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, November 30, 2016

Renovation......almost done.....

When the Dutch team left, Elias and Simon took over to organize the rest of the renovation. we got people to help, but especially Elias worked also a lot in Amect. When I asked Elias, when do you think we can move back???? He said December first....and that is tomorrow......
We don't make it that day, but we are very close in finishing.. I am so excited, it feels at if we get a new Amecet again, a little bit like 15 years ago, when we started Amecet.
 This is the new medical room, new cupboards, which also serve like tables where we can treat the children. The incubator in the corner, the Dutch team was able to repair this. We are busy to organize everything on such a way that we can work smoothly. All the open shelves have gone, because there are always little children who wander into the room and like to disorganize everything and you find it all on the floor. 
It will be so nice to work in this room!! We were cleaning today the floors, I hope we can bring in the beds and the furniture tomorrow. Elias and Emmanuel were scrubbing the floors, I helped a bit with trying to get all the water outside after the scrubbing.
Yesterday Emmanuel organized a special truck with a tank, to empty our septic tank. we have no sewage system here and all the toilets are connected with our septic tank, which was filling up... after 15 years of service! It would be good to do it now, when there are no children around, so yesterday the tank was emptied.
Simon organized the compound, all the pieces of our concrete floor were thrown in the compound, on the "road". It was helping against the mud, when it rains, but it was very  "child unfriendly". Many children walk without slippers so all the sharp stones made it too dangerous. So a truck with maram and it was mixed with a kind of glue (??) and it was to cover the stones. A man with a special machine was picked to make it all smooth and nice.
I will keep you informed of all what is happening, but it will be very nice and i am so thankful to God and to all the people who helped with this big project.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The story of Nathan.....

At the end of July 2016,  the grandmother of Nathan came to Amecet for help. Nathan was one year and 8 months old. But he has some major problems. He can't stand, he can't eat or drink by himself, you can't get contact with him, he looks at you and it seems that he does not register you. The grandmother doesn't know what had happen to him, she told us that the mother has a mental problem and she took off and now she has to care for him, while she has her own baby of 1 year. Nathan was severely malnourished, and it seems that he a brain damage and a form of epilepsy. Quite a list!!!!! We took him to the clinic and he got some medicines to control the small absences of epilepsy. They referred us to the orthopedic doctor, where we went, but he refereed us to the pediatrician. We took him there as well and after a good check up, we were send to the physio therapy centre. And we should feed him well, they thought that after the malnutrition had gone, he would do much better.
To conquer the malnutrition was the least of our problems, Nathan loves to eat, the only way to get his attention was by food or milk. Fore the rest he had no interest, not in people, not in toys... only food. But everybody loves him, he is so content, he is just laying or sitting, playing with his hands and smiling or making noises or waving with his arms or legs..
Here we sit in the Physiotherapy centre in the hospital. we went there several times and they did exercises and showed us how to do it in Amecet. But after some times, they also said that it had no effect on Nathan. He cried a lot and there was no improvement. At first they thought that the malnutrition was the cause of his problems, but now it seems that the brain damage is much worse than they  expected at first. They advised us to make a special C.P. chair (cerebral palsy). 
We drove to Kumi, where the special orthopedic workshop is for those chairs, and they also make artificial feet, legs etc. On the picture you can see how they measure Nathan, while Elias is holding him. They told us that the chair will be ready in one week,(the costs is 25 Euro)!
Simon, our social worker, had promised the grandmother to try to find the father of Nathan, to talk to him and to try to let him help the family a bit. So within this week, Simon started to search and with success!!!!!!
 He didn't talk to the father, but he found the mother.... just at home, where also the grandmother lives. A lot of talking was done, here is the picture of the family, at the right is the grandmother and next to her, is the mother of Nathan, then a smaller sister of the mother and the older brother who is carrying his younger brother. The mother had made up the story, so she would get help... Simon told her that we would have given the same help if she would have be honest.
The mother of Nathan has a small tomato business in the market. It helps with the family income.
 The mother came to Amecet to see Nathan and she has no mental problem at all. here she is feeding Nathan. She was surprised how big he had grown. Since he came to Amecet, he almost gained 4 kg.
 Today we drove back to Kumi, to get the C.P. chair for Nathan. The men adjusted some things but for the rest he was sitting well in the chair.
Nathan will soon, go back to his family, with the chair, I am glad we know the truth now and I believe his mother loves him. For us it is so much easier now to bring him home, knowing that the grandmother is not alone, but that his mother is there as well. We can do much more for Nathan, that is a bit frustrated, but at least Nathan is happy and he will play with his hands and sit in his chair and be with his family!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Our old beds starts their second life.....

 Simon, Calvin and Emmanuel drove yesterday to a health centre in the village to deliver some of our old Amecet beds. We were able to let new beds make for Amecet. Smaller, specially for the babies. Via the District Health Officer we were asked to bring some to Tubur Health centre.
The nurse in charge was happy to receive them, we also gave all the mattresses, which fit the beds. On the top picture, you can see all the beds put together, ready for use....
 They were all brought into the ward, and they will be used for the sick children. There are no children beds in the health centre, so they were very happy with them.
As I wrote in earlier blogs, that we are visiting every week, the mothers with small children in the Soroti prison. We brought 4 beds to the prison, because some of the children are quite big and the beds are also a blessing for them.
The Prison Officer was there to receive them and the mothers were very excited. The children were not yet so sure about it, but they will get used to them.
At the moment there are 12 children in the prison, last week two babies were born. The ladies are then brought to the hospital, but after the delivery, they come back to the prison with their little baby.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How sick can someone be??????

I have seen a lot and heard many bad stories...but this one is a really bad one!! Friday evening the Police brought this little boy to Amecet. Badly wounded, dehydrated, malnourished and anemic. No emotions, they told us the following terrible story: the mother of the boy separated from the father and left, leaving her son behind with the father and the stepmother. What really happened I don't know, or how long it was going on, I don't know, but they told us that the stepmother  had buried the child alive, only the head and the chest were above the soil. This was going on for three days, also the grandmother was involved. At the end a neighbour reported to the Police and they rescued the child and put the stepmother, the father and the grandmother behind bars. The child got first aid in the health centre and then they brought the child to us. We think he must be at least 18 months old.
My heart almost broke, when I saw this little innocent boy. He has big wounds all over his body, but a very deep one on his right foot. We brought him to the Doctor on Saturday morning and he is now on treatment. And a lot of protein rich food, he has edema as well. He needs a lot of care and love, I can not imagine what this child must have felt and experienced..... 
This picture is from this morning (Sunday) you can see a very careful smile....... This brought almost again tears into our eyes. This child needs a lot of prayers, he needs to learn to trust again.... but a careful smile is a good beginning........

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Auntie Esther was the bride.......

 Today was the big day for Esther Apio. It was her wedding day!!!
For those of you who have been in Amecet, most of you will know Esther, she has been with us for many years! After she did a medical course, she came again back to help us in the medical work. We will miss her, she was a steady, trustworthy staff member!
But today was her day! She married in a village church, there were many people and I tell you, it was hot and noisy!! On the picture above, she made her entree in the church. Slowly they walk to the front, where her husband (to be), is already waiting. She looked beautiful.

 This is a serious moment, I think it is after the exchange of the vows and before cutting the cake.
There were four beautiful bride maids, and of course they were her colleagues from Amecet! At the front: Winnie, then Barbara, Janet and Sharon. they look so nice.
We wish Joseph and Esther all the happiness of the world and God's blessing upon their marriage!!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sad news for baby Esther

We get sometimes babies in Amecet, who are found, and we don't have any background information. We take the baby to the doctor and we also do a HIV test, we can do this test when the baby is 6 weeks old, but we also start directly with giving the baby ARV medicines, in case the baby was infected by the mother with HIV. This test at 6 weeks is an important test, it shows if there is HIV in the blood of the baby. We also do this when a baby is brought and the mother had died after the delivery. Sometimes the family has no idea if the mother is HIV positive or negative. To be at the safe side, we give the medicines and do the test after 6 weeks. Little baby Esther was again a different story. Her mother came to Amecet, very weak and also sick. She wanted us to take her 2 week old baby. We asked her to come back with letters and a family member. She came back the next day with the letters and telephone numbers. We took little Esther in, this would give the mother a chance to rest and think about her own health. She came to visit once, she told us that she had been sick and was even admitted in the hospital. She was so happy to see her daughter and she sat with her for hours... Esther is struggling with life, she was not gaining, not drinking well, she had blood transfusion, which did her good, she was stronger after that. She weighs now 2.8 kg and she is 2 months and 1 week old. because of the HIV status of the mother, we also gave Esther ARV´s and at 6 weeks, we did the special test... yesterday I got the result, it was not good, she is HIV+ and today I took her to the HIV clinic. She was given now the full dose of a combination of 3 drugs, twice every day!! They took a blood sample and we hope that the medicines will going to help her. I am fallen in love with this little girl, I am not surprised that she is positive, seeing her struggles in life, but I had hope, maybe...  I have called the family, also to ask how the mother is doing, they told me that the mother was weak, they promised that they will try to come and visit Esther. Please pray for this little precious baby....
Now another subject.. I went this afternoon to Amecet, to see the work in the kitchen. And I want you to see it too!!! They are doing the tiles at the wall and it looks so good! The whole kitchen will have tiles up to the ceiling, don´t you think that is so beautiful?? and also easier to clean :)

The Dutch klussen team is back in Holland, but we have now people working to finish everything, so that we can move back into Amecet. Hopefully before our 15th Amecet birthday.
One of the people who help us is Joseph, the carpenter (no, not from Nazareth, but from Soroti). Joseph has been working with us for many years, he has been there when we started to build Amecet, so he knows us and we love him to work with us. he is a very good carpenter! He is making new cabinets for the medical room, it will be so much easy to work there when it is finished...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Mini Max will rest in Peace......

 Little mini Max, where I have been writing about and have been asking prayers for, went last night to be with the Lord. This is recent picture of him and you can see how beautiful he looks. He was doing so well!! After more than 2 weeks on the oxygen machine, he was able to breath by himself and a week later, we put him back in his bed, with the other babies. He was gaining and drinking good. He had gained more than 1 kg and weighed now 2.640 kg.  Last night the staff on night duty, wanted to feed him and he was laying dead in his little bed. A big, big shock!! I went this morning to the doctor and we talked about it, what could have caused this????? He was 7 weeks old, but at least 2 months premature, there is an older brother with a heart problem, we don't know......... we have to accept it.....
 Two of our staff, Sharon and Janet are carrying the coffin to the car.
 We called the family early this morning, so they were a bit prepared. We brought the coffin with the body of Max home. The little coffin was placed on a bed, under the mango tree. Everybody was gathering around it, to mourn together this little man.
And then, tomorrow they will bury him, next to his mother. This will be his last resting place.
The family was thankful for all we had done. The father said that when he was called to come, when Max was so sick in the beginning, he had seen how much we had cared for Max, he was thankful for all what we had done and was giving it over to God! 
And that is what we also have to do, in spite of all the questions we have.........

Friday, November 4, 2016

Renovation is still going on....

Even we had a small goodbye party last week, there are still 7 Dutch people working hard in Amecet, They work together with several Ugandan men, who are helping with the painting and the carpentry.
I am so is really getting so nice, I can't wait to bring the children back to Amecet........
 Arco and Nynke are varnishing the mosquito screens, they are cleaned and are still in good condition, so some varnish and then they go back for the windows.
 Gosse is painting the little playground toys, so even outside it will be nice and colorful. At the back you can see our Ugandan carpenter, Joseph. He is making new cupboards for the kitchen and for the medical room.
 The living room is looking better already!! In the middle another cupboard for the medical room.
 No, this are not the operation nurses, but Emmanuel and Simon, who are painting the new beds. We thought they were safe, but we had one child who managed to come through the bars from the bed, we don't know how she did it, but we found her under the bed smiling sitting in her little bath (without water). So, we made corrections and all the beds are now safe!
This is the kitchen, where the most work was needed... Our Ugandan painter is painting the ceiling, while Johannes is fixing the new tap. We will have tiles up to the ceiling, but that will be done next week! The work is going well and the co-operation is going good.