and left yesterday to Kampala, for her first job as a primary school teacher!! We are so proud of her!! It is not easy for her to leave her friends and family behind and to go to Kampala, but she will make it!!
It is such a joy to see the fruits of Amecet blossom, we have also two pre-school teachers and a lab technician seeing going out for jobs... We feel thankful that we could help them standing up and encouraging them to try and not give up. But they did the work, they went to study and persevered.
We are thankful for those who helped to finance their studies. Right now we are helping another 6 students to pursue their secondary school. Education is the key!!

Friday, January 26, 2018

The twins went back home and tracing for "Job's" family....

 The twins were brought back to their mother today! You can read the story of the mother in the blog of 19/11/2017. She got burned by teargas in Soroti town and was in a terribly condition.But she got help from different organizations and was brought to Kampala where she got very good treatment. The boys were brought to the neighbours, but when she went to Kampala. Amecet took the boys in. They are a hand full!!! They are very naughty and in everything they should not be in... But they were sweet as well and they adjusted quite well. The mother got back to Soroti and is doing well, she was ready to take her boys back!!!  Simon brought them, together with Erne (right) and Helen (left). 
It was hard for them at first, to recognize their mum, they cried a bit when we left, but I am sure they will adjust to be back with their mother. We are very happy that the mother is doing so good and the boys had also a good time with us!

We have another boy living in Amecet since Dec. 24th, he was brought by the Police, found in the bus station. We think he is 4 years old, but he doesn't talk, he understand Atesso, the language from around here, but for the rest we don't know anything, not even his name!! We put his picture in the local newspaper, but nobody came forward. Today Simon went to hang posters around the bus station, the hospital and on some trees. He also brought a radio message to the local radio. We pray that someone will recognize the boy. We named him Job, for now...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Please, pray for Martha......

Martha is a little girl of 1 year and 5 months old. She came into Amecet, almost a year ago.
She was just over 6 months  and her weight was 2.9 kg. Her mother is a teenager. She was severe malnourished and she was admitted in the hospital, by that time. The hospital asked us to take over from the mother, because the mother was depressed and frustrated. Our social workers went to talk with the family, the mother and the grandparents and we offered to help the mother to go back to school. She was suppose to go to P7, the exam class of the primary school, a very important year. Amecet would care for the baby and the mother would sit for her exams. Then later the family would take the baby back to their home....That was the plan..... But things went different, when Martha came she was fed by NG tube, she had difficulties with swallowing. We went to the pediatrician, we tried to feed her by mouth, but we didn't came much further. Slowly Martha started to gain, she started to use her hands to grasp things, she started to respond to different people, smiling, but still she had to be fed by NG tube and was still small and floppy, for example, she can scratch her nose with her toes, very elastic... Then one of the doctors in Soroti referred us to Kampala, to a neurologist/pediatrician. we organized the trip to Kampala, together with 2 other children. The doctor in Kampala thought that it was a chromosome disorder where she is born with. They took blood samples for tests and we went back to Soroti. 2 weeks later we got the results: it is confirmed that Martha has a rare chromosome disorder : Trisomy 9. We have searched the web and got several websites with information about this disease. You can't do much about it, they can grow over some things, but there is a big different, when you are born in the West instead of in a small village in Africa. The diagnosis gave a lot of answers. But right now we are struggling with the blood sugar of Martha. She had high fevers last week and probably an infection which affect her kidneys. There is sugar in her urine and she goes up and down with her blood sugar. It all relates to the Trisomy 9.  
Please pray for Martha, that the blood sugar will stabilize and the sugar will not come out in the urine. Pray for wisdom, we soon have to take decisions about Martha, but her home situation is not stable at all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Patrick has a future....

 Yesterday, the Probation Officer (child protection) came to Amecet to give Patrick to his new parents!!! We are so happy that also this sad story has a happy ending.

Patrick was left alone in the market street in Soroti (Sept.2017), he was found at 11 pm at night by a boda boda driver. The first picture (left) was taken around that time. Patrick was malnourished, sick and very miserable. His right side was very swollen, we were advised to take him to Kampala, to the heart institute, to see if his heart was affected. That was all fine, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong, only severe malnourished. We could take care of that.... just see the second picture (right), he has gained so much, almost too much!! Another aspect we were worried about was the emotional side, he refused to talk to anyone. We heard him sometimes talk to himself, when he was in bed, but as soon as someone came into the room, he stopped. That aspect has also improved, he does talk, sing, shout to people. He is such a happy, friendly boy. During the last months, our social workers, Simon and Elias have been searching for his relatives, with newspaper adds, posters, going after tips, but nothing came out. So with the permission of the Probation Office we looked for a family who was willing to foster and later adopt him. And yesterday was the big day, the Probation Officer came to hand him officially over to his new parents. 
 They are happy with him and I believe they will love him and raise him up. We already miss him, but Patrick has now a place where he belongs and we were happy to be there for him in that time of need. Now he can go on, he has a future!!