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!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The wedding of Esther 2..

Yesterday we went to the wedding of our staff Esther 2 (we had more than one Etshers). Most weddings are on Saturday and it takes the whole day. On the card was written that the church service would start at 10 am. But we are a bit longer in Uganda, we know that there is African we went to the church at 12.30 and there were not many people yet... At 12.50, the groom came in with his best man and the bride arrived at 1.30 pm. There was a lot of singing clapping and shouting, a lot of excitement for the young couple. They looked beautiful and very happy. Esther looked very bright and she was a smiling bride!! Very often they are very tense and serious, but Esther was just herself and relaxed. The whole ceremony was in the church and even the reception was there as well. There was food for the entire congregation and everything was finished around 7 pm.
Esther we wish you and Paul, God's blessing as you start your life together!!! and we are happy that you will still work with us in Amecet........

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy "eye" day, today!

Last week, the same day that Simon and I handed over the Anesthesia machine, Janneke and Elias went to the Eye hospital in Tororo. The eyes of Joshua are not doing well and after calling over the phone with the doctor, we had to come back. Joshua was admitted in the hospital. We had that idea, so we had asked the auntie of Joshua to come along  and to stay with him in the hospital. That was not a problem, so they talked with the doctor that they could call us and  left money for food for the auntie and Elias and Janneke came back to Soroti. During the week we had contact with the doctor and heard that Joshua was fair. Yesterday Elias and I went to Tororo to visit Joshua. It is a three hours drive and we also took Josephine's mother
with us. Josephine is Simon's wife and her mother became blind (3 weeks ago). So Josephine and her sister also came along, ready for admission.

Joshua was just having a some injections in his eyelids, under anesthesia, so when they brought him back, he was still asleep. His eyes were both covered and the nurse told us that they would remove that tomorrow.
The mother of Josephine was lucky, they found our that she had catharac in both eyes and they were able to put her at the end of the list for operation that same day!! The doctor told us that we could pick both patients tomorrow to take back home.
So today we drove again to Tororo, now Simon was the driver! Both patients were ready for home, they had packed everything and after the paperwork we could go. Josephine's mother was a different person!!! She was so happy, she could see again and now she was talking and smiling, while yesterday, she was a very scared lady, no talking, very weak. They operated only one eye, the second eye will be done in two weeks.
 Joshua was also happy to come home. Here he is smiling, while we are driving back to Soroti. I am so amazed how good he takes everything, he comes for his medicines and I think he is the most easy patient ever! We have to go back for review in 2 weeks.
So we were all in a happy mood, driving back to Soroti!!!
In the mean time, left Elias for Katakwi. Some of you, who read this blog and who have been here in Amecet, may remember Evalyn. She has been living in Amecet twice before, in 2008 and in 2010. Evalyn is HIV+ and she lives with her brother in Katakwi, very far from Soroti. Evalyn doesn't get ARV's yet, she just gets a prophylaxis from a health centre in Katakwi. Normally everybody who is HIV+ has to have a CD4 test every 6 months. Recently we found out that that has not been done with Evalyn. The last test was done when she was with us. So we asked her brother to bring her to Amecet and we enrolled her in the HIV pediatric clinic in Soroti Hospital for the test. The test was done and her CD4 was even higher (= better) than before. She is not in need of starting the ARV's. We will get her to come to Amecet every 6 months for the test and we are all very impressed with the brother of Evalyn, he is taking so good care of her! I wish that there were more brothers like Evelyn's brother!! On the picture, you see Evalyn standing at the right, she is a big girl now, 6,5 years old, left is Jesica.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The anaesthesia machine has arrived......

In September 2012 two of our nurses attended the Cesarean operation in the theatre in Soroti Hospital. The new mother was a 13 year old girl, who was brought to Amecet by the police. They had a good talk with Dr. Ouna, the doctor who performed the operation. Later I had a talk with him and he asked if we could help him. There was no monitor for the mothers in the theatre, they were loosing mothers, just because there was no way of seeing the warnings. I told him that we didn't have money, but I would try to see if I could find people to help. I found an organization who wanted to help: Metterdaad, a Dutch Christian organization who does radio and TV reports about needs they feel should be met and people can send gifts towards the needs. In December 2012, we were in Holland for holidays, I had a radio interview, which was on the radio in June 2013. And in the mean time I met with the doctor Ouna and asked which machine and in faith I ordered the Universal Anaesthesia Machine. The money was send in December 2013 and last week we got a phone call on Friday that we could come to Kampala to pick the machine!!!
So, on Tuesday Simon and Elias left at 5 am. to Kampala to pick the machine. They shared the driving, and that was good, because they arrive  at 1 am. in the night, back in Soroti. The next morning we brought the machine to the store in the hospital. We couldn't carry it inside (150 kg.) and to keep it on the back of the car was also risky, because the machine is worth more than 16.000 US $.
We organised with Soroti Hospital that the official handover of the machine would be done on Friday (today).
Today, we gathered together and were wearing the white operation room boots, but we were allowed inside the theatre. And we saw the machine, which was already installed by the company where we had bought it from. 
 One of the senior surgeons was leading the meeting and we got a demonstration, done by the two anaestasists who are going to work with the machine in the future. There was a lot of excitement, it is a very good machine and even when the electricity stops, the machine will still work.
The machine is given to the hospital,  to the community of Teso, so there were some official people from the government invited to testify this event. Left is the L.C 5, this is an important man in the community and next to him, the Mayor of Soroti. Then there were people of the press, the local and the national newspapers, also from the National TV, there was a reporter.
Doctor Ouna gave a speech, he is very happy with the machine, we, as Amecet, work quite a lot with him. Regular we get a phone call from him, please I have a baby here who needs help, can you take the baby in Amecet. At the moment we also have a child who came via him in Amecet, the mother passed away. He is a very compassionate man and he cares for his patients.
 The nurses and other medical personnel were also present. I think they are ready to use the machine as soon as we were gone.
This is the senior surgeon who is thanking, via me, the people of the Netherlands, who have donated so freely for the purchase of this machine. It will be a big different, when they now operate, and something goes wrong, the monitor will warn, so that something can be done. I also want to thank the people who are reading this and who have been helping us to buy this machine for the Hospital, it will save the lives of the Teso mothers!!! Thanks to Metterdaad, who saw the need and helped us so much!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 new born baby's....

It has been so busy, the last weeks, that I hardly got time to write the blog. We also had serious internet problems, but it seems to be fixed here we go!!!
Five new born baby's in the last 12 days. Five beautiful baby's with 5 sad stories. Honestly, Janneke and I said to ourselves, after loosing two precious baby's (blog of Feb. 22 and March 8) for now, no more new little baby's!!! But what do you do when they are on your doorstep?? You take them in and care for them!!
From left to right:
On March 7 a police officer came to Amecet, carrying a baby boy. He was found in a carton box, still connected with the placenta, in Kumi market. We called him Jonathan, his head is a bit out of shape, but for the rest he is fine. Up till today, there is no news from the police about his mother.
On March 8, Anna Grace was brought. Her mother started to bleed after giving birth and she passed away. She has 8 brothers and sisters! This was the same day that baby Kave died in Amecet, it was a strange day, death at one side and a small new born baby, Life, at the other side.
Moses was brought on March 10. His mother went into labour, but it didn't progress and they tried to find transport to the hospital. When they found that, the mother was so tired, that they had to do a Cesarean on her when she arrived  in the hospital. She passed away directly after the operation.
Then the fourth baby is baby Promise. She was brought yesterday. Her mother went into labour, in the hospital. But after the delivery the mother started to bleed. They tried all they could, but all was in vain. She died, her last words were that the name of the baby was Promise.
And today baby Martin came into Amecet. He is born at home, in the village, but  the placenta didn't come out, so they tried to get a vehicle to bring her to hospital. The mother passed away before they found the vehicle. 
Five precious little baby's are brought into our trust, we will care, love and feed them.
Tomorrow we are going to hand over a Anastasia/monitor machine to Soroti Hospital. It will be used for the emergency operations and the Cesarean operations. We hope to help to save the lives of the mothers of Teso. I´ll write more about this tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Robert has a new family...

Today was a very special day... Robert went to his new family!!! In April 2013, Robert came as a new born baby in Amecet. His mother left him and has mental problems and the family of the mother couldn't care for him. After testing it came out that Robert was HIV+. In the beginning he was quite sick, but when he became stronger, he didn't get sick much and he developed into a lovely little boy. Normally we have baby's only 3 months in Amecet then we bring them back to the relatives, but with Robert was that not possible, He became the darling of the aunties. But still, Robert needed a family!! And God heard our prayers... A Missionary couple in Soroti came to visit us, and after that time several times more... They also loved Robert, after talking, the process started. Going to the Probation office, then finding the relatives and see if they had changed their mind. It is quite a process, but today the Probation officer came to Amecet to hand Robert over officially to his new parents. Their fostering of 3 years has started and will be going over in adoption after 3 years. 
Rachel and Daniel Graham receive their new son from Amos Oluka, the Probation Officer
And this is the family, with their first born son. They are really so happy with them and for us it is such a relief, to know that he will be loved and cared for, that he will get his ARV's every day, that he has a future! 
I want to share something else with you... About Michel. He is with us for more than a year. Left behind in the outpatient of Soroti hospital. He is spastic and can't sit on his own, he doesn't talk. But he is such a lovely boy, when he smiles at you, your day is good!!! Michel has been sick for a week now. High fevers, really high, and he get all tense and stiff, he cries, he might have pain. We have been gone to the clinic, treated him, but still the high fevers were there. We took him to the pediatrician, she changed the medication again, we had to do some more blood tests, but nothing came out of it. It is hard to see him so miserable. The staff is doing great with him, they are really trying to help him, holding him when he cries etc. Please pray for Michel, that the medication will work and that we will see his lovely smile again!!! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Belated Happy Women's Day..

Yesterday was Women's day, but for us it was not a happy day, we were not in the mood to celebrate. Today I felt that it was good to encourage the staff and to thank them for all the good care they give to the children.. So today we celebrated Happy Women's Day. Of course with a soda drink, no party in Uganda without a soda!!! This is not the whole staff, some were on night duty and were still sleeping and some were free today. But this are all the ladies who are caring for the children, they fed, bath and hold the children. Besides them we still have our Kitchen lady, laundry lady, cleaning lady and two compound men. Then a handyman and two social workers. We are quite a crew!!
This week we got a box with adult T-shirts from a university in Holland (they got a new logo). We gave all the staff members a T-shirt, which was very much appreciated by them.
And we appreciate them!! They are a good bunch of people and without them, we couldn't function!
Amecet Staff: thank you so much for your good work!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

We lost baby Kave...

This morning, at 3.45 am, baby Kave slipped away into the hands of Jesus. Yesterday was a very hard day for all of us. In my last blog I wrote that we had to put her on oxygen and NG tube, but we had still good hope that she would pick up. We had day and night someone assigned to her. That was necessary, because she stopped breathing at times. Than the monitor started to beep and we had to lift her a bit put her arms up and she started to breath again. Yesterday it was more frequently, so we called the pediatrician again, she prescribed a certain medicine, so Janneke and I drove to town to buy that. It helped a little but not much. Than at the end of the afternoon the cannula was blocked. Two nurses from the clinic came and were trying for one hour to get a new line. The veins were like small threats, so tiny, they gave up. Janneke and I were very frustrated, what to do, who could help us? I decided I would go to Soroti hospital and find a doctor who could help, Janneke would stay with Kave (who was on the monitor and on oxygen) in Amecet and ready to jump in the car with her, if I would find someone. It was already 6 pm. not many doctors around, but I found one at the children ward, So I called Janneke and they came with Kave. The doctor and a nurse tried, but also they couldn't do it, they called a colleague and he was able to get a line! We rushed back to Amecet and put Kave comfortable back in her bed, on the monitor and the oxygen. we prayed and I went home. I got a phone call at 3.45 am that she had passed away. We have done all we could, even it is so limited, we did what we could. You go in the battle for her life and you feel so defeated. This is the second baby we lost in two weeks!!  But then, when you see this little tiny baby (40 cm) laying in the small coffin, you know that God had mercy on her. Still we are struggling with again another death. We know that God is in control, but you still feel empty and shocked. We all need to work it through again, by a good cry, a good sleep, Also the children need to work it through....
 Angela did that on her own special way... she put her two dolls on drip (on the table) and also Jesica and Grace were put on drip. And according to Angela, they all got better!!!!
We have to go on....we even got a new baby yesterday morning. A little baby boy was found in Kumi town (neighbouring district), he was laying in a carton box, still connected with the placenta. No one around, no one knows where he is from.. We called him Jonathan, he is drinking well and weighs 2.7 kg. So life goes on...but it is not easy at the moment.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weighing only 1.3 kg..

 On Sunday I wrote how we got little baby Kave in Amecet. A very small little baby, whose mother passed away after giving birth. We decide yesterday to give her a NG tube, drinking is not easy for her, it cost her so much energy. Also her father came to visit her yesterday. That was good to talk with him, because on Sunday, when we met, he was so confused and in a shock. Kave had lost 100 gram, that is normal, that baby's loose a bit of weight after being born, that IS a big job, which takes a lot of energy. But Kave can not loose much more, that is why we gave the NG tube, to let her drink without using a lot of her resources.
Today, in the morning, Kave got some problems in her breathing. We checked her saturation and put her on oxygen. I called the pediatrician, if we could come and see her, without having to wait long. We could come right away. She examined her and prescribed treatment. When we came back in Amecet, Janneke went busy with trying to put a cannula in. That is not easy with such a small baby with very tiny veins. 
And here she lays, very comfortable, with tube and IV cannula. It brings a lot of care and work, but we want to see her live! Every hour she gets some fluid in her veins, every 3 hours she gets feeding through her NG tube, every 6 hours she gets medication via the cannula, and then all the checks on her. The coming nights we have one nurse, sitting with her. We are so happy we have some volunteer nurses here at the moment, to help us taking care of Kave.
Please help us with your prayers, so we all join efforts to care for Kave.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tyonti went to the eye hospital..

 Last week, on Monday, Simon brought Joshua Tyonti from our school to Amecet. Joshua has been in Amecet for quite a while. He is HIV+ and gets his ARV medicines. He has been resettled back to his relatives. He lives with his uncle and his family in Soroti. He is doing very well with his medicines, takes them every day and comes on the appointment days to the hospital to see the doctor and get new medicines. We support him to go to our Harmony Primary school. So we keep a good eye on him. Joshua has always problems with his eyes. We took him to the doctor in Soroti hospital, we even took him to the eye hospital in Tororo. But when Simon saw him last week in school, he was crying, he hardly could see. We try to comfort him, he was really in panic, he could not see anymore. It was so painful to see him like this. Joshua is always so optimistic, it goes always good with him, he says. But now, he was totally devastated. The sunlight hurt his eyes, so we got him sunglasses. After some eye drops and a cold compress, he could see a bit. So a bit later he tried to use the bicycle again. That is how Joshua is, so positive and optimistic!!!
We agreed with his uncle, that he was staying for now in Amecet and on Thursday, we took him to the eye hospital in Tororo (3 hours drive). The doctor found his left eye almost blind and he has a ulcer in both eyes. She wanted to admit him in the hospital, but we had no ARVs so we got many eye drops and ointments and we had to come back the next week to be admitted.
Janneke made a tied schedule to give  the eye drops and ointments and we saw a bit of improvement. He was more on the bicycle (with sun glasses) more coloring (with his nose on the paper) playing with the little children and leading the singing after our evening supper!  Today we (Simon, Janneke and me) we went back with Joshua to Tororo, his uncle came along, he would stay with Joshua in the hospital.
Joshua was scared and very quiet. we tried to cheer him up, but he was very serious. here Janneke sits with him, we are waiting for our appointment with the doctor.
The doctor checked his eyes again and they also saw a small improvement. But the ulcer in the left eye was now a scar and his eye was almost blind. The right eye was a bit better. As first the doctor wanted still to admit him, but after seeing another eye doctor, we were able to take him back with us. We got other eye drops and we had a good talk with the doctor. We got her telephone number and will go back after a month, but we can always call her if we need advice.
Joshua was very happy, he was talking and smiling again!!
He will stay in Amecet for now, so we can keep an good eye on the condition of his eyes. We have good hope that his right eye will still improve and we pray that the scar in his left eye will get a bit smaller. Joshua has been on his bicycle already, we hope he can go back to school soon. I have learned from him... He is always so positive, you never hear him complain. It is so nice to see him smiling and enjoying the things he can do. He is an example to me!!! I am happy that we, as Amecet, can stand with him in his difficult moments, but these moments are not long, because Joshua is smiling already!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A new baby from only 6 hours old..

I was just home when I got a phone call from the hospital from Dr. Ouna. There was a pre-mature baby, whose mother just passed away. The father was confused and nobody else to help. The mother was from Congo, so her family was not around either.  I picked Janneke from Amecet and we drove to the hospital. The doctor was happy to see us and showed us the baby. After she was born, around one month too early, they had been busy with the mother and they had put the baby in a cloth under the lamp, to keep her warm. She was only 6 hours old.
This is how we found the little girl, in a plastic tray, under a lamp.
The father was nowhere to be seen, but they found him after some time. He was confused and upset. We tried to get our forms filled and asked him to name his little girl. He didn't know, so then he gave her a name in Swahili which means "trouble". We asked him to get her another name, then he gave her a name from Congo, after her mother: Kave.
Janneke took the baby and wrapped her in some warm blankets. She looked okay, even she is very small. The father disappeared after signing our papers, he was going to organise a vehicle to take the body of the mother home to the village to bury her.
We drove home and after weighing her (1.4 kg.) we prepared our incubator. We pray she will drink a little bit and that there will no other complications. The mother was HIV+ and we will start Kave on ARV's. After 6 weeks we will test her if she is HIV positive or not.