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, July 31, 2016

We have a little dragon in our blood.......

We had a meeting with our older children today in the garden. We talked about their HIV status and used the little book "There is a little dragon in Brenda's blood.". It tells the story about a small HIV+ girl and the HIV virus is called a little dragon. You have to take your ARV medicines, than the dragon stays asleep and doesn't make you sick. It also talks about the stigma, some children don't want to play with Brenda, because of the little dragon in her blood and it talks about loosing your parents, Brenda's mother died of AIDS.... 
We had a good talk, they participated and were alert, auntie Lydia was there to translate for the children who do not speak so much English. 

After our meeting it was time to eat, they all ate well, for the people who have been with us, I made a picture from our pots, still the same and still nice and healthy!! 

But then we noticed one of the boys very quiet, we asked if something was wrong, nothing, he said. I followed him to his room and found that he was laying on his bed, sobbing... I got Lydia again and we tried to find out what happened, at first he couldn't talk, then he told us that he missed his mother and he felt that the other boys didn't like him. My heart went out to him, we talked to him and the other boys, who are sleeping on the same room, came in. They also felt for him and were really nice to him. We prayed for him and told him that nobody hates him and that he needed to take some rest. I stayed with him till he slept. Later he came to me, I was sitting behind the computer in the office, he wanted to know if he was going home already, I asked him if he wanted to go home, "no" he said, "my brothers and sissters don't want me to stay with them" There is much more going on, Stigma at home, rejection from his brothers and sisters and his parents died already from AIDS.
In our staff meeting this afternoon, we talked about it, and we prayed for all of them. We don't know how much they already have suffered and how often they were rejected. 
We need God to give us wisdom and a heart full of compassion........

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Renovation is going on (2)

In April I wrote my first blog about the renovation, we are  going to have. We have not rested, we are in full swing preparing for the renovation!! We are preparing our Amun home, for all the children from Amecet, who will live in Amun, when the renovation is going on in Amecet.
 The wall around Amun is finished! It looks very smart and it is more safe then the wired fence we had, The good thing is that also the snakes will stay out!!!!!
 This when you come into the gate, towards the house.
This is the new home for our staff member Dominique and her daughter Ruth. They lived inside the big house, but we will use her appartment for the babies. For the people who have been here, this is the little guesthouse and we made the store into a bedroom and added at the back 1,5 mtr. It is a nice little home and Dominique and Ruth are happy with it.

Maybe some of you remember that we had a fire at Amun and the big open hut burned down. We always used the hut as a shelter and as a meeting place. When we are coming with all the children to live for 2 months in Amun, we really need that shelter again, we decided to restore the shelter!!! 

We found some men to build the wooden frame again. The metal poles and the cemented little walls were still there.  You can see the man tying the wood, ready for the grass, which will be tied on the wooden frame

Simon and Elias went to the village with two cars, to buy the grass.

Two ladies are doing that job, one is tying the grass in the right size bundle and the other one is at the top, tying the grass down on the wooden frame

It is almost finished!! There are also two men repairing the cement on the little walls. Because of the heat from the fire, there were cracks. The hut is finished in a couple of days.
Amun house doesn't have a big veranda, so we will sit with all the babies in the hut, during the day.
Inside Amun we need new doors and the toilet needed to be changed, from two small ones we made one big toilet. I think we are almost ready for the big move.......... We keep you informed!! For those who want to help with the renovation, we can still use finances towards this big operation. You can find the details of our bank on the Home page of this blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ruben will be Fred.......

In my blog of April 16, 2016, I wrote about a little boy, who was found on the road, dumped and abandoned by his family. In the blog of April 16 I wrote about the tracing we tired, we went several times back to Serere looking for people who knew the little boy, we placed him several time with his picture in the newspaper, but nothing came out. We got from the Police and Probation office the green light to look for a family who could foster and then adopt him. We found that family!!! And that is why his name is changed into Fred, after his new father!!!!
Today was the official hand-over...
 Mr. Ekallam, the senior Probation officer, came to Amecet to represent the government of Uganda and handed Ruben/Fred over to his new parents. They were very happy and we know that Ruben/Fred will be loved and cared for.
We will miss him, he was walking all over the compound, he starts to talk and makes us to laugh!! But his friend Jackson will miss him the most... Jackson is walking now and together they roam around and fight about the little scooter. Jackson will miss his friend, but at least he doesn't has to fight anymore about the scooter!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Topista has a club foot...

We got two new children yesterday. In the morning a phone call from the Police, there was a little child found under a bush... Please can you come and help?? Together with Esther, I went to the Central Police station. The day before, on Sunday, a lady had found the little boy under a bush. She took the child home and cared for him. But her landlord told her that she should go to the Police. And the Police called us. They are a bit hesitated for children to be with people in their homes, so they wanted to place the child under the care of Amecet. The lady had called the child "Sunday", because she found him on a Sunday. I asked her if I could change it into Samuel, that was fine, she said, she will come and visit him in Amecet, she said. Samuel might be almost 1 year old, he was a bit scared yesterday, but today he is moving around and playing. The Police is going to trace for the relatives...
The second child is a girl of 9 months old, her mother died on Saturday and the father asked for help, we can help for some months, in that time he has the opportunity to look for a solution for the girl. Her name is Topista, a new name for me... She is a healthy baby, maybe a bit small, but she had a funny left foot. The father told us that she had been born with it and that they went for an operation, but he didn't know much more. 
We took her to the doctor and were advised to take her to the hospital, to the orthopedics. We did that this morning and it is a clup foot, the doctor didn't understand the operation she had before, but we are starting a programme with plaster around her left leg, which will bend the foot slowly into the normal position. I had to go and buy the plaster and the gloves, because there were none in the hospital. And they put the plaster around her left foot and leg. She cried and struggled and as you can see on the picture, she was exhausted when we came home..... We have to come back every week, they will renew the plaster, until the foot is in the right position. According to the doctor, we were a bit late, the younger the child is, the better.. In one way, Topista is lucky that she is in Amecet, otherwise there was probably not much done about her foot and she would be lame for life.....

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Blessing of reading glasses

 We are receiving reading glasses from Holland and we give them out to people who need them. It is a blessing for many people. There are teachers, policemen, pastors and here on this picture you see three nurses from Soroti Hospital. They are very happy with the glasses, it helps them to be able to read the writing of the doctor(!). We give them a book with small letters or the newspaper and they just try out, which glasses are the best.
 We get the reading glasses send by people in the Netherlands, so sometimes we are out of stock, we have to wait until someone sends them again. It always amazes me, that when we have a new load of glasses, people know..... maybe the tam-tam goes, because then many people come and ask for reading glasses. As long as we have them... we are happy to give them out!
This gentleman also found a pair which helps him to read the newspaper again! I hope he doesn't forget to take off the sticker!
If there are people who wants to help us in sending reading glasses, we are happy to receive them and to give them out! But we only give out reading glasses, no glasses for far sighted problems. We mostly give out +1, +1,50, +2, +2,50, +3. Our address is: Amecet, PO BOX 792, Soroti, Uganda.
Eyalama noi!!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bariki Bye Mary, Moses, Peter and Sagal......

Here we sing our goodbye song to Mary, Moses, Peter and Sagal (was on the empty little chair). They all left Amecet, with their new "forever" family. They are adopted to three families and left for Belgium. Amecet does give children sometimes for adoption, this is quite a process, it goes through the Probation office and the High Court of Uganda. It is the last thing we do, normally the children go back to their relatives, we search among their relatives to a fit person to care for the child, if the parents are not there or are not able to care for their child. If that doesn't work out, we look for a local, Ugandan family to foster and later adopt the child, if that also doesn't work out, we look to the international adoption, which we had to do in case of Mary, Moses, Peter and Sagal.
 Mary is 12 years old and we know her since 2008, when she came in Amecet for the first time. She was re-settled with her mother after some months, but her mother passed away in 2011 and because of the situation in her family, Mary came again in Amecet for some months. We keep in contact with the children who are HIV+, we visit them in their villages, when Mary was re-settled again, this time with her grandmother, we kept monitoring her. It did not go so well, we brought her back to her uncles, and that didn't work out, so we helped the grandmother, where she went back to. But things were not going well. Mary didn't go to school, was on the streets etc. We were worried about her. In October 2015, we took her back in Amecet. There was a family found for her in Belgium. It took still  9 months before it was all organized. Many trips to the village and a lot of paperwork. But now she is gone with her new mother. They lived for some time together here in Soroti, while waiting for the High Court, but she is very happy. We are also very happy for Mary, she has a future ahead of her...
Moses and Peter are twins. They came into Amecet in October 2015. You can read their story in the blog of October 2, 2015. It was impossible to re-settle them back with their relatives. Their mother is always "on the road". It was endangering the life of the children, to bring them back to her (which she didn't want), also relatives were not able or willing. We also had the solution of international adoption. This Belgium family is thrilled to take them into their home and heart. They are bonding well and we feel they are the right people for the boys!
Sagal was very weak and sick when he came into Amecet, you can read about that in the blog of 28th of August 2015. He picked up good and is a cute, stubborn little boy. he knows what he wants and what he doesn't want!! When he saw his new parents, he was happy and he knows that they love him and will care for him, from now on. Sagal's situation was also difficult, no one in his family was willing to care for him and because of his status, he needs a home which is able to care for him.  We wish him and his new parents blessings and I would love to see this little man in a couple of years!!!!! With his sweet smile, he has a way with people.....

We will miss the children, they were with us for quite a while, but we are thrilled that they have a family, a place where they belong and.... we keep in touch with them!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Anna Grace will go to school tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow she is allowed to go to school, we start with half days. Anna Grace is still a bit weak, a whole day school might be too much for her! Anna Grace came at the end of May in Amecet. Both of her parents died of AIDS and she is also HIV+. She was getting her ARV's from a Health centre in her village, but we found out that she is taking them wrongly for years.... The doses she took were too low and she was getting weak and sick.  She has gained 4 kg. since she came to Amecet, got stronger, at first she was laying down most of the days, but not anymore, she walks around, plays and colors and she is asking if she can go to school.... We refused at first, because she was still so weak, but now she is doing well, is more active, so we let her go for half days only (for now). When I gave her a schoolbag and books, she was shining!!!! It is such a joy to see her happiness!
This are our other three musketeers, they all came into Amecet at the way Anna Grace came in. But now they are all going to school and they are doing well!! Today they helped us with washing the dishes, on Sunday, several of our staff is free, so their help is very welcome. This is also so good to see, they came in sick and weak, now they are strong, funny and reaching out to help!
We still receive little baby's, this picture, I took this morning from baby Julius. He was only 9 hours old when he came into Amecet! He was born at home, in the village and the mother started to bleed after the baby was born, she died only hours later. The situation at home was not so good, there is a grandmother, but she has a mental problem, so it was not good to have him at home. They came for help to Amecet. Julius weighed 2.3 kg and looked a bit yellow. he was weak, couldn't suck from his bottle, so we had to give him a NG tube, to be able to give him the nutrients he needed. We changed beds, so that he would get more daylight, through the window and today he is doing good. He is with us for 3 weeks, and he gained 280 gram. Maybe that doesn't seem much, but now he started to gain, he will  gain more and more. It gives you also an idea how we struggle sometimes for 280 gram! But we believe in the small beginnings......