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, February 28, 2012

Catherine has her Passport!

Today we came back from a Kampala trip. We left yesterday, we = Simon, Catherine and me. To get a passport in Uganda is not an easy thing. After days running to several offices and counselors for signatures and stamps, we had to go to Kampala with Catherine for the actual request for the passport. We got help from a lady, who helped us also in the past to get the passports for the children to come to Holland. We went to pick it a week later, but it was not ready. After that we were too busy to go back again, so it was now almost one month later. We had some other things to do as well, so we went on Monday morning. We reached Kampala around 3.15 pm and went directly to immigration. The passport was ready, first there was again a bit of a problem, they wanted certain papers, which I don't  have, but then I could sign their book and I was given the passport. Left you see Catherine sitting in the car with the passport. When I checked the passport I saw that there was no signature in it, On the forms I had signed for Catherine, as I also had done for Helen before. But the place was empty, I called the lady who had helped us, she was not in office that day. She said it was OK, since Catherine was an infant and can't sign. OK I was at peace and today we drove back the 7 hours to Soroti. When we arrived I was happy to see Helen and Sarah again, they didn't come with us, because of school and they had slept in Amecet, which they enjoyed as well. Then I got a telephone call from the lady from immigration, that maybe there was a mistake.maybe they had forgotten to scan the signature of me, I should come by with the passport and they will see what to do!!! Can you imagine that I was a bit frustrated? To come by is not so easy, it takes us two days, it cost a lot of money and I can't leave Amecet so easy, because Marije, the nurse who is with us at the moment, is leaving this week.  It is good that I have no direct plans to visit the Netherlands, we have time to "come by" and see what to do with the passport. But we have her passport and that is the most important thing. Next time we will fly all four of us to Holland!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Metamorphosis in EIGHT days!!!

Eight days ago was Catherine brought into Amecet. You can read in the previous Blogs about the sad story of this little girl. 
Her own father and grandmother tried to starve her, they wanted to kill her.
The police is looking for the father, but he is on the run, the neighbours are begging us,  never to give the child back to her parents. The Probation office (child protection) is the one to decide over this. But for now she is with us and we see the life coming back into this little girl.
At first she only drank water (ORS) then we started with milk, and the next thing was porridge. In between every step there was vomiting, Catherine was not used to food any more.
Now we are offering her food and she takes it!! As you can see on the second picture, it is a bit of a mess, but she enjoys it and she smiles now!!
You can see the difference in those two pictures! They are only taken eight days apart. But it is such a big difference. 

This is so encouraging and I love this little girl!! She is so delicate and when I think where she went through and I see her smile, it gives me hope for all the other children!!

Next month we hope to celebrate her first birthday, and for sure it will be a CELEBRATION of LIFE!!!

Of course everything else went on, two new baby's came in and one baby went back home. On this picture you see the baby which was brought yesterday. His mother was a schoolgirl, only 18 years old, she died after the delivery because over excessive bleeding. He is drinking, no vomiting or diarrhoea, but they came when the baby was already 3 days old and he looks a bit dry, sunken fontanel, so I took him to the doctor. he is now on a IV drip, for some hours. But I think he will be fine after that. 
We are still waiting for the rain, some little drops fell today, but we have not had real rain.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Our secondary school kids.

This week I brought the last two children to school, Vicky and Kevin, they were going to secondary school. they have both been living in Amecet, then in Amun (our second house) and now they are back with their relatives. We are helping them with their school fees and they are going to boarding school. From our Amecet/Amun children are now 8 children in secondary school. We feel to keep helping them, because otherwise this would have not possible for them. Last year Mary really struggled in her first year boarding school, but now she went with much more confident to her second year. She is also very happy that Kevin and Vicky are joining her in the same boarding school. The other five are doing well, Issa and Francis were very happy that they could go back to school, it was a bit hard for them at home during the holidays. We have good contacts with them and they know that, when there are problems, they can always come.
On this picture I brought Kevin and Vicky to school, we got them a mattress, a metal box with locks, and many other things. They were excited. They are not allowed  to wear normal clothes, they always wear  a uniform, they have a special uniforms for free time. On their list was not written that they need blue T-shirts, so I had to go back to town to get those and bring it to them. Then they told me that they didn't bring their towels, so I had to go again, to buy them towels. The are not allowed to go off the school compound. But Saturday I was allowed to pick Mary, Kevin and Vicky to bring them to a youth meeting in the HIV clinic. We used that time also to get Kevin a new black skirt, the school teacher told us that her skirt was to short! It was nice to see the three girls adjusting well and they are happy in their school. The meetings in the HIV clinic are new, they are really targeting the youth, to create more openness about their HIV status and discussing the difficulties that they are facing. I am very happy with this development 
The rain is coming.....As you can see on this picture, our compound is crying for rain. Everything is dry and dusty. Yesterday and also today some little rain came, we are waiting for the big showers, which will soak the ground and bring back our grass and flowers again!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sleeping Beauty....

This is Catherine, the little girl who came in Amecet yesterday evening. I have been busy with her today and not only me.... While I took her to the doctor first thing in the morning, Simon looked at the story that I had written down the previous evening. The doctor prescribed directly IV infusion, Catherine was severely dehydrated and very malnourished. It was almost the case of starvation, he said. Directly on a drip, and that is what we did, she got 2 litres of IV fluid and we gave her also ORS to drink. She liked to drink, so that was good. In the meantime was Simon on his way, together with the Probation officer and the Police, because some things didn't add up in the story. I will not give you the whole story, but it is a very, very sad one. In short: the uncle who came yesterday with the baby, was the father. And the lady who was "just" helping, was also a relative. the mother is not dead, but around. They have tried to kill the child by locking her in a hut and not giving her any food, when that didn't work fast enough, they gave her the local alcohol (very strong) to drink and now they wanted to kill her. The neighbours told them to go to Amecet with the child, that we would help. So that is how she ended up in Amecet. I had some problems yesterday with their story, they also had no letter from their local counsellor, but I saw also the child, who was desperately in need. So I took her in. And I am glad I did, she was not far from dying. The police is looking for the parents, while we are ministering to the little girl. She is doing better, for now she is off the IV drip, she drinks still ORS, she doesn't tolerate milk or porridge, but now I know more about her story, I can understand that. Tomorrow we go back to the doctor. We did the HIV test and she is NEGATIVE! Right now she is peacefully sleeping in her little bed, when I think how she is treated, I can cry! Together with the children we prayed for her again. for peace and joy, for healing from her emotions and also her body, but now she is sleeping so peacefully, I think God is already starting to work out our prayers!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Truck excitement....

Yesterday was the big day!!!! Our school truck was used for the first time!The last years we used a small bus to pick the schoolchildren and bring them home after school. But the bus was too small for the many children. With the help of a Dutch church in Ermelo, we were able to buy a truck, which was brought to the garage to be build in a school truck, with seats and a roof and windows etc. The garage let us down, in spite of all their promises, the truck was not finished when the school started at the beginning of February. With three cars we tried to drive around Soroti to pick all the children. Simon decide to take the truck out of the garage and use it, even it was not yet finished. We will bring the truck back in the weekend to the garage to finished everything. The police checked the truck and we got permission to use it, while we work out all the licenses.

 Here we were waiting on the Lira road, in front of Amecet. Some other children joined us and as soon the Truck was coming, all the children started to scream and formed a nice line to enter the truck.
 Here the children climbing the truck via the little ladder. Uncle Kokas helps the children to climb in and out and keeps an eye on the children along the way.
Here you see the truck very good. There will be a yellow line along the side and on that line we will paint beautiful, happy dark children faces be painted. I promise to make a nice picture on the Blog when the truck is ready. We are very happy with the truck and the children are very excited, they like the truck even more than the bus we had before, they told us.
This evening this little girl was brought to us. Her mother died in December, the father is gone and the uncle looked after her. She is 11 months old and her weight is 3.8 kg. The uncle told me that she doesn't want to eat, sometimes she goes days without food, only some water!! The mother was HIV+, we have to go and test this little one and tomorrow we will start with that. We feed her with milk now, but even that is not going easy. She even got her name today, can you imagine, 11 months old and no name yet! She got the names of her late mother: Adongo Catherine. Í can't wait for the day that we will see her smile.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 hours driving+3 hours waiting+15 minutes scan+ 30 minutes lunch= Mbale hospital visit

Thank you for your reactions on our last Blog, they are encouraging! The family was sad, but they appreciated what we had done for the little Moses.

Today had another challenge.... Christine 1 has been treated for toxoplasmosis twice before and again she had those same symptoms. The doctor requested a blood test, which we did and the test came out negative. Then the doctor requested us to go for a CT scan, which can't be done in Soroti, we had to go to Mbale, a town 2 hours drive from Soroti. We went today, and the scan was done.
Christine was a bit scared, but we told her that we would be seeing her and that nothing could happen to her, on the picture the doctor just administered the medicine IV and Marije is comforting Christine. She did very well, didn't move and the scan was done in less then 15 minutes, the waiting was 3 hours!!!After the scan we could wait for the report of the doctor, which we will then take back to the doctor in Soroti. He was very nice, and asked us to come in and explained to us what he felt was the cause. He couldn't see anything like a tumour or so, but that it is again toxoplasmosis.
 Christine was very fine as you see on this picture!!! We went on the way back to a restaurant to have lunch! In total we travelled for more than 5 hours and we waited for more than 3 hours!
At home I tried to look at the scan again, but it is difficult, tomorrow we will take the scan and the report to the doctor here in Soroti Hospital and see what he will say! I am glad that there is no evidence of a tumour!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We lost the battle, Moses went HOME.

Moses passed away this afternoon at 4.30 pm.

Marije and I have been busy with him all day yesterday, also during the night we have been checking on him, giving IV injections etc. It was a bit too much for the people on night duty. This morning we took him to the doctor and halfway the day I went again to ask the doctor for advise. He was not doing well, after the joy of yesterday, seeing him breathing again, he was still struggling for life. His lungs suffered now from a broncho pneumonia. More medication was given, but in the afternoon it went worse. Dr. Engulu came again to check on him and just in those moments Moses passed away. We feel sad, empty and a bit frustrated. I called the father, not an easy thing to do, we got the bigger children together and we shared with them that Moses had gone to Jesus. Together we went to say goodbye and we prayed together. We got a small coffin and tomorrow morning we are going to bring the little body back to his family, to burry. This evening I spoke with the staff and several of them will come with us to bring Moses back to the village.  

Today we also received a new baby boy, three days old, his mother died after giving birth, and guess what his name is.......yes....Moses! So God wants us to go on and after a cry, dry the tears and care for the new Moses, He will take care of the first Moses.

Monday, February 6, 2012

An emotional day....

This morning I was busy with baby Moses, he is a12 days old baby who is with us since 27/1/2012. We had some fevers before, but on Saturday, he had fever again, we did a malaria test and yes, he had malaria. Directly on treatment, but Saturday night he developed a diarrhoea and I took him on Sunday again to the doctor. I had given him a NG tube, because he didn't want to drink. Today I took him again to the clinic next door and Dr. Engulu put him on IV drip. medication and also a sedation, because he didn't sleep and got so exhausted and his breathing was also not so good. I gave all the medication and kept a close eye on him. He seemed to do better, he was on and off sleeping. Until 2.30 pm, I came again into the room to check on him, then I realised, he was not breathing any more...  I got very fast our oxygen machine out and put the mask on his face then the saturation meter to see how bad it was. It was bad, also the heart beat was almost gone, I screamed to the staff to get Dr. Engulu (that's why neighbours are for!!!) and massage the heart and the lungs while giving the oxygen. Dr. Engulu came directly and examined and then put the squeezing oxygen balloon as well on his mouth, to push the oxygen from the machine into the lungs. 

His opinion was that the sedation had stopped the the breathing, even it was given 2 hours ago, it could work for 4 more hours, so we just had to squeeze the balloon until the breathing would start again.

Together with Marije, we squeezed until hour hands were painful, but Moses was not breathing on his own. We prayed and talked to Moses and we changed places and Marije and I were squeezing the balloon. At the end we felt that the saturation stayed a bit fair, but he was still not breathing. 
At 5.30 pm Dr. Engulu came back to check again, we were talking and looking at the baby's stomach,
if we would see one breath, you can see Dr. Engulu on this picture, looking if he would start to breath.  And suddenly.... yes we saw a movement!!! It was such a happy moment, all our efforts were not in vain!!! And there came more movements and he started to breath better and better.
You can not imagine our happiness, Moses is still alive and he is breathing!

I ran through Amecet to tell everybody, because this effect everyone. On the third picture you can see Moses now, he is back with us, even he is still on the oxygen machine and gets medication. But he is alive!!!

Then I got the message that the parents of Asianut were there to pick her, to take her home. Asianut came in Amecet on 21/11/2011 and she only weighed 1 kg and 40 gram!!! A very small little girl, we had to feed her in the beginning via a NG tube, but she is a strong little one! Today she went home weighing 3.240 kg!! That means that she more than trippled her weight in 11 weeks!!! Is that not great???

The first picture, taken on 21/11/11, her weight was 1.040 kg.
Today I took this picture, tried to put the thermometer again in, so you see the difference (don't know if it does help you) but her weight is here 3.240 kg.
Asianut is gone with both of her parents and we will see her on the comeback days.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life in Amecet is busy....

So many things have happened since my last Blog, one thing did NOT happen: the school truck is still not ready. So every morning I help Andrew, who drives our land cruizer to pick up children, I take the Amecet children and then I pick many up on the way. Today I had 27 children in the van, while it is officially a 8 seat van. Can you imagine, but it is not so far, so they all survive the trip. Simon is also driving every morning, he picks the children from a certain area and the rest is picked by Andrew. But it is busy and Tuesday I picked children at school at 1 pm, to bring home, I had a child in the van who did not know where his house was, when I asked him he said: overthere! I met Andrew with the car, he knew the child because he had picked him in the morning, so we transferred him into his car and he got home!

One thing that did happen is that my boyfriend left Amecet! (read Blog from Dec. 21/11). His mother came to pick him. I miss him, but it is good that he is back with his mum, we do keep an eye on him, because the mother had some problems. They don't live far away, so he is on our food supplement programme. Benjamin, I wish you God's blessing and keep smiling your beautiful smile!

Rose 2 came in Amecet on January 21. At first we thought she would pick up, but then she started to have fevers, then after that she vomited all what we gave her, only water she could keep in. When you see her, you know that she needs more than water, we started her on NG tube feeding, and gave some medication against the vomiting. She kept the food in that was given by tube, but then the diarrhoea started! She had lost weight and we had to put her on IV drip. On this picture, you see her how she was, we had to put socks on her hands, because she would otherwise remove the tube and the IV cannula! At least she did fight still a bit, that is a good sign. I took her on Tuesday to the HIV clinic and they decided to start her on the ARV drugs.  
And this picture, I took today, during our meal. We ate Chapatty and meat and Rose sits at the table, she eats and drinks, we took the tube and cannula out and she starts to react on things and children. I was just looking at her and I was amazed, this is the same girl that was on drip Monday night!!! I can really enjoy just watching her, taking with those little hands, the pieces chapatty and dip them in the soup and eat it.
Yesterday we went to Kumi again with Ruth. Ruth is with us since October 2011. I wrote about her several times (Nov.2+16 and Jan. 3+13). She had an operation on her foot and the plaster was going to be removed. The doctor saw it and he thought it had been successful, her splint is going back on and we have to come back in three months. He advised us to see the paediatric surgeon in Soroti hospital. Ruth has a problem at her private parts. It looks that the faeces come out via the vagina. It is sore and she has a lot of pain. The story is that she might have been abused by children, when she was very small, her mother told us when we asked her about it. So today I went with Ella, one of our volunteers, with Ruth to the hospital. I went to the operation room and I asked what I could do, how to get in touch with the Paediatric surgeon. We were invited in and we sat for almost two hours in their staff room, waiting for the surgeon to come. It was very interesting to observe and listen. Ruth cried of pain on and off, the doctors told me that they probably close down the rectum and give her a colostomy with a plastic sack where the faeces go. I felt so sad, how can this little HIV+ child go back to the village in this condition? After almost two hours waiting I asked if I could come back another time, because I also wanted her to start ARVs today and I had to catch the nurse before she went for lunch. So at the HIV clinic we were seen by a doctor and she agreed to start her on ARVs as soon as possible, if this operation would take place, she needs even more the ARV's to booster her immunity.The doctor got hold of the surgeon, who came to see us and after examination, she said that the faeces are not coming via the vagina, but it was all to sore and it was too painful for Ruth. So in two weeks we see the doctor again, we start ARVs today and we are going to work on the wounds of Ruth, so she can be examined better the next time. This all took 4,5 hours and we came out a bit exhausted, it is very hot at the moment in Soroti, so we were also very thirsty, we took milk for Ruth, but forgot the water for ourselves. It touches me when I see Ruth, she is only one year old and so many problems already! But God must have a purpose for her, He brought her into our Home, He has a plan for her!