It was a very busy day today! Started at 6.45 am with bringing Miranda to the bus. That was not easy, to say goodbye. Then we got this morning two new children in Amecet, the first one was Lucy a girl of one year old, her mother died of AIDS, earlier this month. We checked her at the doctor and she is HIV negative!!!! Then there was brought a little boy of between 3 and 6 months old. His mother is crazy and often sleeping outside and the baby needed a safe place. But there were so many questions about the situation, the person who brought the baby, didn't know much, so we decided to go to the village to trace the relatives, we also were going to find a father of one of our children, whose mum died and there are no other relatives. We found the mother of the baby, she was very happy to meet us, but could not reeally help us. When we asked her how old she was, she answered: maybe almost 10! We met a cousin from the mother who promised to come to Amecet with the grandfather of the baby. So we went back to Soroti. There I was preparing Norah to move from Amecet into Amun, when I got a phone call from Simon: please come to the police station, they need our help. I brought firts Norah to Amun into the hands of Joke and then Bernard and I drove to the police station.
What I saw there was so sad and unbelievable, there were 22 children of the ages from 6-16, I think. Sitting in a room. they were taken from the village to Soroti and had stayed in one little room for the night, they had to sit, because there was not enough room to lay down. They were promised by some men that they would be taken to a boarding school. The parents, back in the village had paid some registration fees and travel money and put their children into the hands of those men. The police got some tip and arrested one man. But all those children had not been given any food the whole day, they were hungry, scared and worried. Most were girls, only 6 of them were boys. Those sad stories are not new here in Uganda. The parents believe the nice stories they are told and trust their children to those men. I can not understand it. Some of those stories have real bad endings!
Simon, Bernard and I looked at each other and we knew, we could help for the night! We got all the children into our van and car and brought them to Amun, our second house. Ton and Arja, the leaders of that home are just gone on holiday last week and Bernard and Joke came from Holland to take their place for that time. The girls from Amun were really touched by all the 22 scared children who were flocking into their home.They helped to get all the beds ready.
We let them shower and we got posho and beans for them.
At the left you see Bernard, then Joke, Simon and Esther serving 22 plates with posho and beans. The children are sitting at the other side of the room, waiting for the food.
Simon is serving them and they all enjoyed the food. We had put an DVD in, so that made them laughing and relaxing a bit.
Enjoying the food, the care and the safe place. After that we divided them all over the beds we had prepared and helped them to lay down and made sure everybody was ok. They were thankful and happy to be able to lay down and sleep.
Tomorrow morning we will be going there early in the morning to help with the breakfast and then the police will come to bring them back to their village. They are all from the same village and know each other. I think the police will be tough on the parents and this will be in the newspaper and on national TV to warn parents not to give their children to those kind of people. But people are sometimes desperate, they want education for their children, but they don't have the money, then you believe those nice stories they tell you!
I am happy we could help rescue those children. I hope they get all those men who are involved in this terrible practise!