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, April 27, 2013

A senior school reunion.

Yesterday we had a small reunion. The holidays are starting and we invited our senior students to come and spend a night in Amun. We wanted to have a meeting with them, to see how they are doing and to encourage them before going back to the villages. The holiday is for four weeks and we encourage them to be part of their people at home. We have been giving their families also the seeds I wrote about in the blogs before. It is planting season, so there is plenty of work for them to do. It will also help them to get some support when it is time to come back to school. We have seen that it is for some of them a bit difficult to get use to the life in the village again. As Amecet, we will go and visit them during this holiday, we will have a talk with them and their relatives. All the teenagers are doing well, they are healthy and it was good to have them for this short time.
We had a full table again, we couldn't eat outside on the veranda, what we normally do on Saturdays, because the rain was pouring down.
And than the singing time was great, Issa on the drums, singing and dancing! 
Francis and Issa (Alex took over the drums) dancing with the twins, William and Augustin, William can walk now and is eating a lot.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

World Malaria Day..

Today it was World Malaria Day, there is a lot of malaria in Uganda. We have in Amecet also a lot of malaria, in spite of the mosquito nets, the screens for the windows and the regular spraying of the house. I have at least 4 times per year malaria. But it is still the cause of many deaths here, especially little children and pregnant ladies. As Amecet, we were invited to be part of the meeting to organise. They asked us, with some other organisations, to have a exhibition at the place where the
 meeting was going to be.
 The meeting would start at 9 am. We decided to go with all the children, also the babies. We arrived at the field at 10.30 and they were still setting up the tents. So we stayed in our cars, with all the children, it was too hot otherwise in the sun. This is what it looked liked, every staff had a baby to hold and feed!

When the tents were standing, they gave us a spot and we made our "alive" exhibition! As you can see there were not many people yet. Everybody came on "African" time.
At 11.30 am they started with the march through the town. (should have been 9.00 am) There was a brass band and they walked for 45 minutes through town. We stayed under the shade of the tent. We didn't want to take all the children on the march, it was too hot.
After the march, they returned to the field and after the National Anthem, the Guest of Honor and other officials, made a walk to inspect all the different organisations who had exhibitions. Here you see them at our "exhibition", asking questions and wishing us the best. Then the programme started with songs and Poems, done by different schools, and the speeches of the Guest of Honor and other officials. We left before it was finished, it was getting too much for the little one's. We received 20 mosquito nets for Amecet!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Charles has a baby brother..

We got a new baby boy today in Amecet, it is Robert, the baby brother of Charles! He is six days old and his mother can't look after him. She has a mental problem and the life of the baby might be in danger if they let her keep her baby. So they told her that they found someone to care for the baby and the mother was happy with that. To me, it is so sad, when you see the picture you see two beautiful little boys, who need a mother!! Charles doesn't understand it all, but he was really careful with Robert. Charles will be adopted soon and we pray that we will find a family for his little brother too.

More grand mother stories...

The grandmother of Anthony, in Serere, has been worried about the seeds. The rains already started and she had no seeds or groundnuts to plant. Then Elias came to make the assessment and asking what the needs were. She was so very happy, this secures the family's food! Anthony is in the third year of secondary school (sponored by Amecet, where Anthony has been living for several years).
Sarah and Ivan are, together with two older children, orphans and they are living with their grandmother. On the picture they are sitting in their hut. The grandmother is not so strong and is often sick. Sarah and Ivan are HIV+. We know them via our out-patient programme. This is a very needy family and the seeds and trees will be a big help to them. 
Elias went to bring the seeds to Irene and her family in Katakwi. Irene is the right girl from the two on the picture. She is 10 years old. Irene came in 2010 in Amecet, she lived with us for 6 months. When she came she was very weak and sick, she even needed three times bloodtransfusion. Irene's mother passed away and Irene is HIV+, so she was put  on the ARV medicines. She is doing well now and goes to school. When the grandmother heard that we were going to bring seeds for her, she directly started to prepare her gardens and she couldn't wait looking at the seeds, if they were the right ones. She was also very happy with the trees and asked many questions how to plant and how far apart from each other etc.
We have been driving many kilometers, to deliver all the seeds and trees to the 50 families. It was hard, because some roads are very muddy, because of the rains. But it is so good to see the reactions and the joy of the families. It is worth while all the effort!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grand mother (and father) stories...

This are the grandparents of Isaac. In 2008 the grandmother asked us for help, when we were visiting another child in her neighbourhood. Her daughter left in 2005 and came back home the month before. She came back with a small child of almost 2 years old. She was very sick, her mother took her to the clinic and she was confirmed to have AIDS. She died 3 weeks later!! The grandmother stayed behind with the little boy, Isaac, who was also very sick, he was even too weak to stand. We took him in Amecet and Isaac was also infected with the HIV virus. We was treated for several infections and put  on ARVs. He did very well and 3 months later we brought him back to his grandmother. She cared so well for him, every time when we visit them we can see that she loves him and she gives the ARVs every day. Isaac is in the first class of the primary school now. They were so happy with the seeds and the trees. When they saw the pine trees they said that those very trees will help for the secondary education of Isaac. They counted that in 8 years he will go to S1, the trees will be big then, they could give a lot of timber which they will sell for the school fees of Isaac! It is touchy to see how much they care for their grandson! 
This is the grandmother of Kaju. We know her for many years, Kaju has not been in Amecet, we always have helped them while he lived with his grandmother. She cares for several grandchildren, but two of them are HIV+ and they need more attention, she always goes with them to the hospital for ARVs. and we have been helping with some support. One of the two children was cripple, she traveled with him to other doctors in the hope that they could help. But this child passed away some months ago. The grandmother really cared for him. I am very impressed by this grandmother, she is very poor, but always so cheerful and so thankful with what we bring her. 
And this is the grandmother of Alex. I know her for, at least 14 years, she is a character! When Simon drove on her compound, she started to dance and sing around the car. She was very happy with all the things he brought her. Alex was in Amecet and in Amun for many years. He went back home and now he is in boarding school, in S1 (supported by Amecet). The grandmother help we give will also help the family to cater for Alex. Alex will be home in the holidays and they will have to give him soap and pocket money when he goes back to school.
All the families are very grateful and it is a joy to bring all those items to them, it will really help the whole family to eat!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Thank God for Grandma's!!! That is what I have been doing since we started with Amecet. Most of our children are orphans, many have lost their parents because of HIV/AIDS. Many children have been resettled back home with their Grandparents. Mostly Grandmothers. Some of those old ladies are really tough, but they look after their grandchildren, sometimes even from different children of them, who have all died. I have a deep respect for them, instead of being cared for in their old age, they are caring again for children, sometimes very small ones. We started our Grandma project way back in 2001, it was very small, just some few families we started to support with seeds, ploughing their land and sometimes helping with  repairing their house, or supplying a mattress. Since that time we provide them every year with seeds and the number of families have grown. We have given a goat (which multiplied lost of little goats) another year we could give a cow, which will provide milk for the family in the future. We have given a bull and a plough, orange trees etc. This year we made a list and we also included some single parents who are needy and some other family members who have taken in the HIV+ orphans to care for. Most of the children have been in Amecet in the past, we know the families and we regular come to check on them. We have now 50 families on our list.
Elias made a family assessment form and Simon and Elias have been visiting every family on our list to see how the family is doing and what their needs are. We do want to help them with their needs, not with what we think they need. On the picture you see Simon (left) and Elias packing the bags for delivery in the villages.
This year we were able to give them also some trees. Pine trees, they plant them to border their land ans use the timber for building. Then Eucalyptus trees, they grow them to build their huts, when you cut one, many new small trees will grow from it. And also orange trees. All the families will also receive a hoe. You see some of the trees in the back of the car, ready to deliver to the families. And the last picture shows Elias sorting out all the seeds, which we bought in town. We give Ground nuts, beans, soya beans, cow peas, seeds for eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes. Mais and soghum.
 It is a lot of work, the families live far from each other, the roads are bad and the rain season  has started, so many hours driving. But it is worth everything, the people are so happy with the help we give them. It enables them to feed the whole family and even sell some, when the harvest is good. In the next blog I will tell some stories and show some of the grand parents.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Baby-Boy Boom...

The last 4 days we got 3 newborn baby boys in Amecet. All three lost their mother after the delivery  they all have an infected umbilical cord and they all have infected eyes.
We go from left to right: Emmanuel 2 (we do have already an Emmanuel in Amecet), I wrote about him on April 11, he is now 4 days old and he weighs 4.5 kg. His cord was infected and he started to get fevers, so the doctor put him on IV medication, you can see the sock on  his left arm, he has a cannula, with the sock it is better protected. The fever is gone now, so he is doing well, he also opened his eyes more, as we put in eye ointment twice a day. 
Then we get again Emmanuel 3. I like the name very much, but now we have three Emmanuels, we have to be careful that we do not get confused! Emmanuel came today in Amecet, he is the same age as Emmanuel 2, 4 days old, but his weight is 3.3 kg and you can see the difference of 1.2 kg. between the two of them! His mother died after the deliverance because of bleeding. It is a cute little man, with nice hair. He also has an infected cord and infected eyes.
Then at the right we have Job. He is born two days ago and was brought yesterday to Amecet. he was born with a Cesarean, but the mother didn't come out of the operation. Job has even a small cut on his head from the Cesarean. His cord was looking also infected, and because of the cut on his head, he was also put on medication. Job weighs 2.5 kg.
All the baby beds are full now. There are some children due to go back home, so today I have been calling some families that their child is coming home! The reactions are very different, but often they ask if their child can be staying one or two months longer. I have to be strict, when children are healthy and stable, they need to be back with their own people, they need to bond with them, because there is where they belong! And we need to get space, in case another baby is coming......

Friday, April 12, 2013

Greetings from Gloria!!!

 This blog is specially for all the people who know Gloria! Gloria has been with us in 2010/2011 and we have had a lot of struggles with her. She can't walk and we have gone through braces, plaster and exercises with her. I wrote several blogs about her in the beginning of 2011 (these legs are made for walking). Gloria went back to her grandmother. They lived in Soroti. Gloria is also HIV+ and gets the ARV's. Last year the grandmother came to tell us that they were going back to the village, very far in the North. they got a letter to get the ARV's in a health centre there and they left. We didn't see them since that time. I was so happy to see them this morning, her grandmother came to bring her. She is looking very good, better than the time she lived with her grandmother in Soroti. The village life is doing her good. She has grown and is not scared, like she used to be. Her grandmother loves her and she cares very well for her. She took her for a wheel chair to Kumi, but there they gave her again braces. They will not do much for her, but it shows how much the grandmother cares for her. They live too far for us to visit them, so we gave her some money to buy seeds and ground nuts to plant in her garden. She was very happy with that. I wanted to share her pictures with you, because many volunteers who has been with us, loved her so much and I know that you sometimes have wondered: how is Gloria? Auntie's,  thank you for caring for Gloria, your effort was not in vain!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Safe place for Emmanuel.

Emmanuel was brought to Amecet, yesterday, he was only some hours old. He was born at home in the village in the early hours of the morning. The mother gave birth and started to bleed. In the morning they tried to organise to bring her to the hospital, but it was too late, The mother had died. There were 5 other children in the home, but the father had failed to pay the complete dowry to the family of his late wife. And that gave problems. There were fights, people walked around the hut with panga's, a very bad situation. the baby was brought by the mother of the late, she told us this story, the father had only paid two cows and now the lady was dead, the family wanted the rest of the cows, which he still owned the parents of his. late wife. She had nothing to say, this is all a matter of the men of the family. She lost her daughter, but can't say anything about dowry or cows. It must be awful your wife is dead, the children lost their mother and people are fighting around your home for cows.
Emmanuel is a very big baby, I think the biggest we have ever had, his weight is 4 kg. In the medical papers of the late mother was written that the expected date of delivery was June 8, when I saw this baby, I knew that was a mistake, maybe that is why the mother had not given attention to the pains she got? I took the baby to the doctor, next door. The cord was not tied well, they had used some pieces of cloth. They retied the cord and the baby was put on antibiotics. Today there is fever, so we keep an good eye on him. But he is safe and we prayed for his home, that there will be peace as well.

Monday, April 8, 2013

ALMOST 100,000 HITS!!!!!!!

This blog is almost 100,000 times opened by you! We are very thankful for your concern, compassion, your prayers and your interest in our life here in Amecet. It is a big encouragement to us! We want to thank you for your interest in the lives of the children!
Please continue to give comments, to pray for them and to keep checking our blog!
It is all about the children!!!

Reading glasses..

We have people in the Netherlands, who are sending us regular new reading glasses, there are many people who need them and it is not so easy to get them in Soroti.  So we ask them if they know their strength: -1, -2, -2,50 etc. Then we give them the glasses to try in their strength, they try it on the News paper. Most of the time they do not know the right strength, so then we just try and try. For a couple of weeks, we had ran out of reading glasses, so we had to disappoint quite a number of people. But last week we received a parcel with several reading glasses (thanks to Trijnie and Klaaske!) It almost looked if the tam-tam had told them, because today at least 4 people came for reading glasses. This lady can now read the newspaper without problems, she was very happy! I think we have helped many people with reading glasses, teachers, policemen, Pastors and nurses and of course many other people.
It is suppertime in Amecet!! We are all sitting around the table, we hope that the baby's  will sleep a bit longer, some are laying in the little chairs, waiting for their feeding time. William, the little boy I have been writing about in the last couple of blogs, is sitting at the table. He is sitting at the corner, in the middle of the picture (behind the pots) with a light blue T-shirt. He took out his NG tube again, I had a serious talk with him and he started to drink the milk by him self! So we have not been putting the tube back. he sleeps now with the other children and he is doing very well. He is still very weak, and his eye is lost. But we are happy that he made it!! We see already that he and his twin brother are quite wild, they easily pinch or beat the other children. We have some work to do!!! They can't help it, they don't know any better, when you have a mother who beats you, you will also beat others!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Amecet music band......

Have you ever tried to make music with five one /two years old?? I'll  tell you it is not easy! We have a volunteer, Daniel, who comes from Peru, he comes 3 mornings a week to play with the children. The bigger one's are at school, so the little one's are left. They love it, they go on the swing, on the trampoline and today they made music. The instruments were all over the place, there was a lot of noise, but also a lot of fun!
Yesterday evening, it was already dark, I was called that there was a new baby at the door. Little baby Betty was 5 days old and lost her mother 2 days ago. The family that brought her were the relatives from the late mother. They came just from the village, they had buried the mother the day before, but yesterday was the clan meeting. There were also 3 older brothers and the father had had another wife (who had also died) and she left 4 boys. There was the land issue. Land is inherited by the boys in the family. The family of the late mother had already taken the 3 boys to care for, when the mother got sick during her pregnancy, but the meeting was all about the land. To be sure that the three boys were getting their land, later. Betty is a sweet little girl, her weight is 2.3 kg, but she is drinking well.
Then I end this this blog with this picture of William, eating at the table! Is this not encouraging?? He has still a long way to go. He has still fevers, today we went back for review to the doctor. His oedema is less, but still there, so we continue with the special milk, which we got from the hospital. His antibiotics are changed and we will have to give him blood transfusion. Doctor Engulu, our neighbour, is arranging that. We give him little foods, together with the other children, to stimulate him. He didn't eat that much, but it is a beginning! He has a mind of himself, he refused to eat without a spoon!! And he refuses to drink the milk, which he really needs. So he still has his NG tube, and he pulls it out every time. I don't know how many times I have put back the NG tube, even at 3 am, I got a call, please Els, come and put the NG tube back! So every time we put it back, even with socks on his hands, he is able to pull the tube. The sad news is that the eye is lost, according to the doctor, he can't see anything with it, the pupil is damaged. Please keep on praying for William!