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, March 31, 2012

On national TV....

Saturday is my free day, so regular I take my three girls with me and we go out for lunch. Most of the time we go to Landmark, a hotel/restaurant in the centre of Soroti. The waitresses know us and Catherine walks everywhere and talks and sings with them, so I can eat as well. There are two TV's in the restaurant, today we were lucky because they were swished on at the same TV canal. So we were eating and suddenly we see Emmanuel on the TV, the boy who came into Amecet on Wednesday (see the last Blog) The police was talking and suddenly I see myself on the veranda of Amecet walking and talking with him. I didn't even know that we were filmed when they brought the boy. It was all on the national Ugandan TV canal. So the people of the kitchen and the restaurant were excited that I was on TV! Emmanuel was brought back to his grandmother today. Simon went together with the police to bring him. he was very sad to leave, he was doing well, playing and happy with the other children. He even was taught how to ride the bicycle and he manage to ride on his own now. The grandmother gets the letter from the police that she is the one to care for him, she was very willing to do so, she is the grandmother of the mother's side. It was the choice of Emmanuel himself to go and live with her.

Several of our older children have gone to secondary schools now. We help them to go to a boarding school and we keep on checking on them. They all manage their own ARV medicines themselves, but when there is a problem we are there to help them. We try to give more responsibility to their families, but it is hard. Every term there is a parents visitation day. And we always go to meet them. So here we are with our three girls, Mary, Kevina and Vicky. They are all in the same boarding school and they are really doing well. We were able to take them out the school,(which is not easy, the parents can not take them without asking permission). We went together to a restaurant nearby and we had a drink and talked. We had a real nice time with them, we could pray together for them and they shared about some struggles. Also the others, (who are on other boarding schools) are doing well. It is not easy for them, they do miss the protection of Amecet and Amun, it is good we can encourage them and support them on this way!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two new children and a "monster" in the garden!

Yesterday was a busy day, I wrote already about Kennedy who went to his new family. But later that day more things happened... The police came to bring a boy of 9 years old. His picture is at the left. His father had beaten him terrible. And you know why?? He took a piece of  meat out of the sauce pan without asking. His father got very angry and he beat him with the panga on his shoulders and back and with a shoe in his face. The uncle rescued the boy and brought him to police. And so came the boy to us, while the police went after the father. I took the boy to the clinic next door, they took x-rays from his back, but there were no fractures. We got antibiotics and pain killers for him. He slept well and today he was doing much better. He was smiling and playing. And his pain was not so bad any more. His mother left the family a while ago and now his father beats him up, where does he feels safe now? The uncle will be probably the one to take him home, but it is a case of police. But it is so sad, I really feel for him.

This is Ruth, she just got her name at our veranda, she is 16 days old and her mother died last week. They had called her baby, they told us! The great grandmother and an old aunti came to ask for help. Another sad story, the father didn't even came for the burial of the mother. The two old ladies are the ones to take care of the baby now, since the father is gone and lost. Ruth is drinking well and i took her for an HIV test, because the two old ladies didn't know much about the mother of the baby, she had lived at the other side of Uganda. The baby is HIV-, that is very good news! Now she just has to grow.....
This afternoon I was called, come quickly, a monster in the garden!!!! I went, not knowing what to expect. And I saw a chameleon!!! It was very dangerous, according to the children, because he could spit at you and he could put his tail around you..... and more of this. I had to laugh and told them that it changes colours, and was not very dangerous. A couple of hours later, he was still around and was almost as grey as the sand where it was laying in. The children were asking that if you kill the chameleon, all the colours are than coming out. I told them not to try it, that that was not the case.
We closed the day with our daily singing time. After the supper we always sing together, with the beat of the big African drum. The little children are on the floor and we are around them. many of the staff who is around, but not working is joining for this singing time. we all have a lot of fun with the singing, clapping and dancing! All to the glory of God!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kennedy gets a family!!

Today we said goodbye to Kennedy, and especially Catherine will miss him a lot, they always played together. Kennedy is one year older than Catherine.
The first time Kennedy was brought to us by the Police was in august 2010, he was one year old and in danger, because of his mother. After some time he went back to his mother, but October last year he was brought back again. The mother can't look after him and his grandfather signed the papers from Probation office to look for an adoption family.
Kennedy is a very special gentle boy, I have not seen many little boys who are so gentle with the little baby's and always wanting to help whenever a baby is crying (which does happen at times in Amecet!). A family came who wanted to take Kennedy in their home and today was the big day!

I officially hand Kennedy over to his new mother.

Witnessed by Simon, and Amos, (Amos is one of the Probation officers in Soroti). The adoption is under their supervision.
Kennedy we wish you a bright and happy future!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Three children on our doorstep..

Yesterday afternoon the police came to Amecet and asked our help to take three children in. The story was strange, they were left behind by their own mother. She knocked on a door to ask some water to drink. Of course she was offered some water, then she asked the lady of the home if she could get something and leave the three children there on her veranda for some minutes. That was good and the mother left and did not come back. The friendly lady kept the three children for two days, in the hope that the mother would return, but all in vain. So she brought them to the police, because her husband got angry about all the children in his house.
We think the boy would be around 4 or 5 years old, the girl maybe 3 and the baby 4 or 5 months. The boy was bright, he tried to help his sister who was crying, he knew their names and Simon could really talk with him, trying to find things out about his parents. We also found the immunization card of the baby between their clothes. The names of the parents were the same as the boy told us.  So Simon went on looking in town, we had some more direction now and we were busy with bathing, feeding and then trying let the children take a nap. After their nap, they felt much better and the older two children played a bit. here you see them, together with Grace, one of our new staff members. Simon found a relative, an uncle, who came with him to see the children. The father was working in the North and came directly travelling to Soroti when he heard of the situation. So by tomorrow the children will be back in their family!  
Just to give an update on Catherine. I wrote in an earlier Blog that we went to the eye hospital in Tororo. we had to put drops in her eyes for three days and come back this week on Tuesday.  I was really sick of malaria and in no shape to travel to Tororo, Esther, one of our staff offered to go in my place. She went together with Simon and the doctor examined Cathy's eyes and told them that for now, no operation or glasses were needed, but we have to come back for a check up every 6 weeks. So that was good news. At the moment she has malaria, but she is not so sick from it.  I have two other little patients, my two puppies! I found two nights ago, one of them really weak and vomiting, no eating at all. I called the vet doctor, who lives nearby, he told me to bring her. In the dark (there was again no electricity) I drove there with the sick puppy and he offered to keep her. and monitor her. I was happy to leave her behind in his good hands. When a puppy is sick, it can go so fast and I would really love to keep those beautiful dogs. The next morning the second one , the same thing, so I brought her as well. The first one had improve a little, so there is hope! I went back in the afternoon, with some of the children. They wanted to see the "dog hospital", and they were disappointed, it looked like a normal house , they said! I hope I can pick them again today. But I know without the vet, they would not have made it, he gave them even IV fluids and injections to stop the vomiting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Monkey baby in our incubator???

This morning a young boy in a secondary school uniform came into our compound with a box in his hand. He came to our veranda and opened the box, inside was a very small baby monkey!! Very cute and very scared of all those big people looking at him (or her?). The boy wanted to sell the monkey to us. I really felt sorry for the little one, but a monkey in a children home?? That is too dangerous, you never can trust a monkey, he might bite or scratch the children. So I told the boy that I didn't want to buy him (or her?). I asked him where he had found the baby monkey and he told us that it fell out the tree, because he killed the mother, she ate their casava. The baby monkey reminded me of one of our previous little premature baby's, So small, so tiny and no mother who cares for him (or her?). But I can't put a baby monkey in our incubator, so the boy had to go with the monkey. I don't think he was very happy, because he was on his way to school and what to do with the monkey????
Later that day, in the afternoon I got my answer on that question. I was called by the children, there was a monkey at the other side of the fence. The boy had left the box with the monkey just at the outside of our gate, and went to school. We have had children placed into our compound, but never a baby monkey!! What to do??? The monkey had come out of his box, but was weak and hungry. The children ran for a banana and John, together with Norah and Christine fed carefully the banana to the monkey. He (or she?) liked it, Helen ran for a cup with milk and a syringe. This was going to go out of hands, I didn't want the monkey in Amecet, but I could not let the little one die at our fence. I called Tim, an American Missionary, who lives with his family in Soroti, in the past they had some wounded animals in their compound (even an eagle). He had interest in the monkey and a little later, a car stopped and they came to pick the little baby monkey. So I was relieved, the children all happy that the baby monkey would go to a safe place!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Amecet Hair salon...

Please, can we braid our hair??? Christine, Mary Abeit, Silyvia and helen came to ask me.On some primary schools in Uganda it is not allowed to braid your hair, on secondary schools is it tpotally not allowed, the girls have to shave their heads (very short!). On our primary school it is allowed, so instead of having too long hair, which is very painful to comb, children do shave or braid. We asked the lady who does the cleaning at the clinic at the neighbours, if she has time. And yes, 30 minutes later she came. The girls ghad prepared the "salon" and were waiting for her. They were ready with the beads and the threads to make the extensions in the hair.

Aunti Mirjam is a very nice lady, who does often braids our gitls. She is gentle and when it hurts too much, she gives the child a break. While she is braiding, the others are joining them on the matt and there is a lot of chatting and laughter.

The braiding of the hair is not only to make the girls more beautiful (because they are already beautiful!!) but it gives them also a booster, to know that they are getting stronger and more healthy. For example Christine, on the two pictures. On the first picture (one year ago) Christine was weak and had almost no hair, the hair she had was very light and thin. She has been very sick several times, this past year. And today het hair was thick and healthy enough to be braided. this was the first time of her life that her hair was braided. She was so happy, she was just beaming!! It is so nice to encourage her this way.
And here are the four girls after their "salon". They look beautiful, it is still a bit painful, because the braiding has to be done very tight.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Catherine and Kennedy are very close together. Every morning when I walk to Amecet with Catherine, Kennedy comes running towards Catherine and gives her a big hug. Today they had fun together on the seesaw and afterwards with a lollipop. This week I went with Catherine to a special eye hospital in Tororo, (4 hours drive from Soroti). There is a condition with her eyes, the pupil  moves all the time, like shaking. Tomorrow I will start with eye drops for her and we have to go back to the hospital on Tuesday. I hope that something can be done for her.

Today I went in the morning, together with Esther, one of our staff members to the Soroti prison. At the moment there are 3 ladies in the prison with small children. We visit them every week to see how they are doing and we bring some porridge flour, sugar and soap. Today we also brought some clothes to them. It is sad for those little ones to be in such an environment. Sometimes there is a need for a certain medicine and we can help then. After that, Simon, two other staff members and me went to a burial. One of our staff had lost her father and he was to be buried this afternoon. It was 2 hours drive on a very bad road, but I am glad we were able to be there. Esther 3 (we have 3 Esthers working with us at the moment) was very happy to see us and we were able to support her. A burial in Uganda is so different from a burial in the West. The people sit outside, under 4 big mango trees, the coffin is also outside and everybody sits around the coffin. There was lots of singing and preaching, while some men were preparing the grave, which is on the same compound as the houses where the family lives in.
And now I am typing this blog, it is very dark, because there is no electricity and again there is no water. The computer has still battery power, but not too much as I can see. So I am ending this blog with a picture I made the other day. I saw the little baby laying in his bed, with his buttocks up and I read what was written on his buttocks. Sorry, this makes only sense to Dutch people, I can't translate it. But I think it is very cute! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Last night we did not have electricity and also the water was not there. So this morning we had a problem, laundry  had to be done, we have 11 children in diapers. The older children wanted to help me, so I took the diapers and they did the rest, bibs, clothes etc.
You can see the teamwork on the picture left, even Kennedy was involved, he had the supervision!!

This is the water provision team, we catch the rain water in big tanks, but they are almost all dry by now, we are waiting for the rain. But at the other side of the house there is still some water in the tank. So they went on their bicycles (three of them) and brought it to the laundry people. They had a lot of fun! 
And then the last part.... the sun is doing the finishing touch!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A proclamation of LIFE!!!!!!

Today we celebrate LIFE, the life of Catherine! She is one year old today. Her family wanted to kill her and I feel God wanted to safe her out of that terrible situation. You can read her story in the Blogs of Feb. 14 and 15. I felt that it was very important to celebrate her life today and we prayed over her, together with the other children.

It is such a cute little girl and is she not a miracle, when you see the left picture (Feb.14) and the right picture from today. Just over 3 weeks and you see a complete different child. I can be so excited about this! Children coming to life! We don't know her future, she can't  go back to her family, but I know thart God must have a plan for her, and I am so happy we can be a small part of that plan!

Just to let you know that Moses is doing very well, no more IV drip, no more oxygen, he is breathing well and no more fever. He is another miracle! Thank you for standing with us in prayer!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seeds for the Grandma's...

This morning it was busy in our garden, all the children were home, it was a public holiday, because it is Women day today.
Simon and Elias were going to bring seeds to 25 grandma's in the village. Several of the children who have been living for a while in Amecet, are now living back in the village, cared for by their grandmother, because their parents have died of AIDS. We are helping those grandma's for several years. we have been giving goats, a cow, last time we gave them a bull and a plough. Simon and Elias were going with two cars, full with seeds (like mais, brown beans, black beans, millet, and groundnuts). Simon and Elias divided the grandma's and started the cars, full with the seeds.

The children started to pick the seeds that had fallen on the ground while they were packing the cars. Behind the house they made some squares and they all took one of them and they watered the ground and planted all the found seeds. On the second picture they are all standing in their own "garden". I wonder what will come up.
At 8.30 pm I got a phone call from Simon, he was on the way back, but he didn't got to all of his grandma's, he had been stuck with his car in the mud and he had to get men to help him out. Elias arrived at 10 pm back in Amecet, he had given all the seeds to his list of grandma's. They were very happy and thankful for the seeds!
This is Martha with her old aunt. Those seeds will feed them all, and when the rain will start (can be any day now) they will start planting. 

And this is Abraham with his grandmother. We know Abraham from the time he was a baby, very sick, he had TB and is HIV/AIDS+. But after a while he picked up and when we brought him back to his family, his grandparents took over and we have been visiting the family many times. The goats and the cow have helped the family a lot, together with the seeds we have been giving every year.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moses is still with us!!!!!

Moses is still with us!!! I am so happy with that. Yesterday I really thought that he was going to die, even the doctor thought so. We do not give up, but you keep it in your head. After I instructed the tow staff on night duty last night, I went back twice to check on him. I also told the staff to call me when anything would change. But he stabilised. No more convulsions, good temperature and the breathing was also going well. No vomiting and no diarrhoea. This morning I decided to take him off the oxygen, we have a little machine who can measure the saturation (oxygen in the blood). It was quite stable, it sometimes went a bit down, but then he was able to bring in back to the normal. He sleeps now peacefully and today we were able to get a urine sample to test. We also did another malaria test. The malaria test came out good, no more malaria, but the urine showed that there is a urine infection. So after talking with Dr. Engulu, we started him on IV antibiotics. Today I have been able to do some other work again, yesterday I didn't want to leave Amecet in case that..... But today was a good day, Moses is not yet fine, but on his way towards it. And tonight...I will have a good night of sleep!! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Moses 2 is fighting for his life

Moses came into Amecet on Febr. 7, just after Moses 1 had passed away. (see Blog Feb. 7). We got some problems with him, he was on IV drip. But after that he seemed to get better and was drinking good. On Sunday I felt, he was not drinking so well any more, so on Monday morning I took him for malaria test, and it came out positive, Moses 2 had malaria. We started the treatment and it was going normally, until last night. They called me and I rushed to Amecet, he was very weak and dehydrated. No diarrhoea or vomiting, I took him to the clinic, next door and there they assets him and gave him a cannula for IV drip. I took him back to Amecet and put the drip on. This morning I took him back to the doctor, he listened to his lungs and checked him, he would be ok, he thought. This afternoon his breathing changed suddenly, I quickly put him on our oxygen machine and we called Dr.Engulu, our neighbour. He came directly and examined him, we gave some medicines, but we don't know why he suddenly got so much worse, he also had some convulsions, while his temperature was low. No symptoms of meningitis or cerebral malaria. The doctor also doesn't know what is happening with Moses. I have called his aunt, who lives in Soroti, they are right now sitting at his bed. He is very sick, difficult breathing, in spite of the oxygen machine. It is scary how fast this can go.We hope for the best and pray that God has mercy on this little boy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We have to work on our table manners!!!

Every Saturday and Sunday we eat our meal outside at the veranda. Our little children have somehow a bit messy eating style. Eating outside on the mat doesn't make it easier.....
Charles and Catherine 2 like to share their food. First they turn over their plate and then they just dig in!!! This is the Catherine who came after being abused by her family. You can read it in the Blog of Feb. 14.
Rafael is very fast with eating and when he is finished with his own plate, he simply grabs it from the plates of the other children. Here he is enjoying his pineapple!
Wearing a dress, which was once white, this is my Catherine, I am afraid I will need bleach on this dress!
And here is Rose (read the Blog from Feb.2) also enjoying her pineapple. You understand that we are very happy with our washing machine! But it is a joy to see children enjoying their food,  especially when they didn't want to eat at first, we had to feed Rose with a NG tube! And look at her now!!!