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!

Friday, November 30, 2012

We all passed............

Today we went for the rapports and we all got good news, all promoted to the next class. On this picture you see from left to right: Sylivia to P4, Mary to S1, Sarah to P7 ,Catherine just coming along, Helen to P2, Fiona to P5 and Susan to P3. Sarah was very happy, she has missed 7 weeks because of sickness, but she made it with even better marks than her last rapport. She is now going to P7, a very important class, the last one from the Primary school, after that the secondary school.
We made a extra toast on Fiona and Susan, they have not been able to go to school for almost the whole school year  They asked if they could do the exams and the headmaster of harmony school allowed them.
Fiona has been very sick, not much response on the change of ARVs yet, she is lying down most of the days, she was very happy that she passed to P5, we hope she can join the school in February when the new school year starts. And Susan got a baby and she is living with her baby with us in Amecet. We would love to see her go to school in February and be a little bit child again. We don't know yet how to do this all, Susan is a wonderful mother, but she also should go back to P3.
The rest of the day we have been running around, because tomorrow we start our Amun/Hope week and we are expecting 46 children to come and live with us for a week! I'll keep you up to date about this important week!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pre- school Graduation.

Today was it the graduation of Top class from our YWAM Harmony Pre-school. This year there was a very big group, 35 children finished the preschool and are now ready for the Primary school, which starts in February. It is always a big event, the children are in gowns and caps. They sing songs and  
they had a poem. The teachers did very well, all went smoothly.  Steven (the YWAM Soroti leader) and I are the directors of the school, Steven was not in Soroti, so I was the one who had to give a small speech and help to give each child a certificate. It was fun and it is excited to see the children proud of their graduation, standing at the beginning of their further education. The long vacation has started now, the next school year starts in February. The children who are  in secondary school are already home, and the primary schools also end this week. The rapports are given out on Friday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meetings, meetings and...meetings.

The last weeks we have done so many meetings, that I am really tired of it. It started all when some problems came up with our staff. We have had meetings with them, as a group, but also separate  The result from all the meetings was that three staff members were asked to leave. This was not easy, also because the rota was made and we were very short of staff now. We have a pile of applications for a job in Amecet. so Simon, Elias, Dominique and me went through them all. We asked a number of them to come for an interview, so again meetings!! After we had talked with several of them, we made the decision who to invite to join us. 
 Here a meeting with Simon (left) and Elias (right). They are two pillars of Amecet, they really love the children and they know the culture from the inside. I am learning so much of them! At the moment we have 5 new staff working with us. A big number at once, it is not so easy for the old staff, they have to explain every time again how things work and have to be done.
Then the next set of meetings.... 
After the last year 10 years anniversary, we came with the plan to have every year a come back week for the older HIV+ children who have been with us (in Amecet and in Amun). A week in where we could encourage them, teach them, advice them and also listen to them...This week is going to be happen and it will start on December 1st, World Aids Day. We have made a list of all the children who could talk and listen, so of 10 years and above, and we came up 45 children!!! We have been to the villages to invite them and they all will arrive this coming Saturday for a week of teaching, fun and encouragement. They will all stay in our Amun house, with a little overflow to Amecet. We have asked several staff of YWAM Soroti to join us for this week and we have a group of 9 people, who will do the teaching, group sessions, fun and games, worship and counselling. 
Here we are in one of our last meetings, things are moving and are coming together. It is a lot of work, but I really believe it will be a great blessing for the children. Our theme comes from Jeremiah 29:11 "plans to give you hope and a future". HIV+ children have a future and they can dream and work toward this future. It is not easy for them, many suffer from the stigma HIV+, but they need to believe in themselves because God believes in them and He has plans for them!!! I will keep you updated, please pray for this week, for the children that they grasp this.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The clinic is almost finished....

The Paediatric HIV clinic is almost finished!! The painting is almost done and the finishing touch will be the last. I think that it looks very nice, the whole building had to be painted again and it looks very smart! The iron sheets will be removed and the ground around it will be cleaned up. It will be all used as  HIV clinic for the children and their parents. This big room will be used for research and meetings. 
The plan is, that we give the whole building to Soroti Hospital in the first week of December. So it has to be complete by then.We are organising a week for all the older children who have been with us in the past and who are HIV+. In that week we will encourage them and support them in issues which are still hard for them to accept and handle. We want to give the building to the hospital in that week. I will share more about this plan in another blog.
This is Pauline, I wrote about her in the blog of Nov. 3. Her mother got a mental problem after she saw her whole family being murdered by the rebels. Then she got pregnant, her baby is with us and she comes almost daily to sit with her and hold her. We felt that the feet of Pauline were not straight and took her for a check-up  this resulted in plaster on both legs, every week it will be changed, today is was the day for the changing, and Pauline is crying now, it hurts a bit. The mother was scared when she saw it, but we could explain it to her and now she feels okay with it.
 Today baby Florence was brought to Amecet. She is 3 days old and her mother died 2 days ago.After the delivery she kept on bleeding and she passed away. So very sad, the father is on the run, he left 7 months ago after a problem on his job and is not seen since. There are in total 5 children, the oldest is 12 years old and Florence is the youngest. The grandmother and the auntie are the ones looking after the children. Florence has not been drinking for 3 days, they gave her only a bit of water by spoon. The first feeding we gave her, we had to stop her, because she wanted to drink and drink. We hope we can help the family a bit with caring for this beautiful little baby. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Exodus from Amecet.

I have been quiet lately, not writing the Blog, but that doesn't mean that we were resting, far from that. I have been very busy and feel a bit exhausted. I had also malaria again, but it seems that the treatment worked, so that is much better. We have had several issues with our staff, which was not easy, Simon, Elias and me have had many talks with different staff members and I think that we have solved the issues. We had to ask some staff to leave Amecet, so it was a difficult week and I didn't feel like writing.
But now things are better, we even have already some new staff members and we go for it again!
Today it was a Exodus day, 4 children left Amecet to live again together with their relatives. I feel always good when children go back home, we did our job and it gives space for new children again. (which is good because we are quite full with baby's). 
The auntie of Alphonse came for him. You can read how Alphonse came to us in the blog of Aug. 15. He has tripled his weight and he is now a cute smiling baby. If you see our blog of aug. 15, you can see how he looked by that time, he weight only 1.3 kg! And he cried so much!!!I feel our mission is accomplished, the aunt looks like a caring sweet lady, he will be fine!!!!  
Then this afternoon: we have 4 children in Amecet via the Probation officer from Kotido, this is in Karomoja, north of Soroti. I wrote in the blog of Aug. 1 about the arrival of Sabina and Oduodo. They are both from the Nomad tribe in Karomoja, later we received two more children, all via the Probation office in Kotido. All children had lost their mothers and needed some place to recover to get back on track. All four children are doing very well, one we want to keep a little longer, but three of them were very ready to go back.The Probation officer organised the three grandmothers to come and receive the baby's back. That is what happened this afternoon.

Here you see the three grandmothers with the children, left Oduone, middle is Timothy and at the right is Sabine. The grandmother of Sabine was a real Karomajong, with the bracelets and necklaces.
The grandmother of Sabine didn't want to take Sabine at first, this was not her granddaughter!!! She had a funny head and she was brown and not black! She was looking at her, looked at her ears  and arms, no this was not her granddaughter. Most of the staff can't speak the Karomajong language, so we had to see, who among us could do the best. We tried to explain her that she was brown because sitting on the veranda and not in the sun, that it was really Sabine. It was very funny, the lady was also very stubborn and everybody tried to convince her that this was Sabine, only a bit fatter!
At the end she believed it, we gave the three ladies a meal, enough milk with them for the trip, and some clothes, mosquito net and porridge flour, soap and sugar. Then the car of Kotido came to pick them and they left for the 6-7 hour journey to Kotido, over a very bad road. they will reach there after midnight!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another sad story.

This is Paulyn Grace, she is 8 days old. Three days ago got a call from the hospital, if we could help with a baby. Petra, Simon and I went to the maternity ward. there was a mother of 18 years who gave birth to a baby girl. She was all alone, no relatives and she has a mental problem. She couldn't take care of her baby. I felt for the mother, but when I heard her story, I felt really so bad for her. When she was younger, the rebels were in her area and village. They killed her parents and also her brothers and sisters, they left her. But she could never get over the shock, she developed a mental problem. Someone took her with her to Soroti town, but she was abused and got pregnant. then she was thrown out. The nurses had pity on her and she has been living in the maternity ward for the last two months.  They asked us to take the baby for now and to help tracing for her relatives in the village. What a sad story. The little Paulyn Grace is doing well, drinking good and her mother is brought to see her yesterday. I hope we can give this story a bit happy end! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

King Michel got his Throne!

 Today we went back to Kumi, to pick the special CP chair for Michel. I wrote in an earlier blog that we went to the doctor and that they measured Michel to make his special chair. On the picture above you see him sitting in it, there were some things not yet good, his head sometimes falls to one side and he is not always able to keep sitting straight, so he sometimes falls forward. We were also going today to Tororo, to the eye hospital for Catherine, so we were told to come by on the way back to Soroti to pick the chair. So we drove on to Tororo. Catherine was seen by the doctor, she is doing fine, but probably needs an operation when she is 4 or 5 years old. I was told not to worry, I don't think I do that too much, she is born with this eye condition, there is not much we can do about it. It is not getting worse, her view is good, so they might operate the eye muscles when she is 4 or 5 years old. We drove back to Kumi, the road was very bad, everywhere big holes and there was also a lot of rain. So we didn't make it before 5 pm to Kumi, I called them and they told us that they would wait for us!! I was so happy and thankful, we were at the place at 5.30 pm. And they fixed the last things on his chair at the right height. This place is such a nice working place, they do so much with simple things. They make splints, artificial legs, special walkers, special chairs etc. We got the chair and we drove on to Soroti. We arrived there at 7.45 pm, we had been away for 12 hours exactly and most of the hours we had spend driving on those terrible roads!! But what to do, we got our eye review and we got Michel his throne!! I think the day was well spend!!!!
King Michel on his Throne!!!