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!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

We are proud of our fruits.......

Here are three of our children from the beginning... We are so proud of them! At the moment they all three work in Amecet. Mary (at the right) is waiting for her exam results from the nursing school, Sarah (at the left) is waiting for the results of her Senior 4 exams. And we said goodbye to Kevin (in the middle) she finished her primary teachers education and left yesterday to Kampala, for her first job as a primary school teacher!! We are so proud of her!! It is not easy for her to leave her friends and family behind and to go to Kampala, but she will make it!!
It is such a joy to see the fruits of Amecet blossom, we have also two pre-school teachers and a lab technician seeing going out for jobs... We feel thankful that we could help them standing up and encouraging them to try and not give up. But they did the work, they went to study and persevered.
We are thankful for those who helped to finance their studies. Right now we are helping another 6 students to pursue their secondary school. Education is the key!!

Friday, January 26, 2018

The twins went back home and tracing for "Job's" family....

 The twins were brought back to their mother today! You can read the story of the mother in the blog of 19/11/2017. She got burned by teargas in Soroti town and was in a terribly condition.But she got help from different organizations and was brought to Kampala where she got very good treatment. The boys were brought to the neighbours, but when she went to Kampala. Amecet took the boys in. They are a hand full!!! They are very naughty and in everything they should not be in... But they were sweet as well and they adjusted quite well. The mother got back to Soroti and is doing well, she was ready to take her boys back!!!  Simon brought them, together with Erne (right) and Helen (left). 
It was hard for them at first, to recognize their mum, they cried a bit when we left, but I am sure they will adjust to be back with their mother. We are very happy that the mother is doing so good and the boys had also a good time with us!

We have another boy living in Amecet since Dec. 24th, he was brought by the Police, found in the bus station. We think he is 4 years old, but he doesn't talk, he understand Atesso, the language from around here, but for the rest we don't know anything, not even his name!! We put his picture in the local newspaper, but nobody came forward. Today Simon went to hang posters around the bus station, the hospital and on some trees. He also brought a radio message to the local radio. We pray that someone will recognize the boy. We named him Job, for now...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Please, pray for Martha......

Martha is a little girl of 1 year and 5 months old. She came into Amecet, almost a year ago.
She was just over 6 months  and her weight was 2.9 kg. Her mother is a teenager. She was severe malnourished and she was admitted in the hospital, by that time. The hospital asked us to take over from the mother, because the mother was depressed and frustrated. Our social workers went to talk with the family, the mother and the grandparents and we offered to help the mother to go back to school. She was suppose to go to P7, the exam class of the primary school, a very important year. Amecet would care for the baby and the mother would sit for her exams. Then later the family would take the baby back to their home....That was the plan..... But things went different, when Martha came she was fed by NG tube, she had difficulties with swallowing. We went to the pediatrician, we tried to feed her by mouth, but we didn't came much further. Slowly Martha started to gain, she started to use her hands to grasp things, she started to respond to different people, smiling, but still she had to be fed by NG tube and was still small and floppy, for example, she can scratch her nose with her toes, very elastic... Then one of the doctors in Soroti referred us to Kampala, to a neurologist/pediatrician. we organized the trip to Kampala, together with 2 other children. The doctor in Kampala thought that it was a chromosome disorder where she is born with. They took blood samples for tests and we went back to Soroti. 2 weeks later we got the results: it is confirmed that Martha has a rare chromosome disorder : Trisomy 9. We have searched the web and got several websites with information about this disease. You can't do much about it, they can grow over some things, but there is a big different, when you are born in the West instead of in a small village in Africa. The diagnosis gave a lot of answers. But right now we are struggling with the blood sugar of Martha. She had high fevers last week and probably an infection which affect her kidneys. There is sugar in her urine and she goes up and down with her blood sugar. It all relates to the Trisomy 9.  
Please pray for Martha, that the blood sugar will stabilize and the sugar will not come out in the urine. Pray for wisdom, we soon have to take decisions about Martha, but her home situation is not stable at all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Patrick has a future....

 Yesterday, the Probation Officer (child protection) came to Amecet to give Patrick to his new parents!!! We are so happy that also this sad story has a happy ending.

Patrick was left alone in the market street in Soroti (Sept.2017), he was found at 11 pm at night by a boda boda driver. The first picture (left) was taken around that time. Patrick was malnourished, sick and very miserable. His right side was very swollen, we were advised to take him to Kampala, to the heart institute, to see if his heart was affected. That was all fine, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong, only severe malnourished. We could take care of that.... just see the second picture (right), he has gained so much, almost too much!! Another aspect we were worried about was the emotional side, he refused to talk to anyone. We heard him sometimes talk to himself, when he was in bed, but as soon as someone came into the room, he stopped. That aspect has also improved, he does talk, sing, shout to people. He is such a happy, friendly boy. During the last months, our social workers, Simon and Elias have been searching for his relatives, with newspaper adds, posters, going after tips, but nothing came out. So with the permission of the Probation Office we looked for a family who was willing to foster and later adopt him. And yesterday was the big day, the Probation Officer came to hand him officially over to his new parents. 
 They are happy with him and I believe they will love him and raise him up. We already miss him, but Patrick has now a place where he belongs and we were happy to be there for him in that time of need. Now he can go on, he has a future!!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bye bye Anna.......

 Today was the day we said Goodbye to Anna. Sarah loves Anna a lot and she will miss her, but Anna is going to her new family, and that is why we can rejoice!!!
Anna came to Amecet in March 2017, her mother was mentally ill and nobody knows who her father is. The uncle brought Anna to Amecet when she was 5 days old, her mother had given birth to her, by herself in the bush, but she rejected the baby, didn't want to give breastfeeding and was aggressive towards the baby. So the baby came to Amecet..... After 2 months we wanted to resettle the baby back to the relatives, but then the problems came. The uncle was looking after the other children of the mother and his own children, he couldn't care for another baby. we went to talk with them, to see if there would be another relative willing to look after Anna, but there was no one.They asked us to look for a family who wanted to foster Anna and later adopt her.
 That process took time, we had to put Anna's picture in the newspaper, to see if anyone came still to claim her. But no one came, so the process went on and a nice family came forward, they wanted to adopt a child. Today the Senior Probation officer, Mr. Oluka Amos (right) gives Anna to her new parents. They were very happy to receive Anna...
And this is the happy family!!! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Life and Death, R.I.P little Mary....

Mary came in Amecet in July 2017. She was 14 months old, but had the looks and the weight of a new born baby. Severe malnourished (2.7 kg) and very weak. We took her to different doctors, were referred to Kampala. There came out of the tests that she had a very rare chromosome abnormality and a severe heart defect, related to this chromosome abnormality. According to the doctors of the Heart institute, Mary needed a heart surgery. But her weight was just 4 kg, she was too small for the operation.. This was a big dilemma, but this morning the decision was taken, without us... at 9.15 Mary died very peacefully, surrounded by people who loved her. Mary was loved by every staff member in Amecet, she could react, made sounds, smiled so lovely to you when you talked to her.
A small coffin was bought and Emmanuel and Deborah carried the coffin to the car. We brought her small body back to the family, where she will be burried among her clan members.

Mary you will be missed so much in Amecet, but we are comforted, to know that you are in the arms of your Heavenly Father, who loves you and you will have no pain or fever anymore!!    R.I.P.
Yesterday, Mary and I were called to pick a baby from Soroti hospital. The baby was born on the street, the evening before. The mother was a mental disturbed young lady, the father (if he really is the father) a very confused street boy. We have had a baby from this street boy father before in Amecet. After the baby was born, people who had helped them, brought them to the hospital. There, both of the parents disappeared... leaving the baby in the hospital. And then Amecet was called....
We gave him the name Gideon, he is a beautiful baby, his weight was 3 kg, and he looked good. He drinks not so well yet, but we have to give him time. Simon, our social worker is looking in Soroti town for the parents. We do know the relatives from the father, but the mother is unknown in Soroti. the tracing will soon start, to find  the mother and her relatives. In the meantime little Gideon is safe and cared for. 
Life and death, so close together in our Amecet family.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How a sad, confused story can have a happy ending....

On December 22, 2017 we got a phone call from Soroti Hospital. There was a little girl of around 4  years old, whose mother was confused and staying in the hospital compound. They feared for the safety of the little girl. The lady has been staying there for 2 days, the story was that she came with 2 children, the little girl and a baby boy. But someone had taken the baby from her and nobody knew who. The lady could not tell her name or where she came from, she spoke Luganda, not the language of Teso. The hospital asked if we could take the girl for safety, while tracing would go on for the relatives of the lady.
The little girl also spoke Luganda, but several of our staff members can speak Luganda, so that was no problem. She knew her name: Ketula, but that was all she knew. Ketula was a friendly girl, talked to everybody and loved to play. In the meantime, the hospital called us that the mother had disappeared. But 5 days later, she suddenly showed up in the hospital, she was calm and looking for her daughter. Simon was called and he had a talk with her. She told him her name and her story. She had lived in West Uganda with the father of Ketula. But he send her away and had taken a new wife. She had only one child, the story about the stolen baby boy was not true..... She told Simon she wanted to go to her own village, where her parents were living....
One of the staff members of Amecet came also from that village, he knew the people, whose names the mother told us. Phone calls were made and we got a contact with the family, who was very surprised and happy, they had not heard from their daughter for 5 years, they thought she was dead. 
Ketula was picked from Amecet, she had received a doll, from a visiting team, and the doll went of course with her, she didn't let her go out of her sight. The sad side of the story is that we had tested Ketula for HIV, and she was HIV+. We talked with the mother, she didn't know that Ketula was HIV+, she knew that she, herself was HIV+, and she had been on ARV medication, but she didn't know where her medicines were...
Simon drove them back to their village, but stopped in the nearby health centre. They talked with the medical officer there and explained the situation. They were willing to take them in their ARV program and to help them with the treatment. 
When they arrived in the village, people were happy to receive them and also to help them with their ARV medication. It is a happy ending, they are safe with their relatives and also Ketula is in the right place, among their relatives.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

He was not ready for this world....

Sunday morning (31/12/2017)  at around 8 am in the morning, a small, tiny baby was brought from the clinic, next door. The mother had given birth unexpectedly, after only 6 months of pregnancy. The baby was in urgent need of oxygen and an incubator. Because they already had another baby on their oxygen machine and because of our incubator, they came to us. It was a little baby boy, his weight was only 850 grams!!! So tiny and so small..... We dressed him into warm clothes and blankets and put him on the oxygen.
We got help from Doctor Engulu and his nurse, later the baby was given a cannula and medication. Mary (on the background), Immaculate and I cared for him. We kept the room warm and the baby was laid  in the incubator.   
 It was intensive, medication on certain hours, every two hours a couple of ml. formula. The mother was discharged from the clinic and came to see him and she held him for a little while. She gave him the name: Godwin. I was touched, when heard her story. She had given birth to 13 children, there were 4 sets of twins among those 13 children. And 7 children had died, all were born premature, like Godwin and passed away. She was so happy that her child was in Amecet, she thought that now everything would  be okay. I felt bad, because this baby was at high risk and the chance that Godwin would live was very small.... I tried to talk with her, that we would do all we could, but that Godwin had still a long way to go.... She went home, full of hope...
Yesterday, Tuesday, Godwin was struggling, his saturation (oxygen in his blood) went down several times and his heartbeat went down as well. Every time it came back up, but after 4 pm, it didn't came back up anymore, slowly it went down and down. I had called the family, the auntie came with the father. We talked and I explained that Godwin was dying. They went back home and I promised to call them whenever it was necessary. Mary was on night duty, she was prepared and knew that it might happen during the night. She was with him when he died at 9.25 pm....
 Little Godwin, only 32 cm long, you were a beautiful little boy, with such cute black (not yet curly) hair. Your ears were a bit funny, not yet normally formed. But I loved your 10 little fingers, with those tiny little nails, those 10 cute toes, which we put in those big socks, because even our smallest socks were too big for them. I found clothes in size 44, but they were so big on you.... I miss your little cry, your alert black eyes, it almost looked, if you observed us. We cared for you and loved you, but this world was too big and cold for you. We know you are with The Father now, that is a better world for you!!