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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

22 children rescued... Part 2

It was a very different group I found at the breakfast table in Amun this morning! They were happy, smiling and talking! We let them play outside, while waiting for the police who was deciding today what to do. Amun has a beautiful play compound and they were on the swings, playing football and other ball games. They had fun!!! We made this nice group picture, together with Amos, the probation officer (left). We found out that two of them, were HIV Positive and had their ARV's somewhere in the little luggage that the group had. So I went to the police station to search through their few belongings. At 10 am they were picked to bring to the police station where they all had to give a statement. Last night the news about the group had been on the local radio, and several parents had come from the village to enquire. The police was very tough on the parents. How could they give their children to a stranger, without checking on him? The end of the story is that, several parents are detained in the police cells and the children were brought home to their village by Amos, Simon and the head of the gender department of the Police. They were given officially to the Sub-county Chief where they are from.
Only those two children remained in Soroti. This are the two children who were HIV positive and whose ARV medicines we found. Their mother is also in police and they asked us to keep them a bit longer. It is unbelievable that the mother let those two very vulnerable children go with a stranger! Salume and John are happy in Amecet and are playing around!

In between this all, we also got this small, new baby. His name is Job. His parents came both to Amecet to ask for help. The parents are both HIV+ and this little man is born premature. His weight is only 1.6 kg. They lost before this baby, two other children and they are afraid to loose Job as well. I felt we should help them, the mother is still a bit weak and now she has the opportunity to get her strength back. So Job, you are welcome in our Amecet family!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

22 children rescued from child trafficking...

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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Goodbye to aunty Miranda......

Today we had to say goodbye to Miranda. She has been with us since the beginning of January, and she has been a blessing to Amecet. Miranda is a nurse and was responsible for the medical side of Amecet when I was in Holland. Beside that she is a good nurse and has a heart for children, she has become also a good friend! We, I will miss her!!!!

Rose (left) and Veronika were singing a special song to her, with very special microphones!

Ofcourse we had soda's (no party in Uganda without soda's to drink!), and we had ice cream! The whole day we had no electricity, so I couldn't bake a cake, this was a good alternative, I was lucky, because there was ice cream today in the shop, and the shop had a generator, so the ice cream was still frozen!!!

Eyalama noi Miranda, Go with God!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Burned and beaten for 30 $ cent

We zijn weer terug in Soroti! Simon was waiting for us and we just saw Ton and Arja thhrough the glass windows, they are now in Holland for a well earned break! Bernard and Joke are settling in at Amun and will take over the leadership of our second house for four weeks.

It was great to see everybody again, Immaculate and Christine 1 are doing quite well, we took them this morning for a review to the doctor, she was content with the way they are doing. Miranda did a great job, when I see some of the children and how they have changed in those 4 weeks, then I am so happy!

Can you believe that those pictures are from the same girl? The first picture was taken on 29/7 (also on that blog) Christine 2 was such a sadlooking little girl, she has been quite sick in between, but look at the second picture, that smile and this makes me really so happy, that is why we are here!!

And then those two pictures of Patrick! You can read how he got into Amecet in the blog of 23/8 and now look at this second picture! A beautiful little baby. Those two made my day today!!!!!

Now I want to share about the girl that has to do with the title of this blog! Around 2 pm the police came togetherwith a little girl of 8 years old, her name is Cecilia. They were alerted by the neighbours and they arrested the mother. Cecilia was hungry and took 800 shilling from the home (is about 30 US cents) the mother got so angry, she took a spoon, helkd it in the fire and started to beat Cecilia on her legs and in her face. The story goes that the mother beats Cecilia almost daily, Cecilia has to do most of the work at home, she is only 8!!!!! We took her to the doctor, he counted at least 100 wounds, some were a bit older, most were fresh. She will stay with us while the police tries to find the relatives of the father, who died some years ago. Then some hours later the police came again, but now with the four year old sister of Cecilia. They sleep on the same room, they probably want to sleep in the same bed!!It is such a sad story, the mother is in the police cell and the other children are with relatives. So as you can read.....I am completely back in Amecet!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Last day in Holland...

Our last day in Holland has begun. We have had a lot of fun, Helen and Sarah has been staying overnight at the van Liere's house. With the boys on the tandem was quite a challenge!

Chocolat fondue with the family and a horse ride on a pony!

Helen tried everything on a fancy fair day.

Here she is climbing she is hanging!!!!!

We had our last outing last night, a diner in a nice fish restaurant in a harbour, with my brother Theo (picture) and his wife Carina.

Today it will be packing, cleaning, washing the car and bringing it back. In short a busy day!! Tomorrow we will leave at 5.30 am to the airport and we hope to arrive in Uganda that same evening at 10.15 pm, where Simon will pick us. We will stay the night in Entebbe and then the next day we drive to Soroti (7 hours drive). We travel together with Bernard and Joke, a Dutch couple from our church in Goes. They will stay for 4 weeks to take over from Ton and Arja in our second house, Amect n'amun. Ton and Arja will go for a break to Holland. we come!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

News and pictures from Soroti..

After several phone calls and SMS contact I heard good news: Christine is out of the hospital and back in Amecet. Miranda is working now (together with all the other staff ofcourse) at the eating of Christine. Also Immaculate is doing much better after the bloodtransfussion, but also eating is still a big point for her'

This picture is from Abraham 2 (there is already another Abraham in Amecet). Abraham is only a week in Amecet, he came from the feeding centre in Soroti hospital. He is 2 months old and his weight is only 2,4 kg.

This are pictures from Rebecca and Isaac, I wrote about them some days ago. The police brought them to Amecet for safe keeping. The parents separated and the children stayed with the father, who remaried. The stephmother was very bad towards the children, even attemped to kill them. When I see their faces, I feel almost their sorrow.

This beatiful picture is from baby Deborah, she is only one week old. Her mother died.

And here you see our new aprons!! Just before I left for Holland I had bought the material and they were ready now. The dark one are for the kitchen and the lighter ones for working with the children. I think they are very nice!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Dutch Wedding day...

Yesterday was the big day, my nephew Christoffer married Janne Marij. Sarah and Helen know them both quite well, it was their first Dutch wedding and very different from the Ugandan ones. We all met in Utrecht in the house of the bride. In Uganda the couple meet in the church. And here they saw the couple eating and drinking coffee, in the midst of their friends and family, before the wedding has taken place!! Very different!!!
Then we went to the city hall, a beautiful building with a lot of green and flowers. While we were waiting for the couple to arrive, Helen gave a dance performance.

After the ceremony the fresh married couple came out under the sound of many funny flutes.

With all the invited guests we spend the afternoon at an old Fort, ending in a nice meal outside. The weather was great, a bit of sun, some wind but NO rain! After the meal we all walked to a small old church where the service was going to be. This was for Christoffer and Janne Marij the real wedding. It was a beatiful service, with a lot of singing and Sarah and Helen brought the rings to the couple!

After the service we all walked back to the Fort, where the celebration was going to continue. it was nice to meet more relatives and friends. Sarah and Helen were also enjoying themselves and it was a great day! It was almost midnight when we came home, Helen had slept on the way back and Sarah had been talking to me, almost the whole way, to keep me awake, she said!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Playing in a very, very big sandbox...

Today we were visiting friends who were living near the beach. And ofcourse we went to the beach, it was a beautiful day, NO RAIN (!) sunny and windy. Sarah and Helen loved playing in the sand, making a castle and dig canals. We had a great time!

Tomorrow we are going for the wedding!!!!!!

Today I had again phone contact with Miranda in Amecet. Christine is a bit better, but they still don't know the cause of the difficult breathing. Immaculate had a bloodtransfusion today and she is also a bit stronger. There also arrived a new born baby, whose mother passed away after giving birth.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lots of work in Amecet........

While I am still in Holland, getting ready for the wedding of my nephew this week, I still have contact with Amecet. And I heard that Miranda and Simon are very busy.
Most of the concern goes to Christine 1, who is with us since Jan. 2011. We have been struggling with her a lot, but lately she got very sick. Christine is HIV+ and is also using the ARV medication, to slow down te growth of the HIV. This week she had to be admitted in Soroti Hospital, she is still very, very weak. Please pray for her, that she comes out of this deep dip.
Then we have also worries about Immaculate, also with us since Jan. 2011, same story as Christine, it goes up and down with her. She was also sick and needed IV medication, but when she is not feeling well, she just doesn't want to eat anymore. And last week she lost one kg. It takes so long to get that kg. back on. Please pray also for Immaculate, that she starts eating again. She needs the food, she will get again very weak when she doesn't eat.
This week also a new baby of 2 months came in Amecet, his weight is 2.4 kg! This baby needs a lot of feeding and care.
Then 3 children came in via the police. Two of them (5+10 years old) were brought because their parents seperated, the children stayed with the father, who married again. The stephmother tried to kill them, so it became a police case. The other child is 3.5 years old, her parents also seperated and are fighting for the girl. The police asked Amecet to look after the little girl untill the judge speaks during the court case where the little girl will go. Very sad stories!!

Miranda and Simon and all the other staffmembers are doing a great job, but it is not always easy. Please keep them in your prayers!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Visit to the farm.

Sarah and Helen went to stay for a night on the farm with Janneke and her parents. Janneke has been several times in Amecet and the gilrs know her very well.

They were riding on the tractor with Janneke's brother. Even the dog jumped in, but Helen was not so happy with that. He was sitting very close and he was very big....
Sarah was driving the tractor, she had the time of her life.....

In Amecet are things going well, the twins I wrote about are not taken in, the father came to help out. Miranda told me that there is a lot of malaria at the moment. There were 6 children sick with malaria in Amecet. But they were all on treatment and getting better.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stories from Holland... and news from Soroti...

Again some news from us. We are enjoying our holiday very much. We had 3 days with nice warm weather, but for the rest it is rainy, windy weather. We have visited many friends and we enjoy the nice house they gave us to use! Sarah and Helen are very open to play and to make friends. Here they enjoy the friendship with Mirjam de Rijke. It is very nice to see them communicating and having fun together, two languages, but still a lot of laughing and fun.
Helen got her late birthday present. She choose this doll. And she called her Angela. At night she puts her next to her in bed. But last night Angela gave her a fright, Angela felt out of bed and woke up the two girls, at first they thought there was someone, but then they realised it was Angela. They left her on the floor!

Today it was windy and a bit rainy. Janneke Slegh was visiting us, Janneke has been several times with us in Amecet and it was nice to see her again, also Helen and Sarah know her very well. We took a boat ride with the ferry and the sun was out and it waqs a great experience.

Here we are standing at a wind organ on the beach in Vlissingen. The organ is made from bamboo and the wind plays through the pipes. There was a lot of wind, so a lot of music.

I have had some contacts with Amecet this week. Everything goes well there. The only sad thing is that the little pussycat was killed by the dogs. It sneeked out in the night, then are the dogs out, so the little thing had no chance against four dogs!

The little baby Patrick is doing very well, his weight went up from 1.8 kg to 2.7 kg!!! Some baby's will be going home in the next couple of days, but there will be probably a twin coming in Amecet. They are in the feeding centre in the Hospital, but now is the mother fallen sick and needs to be admitted in the hospital herself. So the plan was that the twin baby's will be taken into Amecet until the mother is strong enough to care for them herself.