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!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two sad stories....

Yesterday afternoon Epietu was brought in by his auntie. I wrote several times about this little boy who is now 6 months old. He was our little Christmas boy! He was always very tense and restless, not easy to feed, a child who has his marks of life already on him, and that were not happy marks!! We found his grandmother willing to take him and we trained her to feed him. In the blog of May 25 I wrote about her, coming to take Epietu home. She loves him and he was very happy to be with her. After two weeks she came back and we helped her with some nutritional supplements and we weighed him and he gained!!! We were very happy, until yesterday......
The auntie told us that he had been sick and was put on Quinine, he was still vomiting and had diarrhea. It was so sad to see him again like this. He lost almost one kg. and  was crying and miserable. He was taken directly to the clinic next door and tested for malaria and seen by the doctor. No malaria, but seriously dehydrated and malnourished. Was put on drip and Janneke stayed with him during the night. She told me later that he had really cried so bad, it had been very hard to keep him quiet and comfortable.
 Dominique took over in the morning and she has been standing with him in his arms, holding him like you see on the picture, for hours. By then he was on IV drip, on oxygen and on NG tube. In the afternoon he looked much better, not dehydrated anymore, Janneke and Dominique took him to the hospital to get a paediatrician to see him. test were done, and only severe malnutrition came out. So we are going to work seriously at that.
In the meantime, I worked with the other sad story.... The police brought a 10 year old girl to Amecet in the morning. She was found and brought to the police. She is from Tororo, a place around 3 hours drive East, from Soroti. She was living there with her parents, then her auntie took her from there to Amuria, a District N-W from Soroti. She went there to school, but she also had to clean, cook and do the laundry. Last week something went wrong and the auntie got angry, and beat her with a big stick on her arm, she had also splashes from hot water on her. yesterday morning the girl, Miriam, decided to leave and started to walk, direction home. She walked the whole day and was taken by the evening to the police, by concerned people. So the next day she ended up in Amecet. I took her to the clinic, because she couldn't use her arm and it was swollen. We had to go for an X-ray in town, because the electricity was off. Her arm was broken and again some hours later, she got a cast around her right arm. Tomorrow we will decorate it!! Miriam is a sweet girl, she can smile already. The police will decide what to do next, but she will probably go back to her parents in Tororo.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A succesful tracing day.

Very regular, we get children in Amecet, who are brought by the Police. This week we got on three different occasions, three girls, they were all in the age of 3-4 years old. They were found in town...
One girl, was found in the centre of town, walking by herself. She didn't know where she was from, only they got her name, Joyce. The Police brought her to Amecet and in the meantime did a radio announcement and hopefully someone who knew Joyce, would alert her parents.
The second girl, around 3 years old, was left behind by her mother in a local bar. The people didn't do anything at first, they thought the mother would come back. But when she didn't comeback after 3 days, they brought the girl to the Police, who brought her to Amecet.
They both came 4 days ago, and no one yet came for them. So we felt we have to do something ourselves as well to trace their relatives. We made posters with their pictures. Simon went this morning to hang several around town.
 This is on an electricity  pole, in the neighbourhood where Joyce was found.
 He put them on sign boards.
 On bulletin boards, where people come, to read announcements.
 This is the local bar where the other girl was left by her mother.
Near the hair saloons, where many people come and sit.

And yes, Simon was still hanging them, while someone approach him, he knew one of the girls on the poster. he knew the parents of Joyce. Simon got the telephone number and called the mother. The mother has been looking around for her daughter, for days... He told her to go first to the Police, to get a letter and then come with that letter to Amecet. So we had a happy reunion, they went back home happy!!
The third girl was brought today by the Police, that was an easy case, within 2 hours the parents came to collect her with a letter from Police. The girl had been playing with other children and escaped, then she didn't know anymore how to go back home.
It is quite traumatic for the children to get lost, brought to the Police and then come to a home with many strangers, even Muzungu's (white people). But we do see the children start playing and enjoying themselves while they are here. We do hope and pray for the one girl left by her mother in that bar, that someone knows a relatives or so. We even don't know her name...... When she came she was very weak, we took her to the doctor and she had a serious malaria. We started treatment, and we hope we can resettle her as well to her own people.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Miracles DO exist..........

 This is Thomas, in the WALKER!!!!!!! Okay, he doesn't know yet what to do, he looks a bit confused in it, but this is our Miracle!!!! 
 October 2014, 7 months ago,  Thomas (the little baby at the right), was brought into Amecet together with his brother Walter (5 years). We have had many struggles especially with Thomas, there has been a time we did not know if he would make it.... But never give up, today he "walks" in our walker!!!!!!
And our next "miracle" today is Gabdesia, we have been writing about her in our blog regularly. For a while things were not going well and she was really down, Today she eats so much better and we have a special schedule for her, with special food. It is Plumpy nut paste, she is eating it here on the picture. And she is doing so much better, this is also a Miracle, even we want to see more miracles in her life still.
It is important to pause and look at the miracles in your life, they are there!!!! I am so often taken up with all the problems and difficult things that are happening in Amecet, but today I want to look at the MIRACLES and be encouraged!!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

- 4 + 4 =

This week four children are due to go home. They have been here all 2 - 4 months and they do really well. We contacted the family and they will come to pick their child. All the families are aware, we always make an agreement how long the child will stay with us. Some children need more time than what we agreed  in the beginning, so we contact the family and discuss. We invite the relatives to come and visit the children, but it is sometimes hard for them, They live deep in the village and transport cost a lot of money. But we hope that those four children will be doing well at home, in the midst of their own people.
Last week, the first set of twin arrived. This are Patricia and her twin brother Aron. They are 6 weeks old and their weight was only 2.5 and 2.8 kg. The grandfather brought them and asked our help. Their mother has a mental illness and she tried to strangle one of them. She doesn't want to breastfeed them so that is probably the reason that they are so small. The family hopes that when they can stay with us for some months, they will be changed and the mother will not bother them anymore. The grandparents will care for them later. We took them in, to give them safety and also because they are malnourished. They drink well and they both gained in one week already!! 
And today the second set of twins arrived in Amecet. This are two brothers, Peter and Charles. They were triplets and were born by Cesarean in the hospital, but one of the three baby's died directly and also the mother passed away, just after some hours. The two boys were taken back to the village, together with the bodies of their brother and their mother. We helped with milk money, but when they came this morning (I had asked the father to come with the baby's, so we could asses them) we felt we should help the baby's and also the family who is really suffering. They are now 1 month old, but their weight is 2.5 kg. The father was happy that we kept them in Amecet and is very willing to take the care over again, after 2 months. So their work is now drinking and gaining......

So 4 are going out and 4 are coming in.........

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rose and Anna are back in Kotido..

In February 2015 we got a phone call from the Probation Officer from Kotido. If we could help with two infants.... Kotido is a District more North of Soroti. It is mostly Karomajong who live there and it is a couple of hours drive, over very bad roads...
We have had children via the Kotido Probation office (Child Protection) before. It is a bit difficult to have children from so far, we can't do our own tracing or home visitation. The probation office there is doing that and they are also responsible to do the monitoring after the child is going back home. We can't help with porridge flour, sugar or milk money, because it is too far. But the children we got via the Kotido Probation office in the past, were very needy, so if we can help, we help...
The two little girls he brought in February, were not too bad, they were not malnourished, but they both lost their mother and they feared that they were not taken good care off now. So we got them in Amecet and in the meantime they looked in the family who will care for them. Baby Rose was 3 month old and baby Anna was only 4 days old when they came to Amecet on February 14.
 This picture was taken in May 2015, they were 3 months with us. They both do very well, gaining and they have hardly been sick. Everybody loves Rose (left) and Anna. They are very ready to go back home, but we had to wait untill the Probation Officer from Kotido came to Soroti to pick them.
And yesterday (Saturday) they came.. Baby Anna was picked by her Auntie (left on the picture) and Rose was picked by her grandmother. It is always hard to let go, you start loving them and you know that they go to a difficult place, where people are poor and where is not so much hygiene. But at the other hand it is so good to see them go back to their people, to the place where they belong...
Dear Anna and Rose, we wish you the best and we enjoyed your lovely smiles, may God bless you and protect you!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

After 10 months in Amecet, Norah gets a FAMILY!!!

Norah came to Amecet, via the hospital, she was admitted because she had fever and she cried all the time. A neighbour was with her in the hospital to care for her, because her mother was unable to do so. The mother is very sick, unable to walk and nobody in the family wanted to look after Norah. Norah came into Amecet as a sickly, crying child. It took a couple of months until Norah was doing better. She started to crawl when she was 11 months old and she became the darling of Amecet. She has such a cute smile, that you just melt, but she was very naughty, you could tell her to stop doing something, she looks  at you, smiles and continues... Sometimes she was really the troublemaker of Amecet. When she started to walk (at 13 months) she changed, she wanted to help every time, you were feeding a baby, put down the bottle to let the baby burp and you find your bottle is gone....Norah was bringing the bottle to the kitchen!!
Simon has been visiting the family, trying to find some one to care for Norah, but in vain. The family told Simon to find another family for Norah to adopt her.. So that is what he has been working on and he found a lovely family, right here in Soroti!! Yesterday, the probation Officer,  Mr. Ekallam came to give her officially over to her new family.
We are very happy that Norah will grow up in a loving family, it is something we wish for every child that leaves Amecet. Several children left, during the last week, it is difficult sometimes to let a child go. We offer some extra help, we visit at their homes, but it is letting go....
We let Norah go with a joyful heart!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In what world do we live????

That is what I ask myself at times and today it was a day that I was asking myself again that question: In what world do we live??? This morning we got a little baby of one month old, brought to Amecet by the grandmother and an auntie. A terrible story was behind this, The family had been to church, before they left the mother had prepared some beans. When they came back, they mingled Atapa to eat together with the beans. So the family (father, mother and three children, one still a baby) set down together to eat. After they ate, they got sick.... They were rushed to the hospital, one child died, the mother is still in critical condition, one child is stable and the father is also sick, but stable. The baby had not eaten the beans and is okay. The beans were poisoned! The baby is now with us, she is only one month old. A terrible story!
 Then in the afternoon, I am working in the office, the officer of the gender Police, here in Soroti, marched in: Els please come and look. I have a baby for you!
The story she told me was also not a good one: the neighbours asked the police for help. The baby was left by the parents in the hut and was crying for long hours. According to them, the parents were selling in the market and left the child alone at home. We took the child in, bathed and dressed him and fed him. It is a beautiful little baby boy. I think the parents will come for him, but they have to go via the Police and they will handle them. 
I am glad we could make the world a little bit better for those two children, at least for now.....