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!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Many new children..

For quite a while we didn't get older children, we got mostly baby's and toddlers. But it seems to change, because this week we got three older children. Left is Gipas (12) then in the middle Julius (9) and at the right Angela (8). The last couple of days I have been busy checking them out, getting them registred in the HIV clinic for their ARV's. They are all three on the ARV medicines, but are not taking them right. Today we went for blood tests, to see how their blood levels are. It brings another atmosphere in the house than just the baby's. 
But the baby's are still coming.... 
This is Justin, he is 7 weeks old. His mother was roaming around in Soroti. They have been asking us to take the baby, to safeguard him. We first have been contacting the relatives, so we know that the baby has a place to go after Amecet. The parents told us that the baby was 1 month old, we couldn't believe that, he is even smiling and reacting when you talk to him. Today, Simon,went to the health centre where they told the baby was born and he found out that the baby is 7 weeks old now. So we have to rake him for immunization For the rest is it a cute little boy.
Yesterday at almost 6 pm, (I was just leaving..) baby Lawrence was brought. They had been calling us about him, the previous week, but they were not able to bring him, because of the bad roads. Baby Lawrence comes from Kotido, north of Soroti. The District where the Karomojong live. His mother went into labour when she was 7 months pregnant and she died after giving birth to Lawrence. It happened in the hospital, so the little baby, who only weighed 1.3 kg, went into the incubator. He was discharged a week ago, weighing 1.850. Today he weighed 2 kg!! He is very small, but he is alert and he drinks good. He will be with us for a while and then he will go back to his father and his grandmother. He was brought by the Probation officer from Kotido. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Birthday uncle Simon!!!

 We celebrated yesterday Simon's birthday, with balloons, cake and a present!
And here we are enjoying the cake and (of course) a soda! Simon is even wearing his birthday present already. We have some new children in Amecet, left is Gipas, he is 12 years old and at the right is Angel, she is 8 years old.
Uncle Simon, we wish you many more happy and fruitful years!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A muddy start of the Amun week preparation..

This year we plan our second Amun week! We started last year and we want to make it a tradition. We invite all our older children (above the age of 8 years) who have been in Amecet in the past and who are all HIV+. They are coming for one week, we will have a tent in the garden of our Amun home and we will have a week full of activities. We will have teaching, encouragement, games, singing, coming together into small groups. Last year it was a big success and we are starting to prepare for another success week. We want to let the children know that they are special and that they are not alone in being HIV+. We want to listen to them, to hear their struggles and pain. We want to pray with them and advise them. This week Simon and Elias divided the list of 45 children and had two days to visit each home and give them an invitation for the Amun week, which starts on 7th of December. We are very early, but we wanted to see how they were all doing and maybe to see if there are certain issues which should be addressed in the Amun week.
Elias went yesterday to Asamuk, Kuju and Katakwi and visit several children: (Clockwise)Martha, Abraham, Mary and Veronika. 

Everything went well, the children were happy to see him and were excited to come again for the Amun week, until he left the compound of Mary Ikuret's home and got stuck in the mud!!! It took a long time and the help of many people to lift the car out of the mud, but Elias made it safely back to Soroti.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Three new baby´s, three new stories..

Last week we got 3 new children in Amecet, so we are getting a bit full again. This morning we called several parents/caretakers to come and pick their children, because their time was already past and they are doing well. You never know, it is good to have always some empty beds for emergency.
 Wednesday the father of Samuel came. He came from another district and again a sad story. The mother of Samuel had been admitted on the psychiatric ward in a hospital (not in Soroti) and had disappeared and since that time (3 weeks ago) not seen. Samuel is 6,5 months old and his father was desperate. He looked malnourished (5 kg.)  and weak. he looks also very scared and he cries a lot. We took him in, the father also had letters from the police  and the counsellor in his district. We took him to the doctor and he had a bad case of malaria. The first treatment didn't work, he now gets injections and we see some improvement. We even have seen him smile!!
 Saturday, two uncles came with a new born baby. He was born the day before in the hospital. After the delivery the mother started to bleed and it couldn't be stopped. She died just some hours later, leaving the family in despair behind. The uncles came with him, to ask if Amecet could help, the father was not able to come yet. The baby's weight was 3 kg and he looks to be okay. We asked what his name was, in Uganda they don´t give normally the fathers name, but they take someone in the clan, who they want to honor, and give that name to the new baby. They wanted to give the name Luka Ichan, Luka is after the Apostle Luke from the Bible. but Ichan means `poverty` in Atesso. I asked them to please give him another name, because this child would go his whole life with the name Poverty, it is almost like a curse! I explained it to the two uncles and they understood and one of them gave his name to the baby! Luka is doing well and starts to drink better. we have some concern about his eyes, but we want to observe that first.
Then the last baby, this is baby Anna Grace, we got her only 4 hours after she was born! On Sunday I went to church with my girls. My shift was going to start at 1 pm. We were just back home when I got a phone call from the Probation Officer (child protection). There was a child at the police station that was in need of our help. I asked how old the child was and what had happened. Then he told me the child was only some hours old and was born in the bush. I knew then that I had to go, I drove to the police station and found the baby, brought by a community worker and the uncle. The story was again so sad,  the mother is mentally ill, she can´t talk or work, but she is roaming around and someone had taken advantage of her, she is only 17 years old!! She had given birth that morning, alone in the bush, she had pulled out the baby by herself!! When they found her, even the placenta had come out, she was just laying there. I asked them to go back and check on her, take her to the health centre for check up, this baby was also 3 kg. But her head is a bit deformed, the doctor says that that will be okay after some days. She looked a bit swollen and the cord had to be re tied again. Today she was drinking very good, so I think she will be all right. The mother was brought for the check up and I have asked them to do directly a HIV test on the mother.
So the house is filling up again , we have some new staff members and also some new volunteers came from Holland, so we have hands enough, let them come!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A memorial...

Last night Christine (1) passed away, she was at home in the village. I feel sad about it, mixed feelings. Christine was for the first time in Amecet in 2004. After a while she did better and she went home to her grandmother. We have been visiting her there. Later in 2011, we took her back in Amecet, because she was very sick and her CD4 was dangerous low. Her medicines were changed (ARV's) and she got stronger and happier. She got also attacks of toxoplasmose and we even took her for a brainscan to Mbale. We resettled her back to her family in August 2012. We build a hut for her and her grandmother, but after a little while, the grandmother left the hut again to live in the trading centre. We had talked with the grandmother and the family, and they also had agreed that it would be better for Christine to live in the village instead of the trading centre. We had seen some behaviour of Christine, which made us worried. And it went very wrong with Christine, she started to steal and her behaviour was dangerous for other children. Several times she came to Amecet, but we couldn't take her back in, then we brought her back home and every time she found her way back to Soroti town, where she slept in the hospital on the floor and people gave her food to eat. I think her brains were not functioning well anymore. She stopped taking her medicines and this is the result. I pray she has peace now.... I want to remmeber her as on this picture, happy and stropng. But it made me think a lot, we can't help someone if she doesn't want to be helped. But Christine was only a child, an unhappy child. I pray that she is with Jesus, there she will be happy and understood.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Little Alice is 9 months old, she has been in Amecet for more than 4 months. The mother is mentally ill and can't look after her. She was brought to us by neighbours to see if she was also HIV +, like her mother. We have been several tests and up till now she is HIV-, we wait for more more result.......
The mother of Alice comes regular to visit her and now it is time to bring her back home and that is difficult. The lady who brought her, promised that time, that she would help the mother to care for Alice. But now she says that she is not able to do so. We have been tracing the family and we found a grandmother and a great-grandmother! They are willing to care for Alice. We heard some strange stories about them, so Simon went to talk to the neighbours and to the local counsellor, we are still not convinced that they are able, but they want Alice home, so we had to give her to her family! We also asked the Probation officer to come in and help in this situation. He also said that we can't do anything but hand Alice over to her family. We are planning to go and visit them at home very very soon!!
 Here we have the four generations, Alice with her mother, than her grandmother and the great grandmother.
Doreen (I wrote about her before), is doing well, we went with her back to the doctor, and they did a ultra sound again. The baby is due on November 6th, everything is going well, the baby has gained 1 kg! With the previous ultrasound, the baby was very small, but I think the good food and her appetite are paying off. She told us that she had been learning a bit how to sew. We still had a sewing machine in Amun house, we took it for repair and found someone to teach her, now she is shining behind the sewing machine. She is very happy and it is also a good exercise for her left arm and to use her three fingers from her right hand better.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Life goes on.....

Yes, life goes on, but I struggle with that. When  I think back about what happened with William, I still get emotional. But life goes on, the next day baby Agnes 2 (we have already a baby Agnes) arrived. She was only 18 hours old and her mother passed away, because the placenta didn't come out, she was born in the village. It is a big baby, 3.7 kg and it makes me think back of William, he was less then 2 kg and 6 weeks old! The umbilical cord was bleeding, so I took her directly to the clinic where they re-tied the cord, she is doing well now and she is laying in William's bed.

 This morning I went to court, here in Soroti. Some time ago I wrote about Doreen, the 14 year old girl who is pregnant and was almost killed by the boyfriend. She had to come to witness in court against the boyfriend, who is in jail. We went and sat in the court room, but then we were told that her case is handled by the Magistrate 1 and he was not there, so it was postponed to 23/10. Doreen is doing well, her baby is also growing, she has one more month to go. I asked if she would like to have her hair braided and she liked it, so today we asked someone to come and do her hair. Just to give her the feeling that she is special and beautiful. She is very shy, but she loved her picture, and so do I!
Barbara left today, back to Holland and Petra arrived today, also from Holland. Petra is a nurse and she has been here before, she actually left in February this year. I am very thankful that she came to help us, so that there is always a nurse in Amecet! The last couple of days we have been having interviews with several girls.We needed some new staff to care for the children. We had three staff who left quite abruptly, for study, marriage and family reasons. It is always hard to make the decision who to take. Simon, Elias and I are involved in this decision. I hope that we can have some new people next week.
So life goes on, but it is not always easy to just go on. I miss this little man, William has made quite an impression on me.
And then it is hard to just go on.....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This morning, Barbara, Jose and I arrived at the hospital at 8.15. When we saw William, we noticed that he was gasping for air. We looked closely and we saw he was not responding. We heard from the brother that they had not given any IV medicines or fluids. William was in shock.... There was even a doctor writing at the same table where William was laying, she did not noticed anything... Barbara and I got into action. There was still a IV bottle from him hanging, we connected it and let the fluids going in fast. We asked for IV dextrose and we got 10 ml. which we gave also IV. We got a line with oxygen, which we put in his nose. We asked for his IV medication, which we got and we also gave him. I was angry, scared and so sad, because I saw that we would loose the battle, he was too weak to come out of this shock.
The surgeon came to check on him, he looked at the wound,it was good, he even had pooped a little, so we could start with some oral feeding, he said, but he also saw the setback in his condition and told us to see what happened. 
 Barbara and I stayed at William's side hoping, praying and crying at times, the father and the brother were around, they were also very sad and scared about his condition. We were holding the oxygen into his noose and looked at his laboring breathing. This poor little man, he didn't react on touch or anything, he even didn't want his special dummy!!
The doctor's did their round and then they came to us, we were in the emergency area (kind of an intensive care unit, where children are on oxygen) The senior doctor said that William was critical and gave all kind or orders to the other doctors, who started to work on William. It was kind of  a joke that the doctor who refused to help at 8.15 am was among the ones who were ordered to work on William. They tried and left us, William was dying, they came back and tried again, more IV fluid, adrenaline IV, etc. but then they didn't hear his heart beat anymore, William was gone. All in all we were very upset about how things were done, I put the blankets around William and we took him back to Amecet, his father and brother came with us. There we dressed him and Simon went for a coffin. It was with pain, that we laid him in his coffin, so small and so thin, I think he was less than 2 I was confused and angry, after all those weeks of intensive care, he just died like this..
We brought him back to his village, where the family started to gather. he has many brothers, who all looked the same, I guess he would have been like them, when he would have grown up. We carried the little coffin inside the hut, where people would sit around him and grieve.
Tomorrow they will bury him, and he will be laid to rest next to his mother........