Malnourished and abused....

Jovan was brought to Amecet by a NGO, which works in the village. He arrived yesterday evening. Jovan is 12 years old and he weighs 15 kg. If I believe the pictures, made by the NGO 10 days ago, his weight has increased a lot!!

Ivan was abused by his father and his stepmom. He hardly got food, was beaten and he had to sleep with the chickens, they told me. Jovan was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for malaria and malnutrition. He was discharged yesterday, but the NGO didn't dare to bring him back home. So they came to Amecet asking for help.

When I saw the little boy, I felt for him, this boy has lived through so much suffering... His eyesight is almost gone and he lost ability in his right arm and right leg. They told me that he was normal when he was around 5 years old and in the hospital they said that this is all the result of severe malnutrition. Because of the feeding in the nutrition unit, his eyesight is already better, we hope and pray that it will continue to improve. We have to do exercises with the right arm, hand and leg and we have to bring him for review to the Physio therapy in the hospital, next week. Jovan is a sweet boy, he talks and he loves to eat!!! Which helps us in helping him!!!

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Four Baby's were brought......

This month, October, we already got 4 small new born baby's, brought to Amecet. Four sad stories and we are thankful that we can help those little one's. The first two, were Doreen and Emmanuel. They were both born on the same day, both lost their mother after the delivery.

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Anna was brought back to her village...

Normally, I am very excited when children go back home, but this time I am worried and sad... Anna was brought by the Police  to Amecet in October 2021. She was malnourished, had a lot of scars and was not happy. Can you imagine, how would you feel when you mother puts both of your hands in the fire, only because you were hungry and took some sunflower seeds without asking first.... She was already treated and the wounds were almost closed.

We treated the wounds further and we fed her and we loved her... She was 5 or 6 years old and her weight was 13 kg. We could see at her behavior that she was not used to correction by talking to her. She was not used to play and she had never hold a pencil in her hand...

She soaked in our attention and care, trying to please us, but she could also cry very loud if something went different as she wanted. She could also be very closed and refusing to say or do anything. 

After she was stable and more used to the environment of Amecet, things went much better. Her hands were completely healed and there was a little scar left, but it didn't effect her movements. She was gaining and we decided that it would be good for her to go to Top class from Harmony preschool.

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The story of Deborah...

Deborah was brought to Amecet on 2/9/'22. She was brought by her uncle and a staff of a healthcare centre in the village. Again a sad story, Deborah's mother is HIV+ and she has a mental problem. Nobody knows who is the father of Deborah. The uncle, (he is a cousin of her mother) tries to care for the mother and also for Deborah. Deborah is 15 months old, she can't walk, not even stand by her self. She is malnourished (her weight is 6.2 kg.) she is weak and she is aneamic. She is a sad little girl, very quiet, she doesn't cry and she doesn't laugh... she is just there.....  It took a lot of work to get a smile from her, she is really a child that touches your heart.

She was sick when she came, fever and no appetite. We took her to the doctor for check up, she had malaria and an infection, so she went on treatment. After the treatment, we tested her again, still malaria, again (another) treatment and also again antibiotic for an  urine tract infection. After that she was still not fine, we took her back to the doctor and he asked us to go and make a X-ray of the chest, maybe the fever, the lack of appetite and the weakness, could point to primary TB. We went to a centre which makes X-rays and after the X-ray, I was called, the X-ray didn't look good at all and the heart was also enlarged, the doctor there, suggested that we should make also an echo of the heart. He called our doctor and we all agreed that we should also make a heart scan. 

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We got two new little girls this week.....

The first baby was brought on Tuesday, by Simon, our social worker. He got a phone call from the Police, to come to the hospital to get a baby who was in danger. The mother of this little girl has a mental problem and was trying to strangle the baby. People around her took the child, but she was wild and the Police was called. The mother ran away and the baby was brought to Amecet.. She is a big baby, her weight is 8 kg. and we think that she is 3 or 4 months old. Feeding was not easy, she was used to breastfeeding, we think. The next day Simon tried to get more details about the mother, but she was not admitted in the hospital, the police had brought her there to be admitted in the mental unit, but she escaped before they could take her details.. Then he got a phone call that the mother was spotted somewhere in Soroti, together with the Police he went to see her. And they found her.... she was wild again, but could answer questions, she told him that the baby's name was Immaculate and that she was 3 months old. She could also tell them, where she came from and after some discussion, Simon and the Police decided to bring her home (1 hour drive) on this way, they could also meet her relatives, which is important to know when the mother disappears again and the baby will have a family.. Immaculate is drinking well now and smiling a lot. We wait and see what is going to happen with the mother, who also needs help. Please pray for the relatives, that they will take care of the mother and that she will be able to pick up and care for her little girl.

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Two abandoned little girls find their new family!!

Regularly, the police brings children to Amcet. The children are found somewhere, left behind by their relatives, somewhere...... In December 2021, a little girl was brought. She was left behind in a village church... We gave her the name Esther.  Our Social workers did all they could. They traveled to the church, talked with the people there, hang Posters with the picture of Esther, we made radio announcements, we put her picture in the local newspaper twice..... But nobody reacted, no relative, no neighbour, nobody...... In the meantime Esther was growing, started to play, reacted to the aunties and started to walk...... She is a little naughty, adorable girl, who really needed a family where she belongs...

In Amecet, we do the best we can, but children need to live in a family, where they belong. When a child is abandoned and we can't find any relatives, there is a process..... The Police gives, after some months, a clearance to find a family for her, the Probation Office is involved, a foster family will be found, forms have to be filled, interviews are done, the house is inspected and the new care order is issued by the Court. Then the day comes that we can hand over the child to the new family!!! (after several visits to bond first). 

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Hellen goes back home....walking.......

It was a good day, today we brought Hellen back home. She was brought to Amecet in February, very severe malnourished. She had oedema in her legs, arms and face. They told us that she had never walked, she was called "the lame of the village". Water oozed out of the legs, she was very irritated and had a lot of pain. Of course we took Hellen to the doctor,  she had infection, needed blood transfusion and a protein rich diet. She didn't talk (yet) and was not easy to please...

It was a process and we saw more and more the real Hellen. She is 4 years old.

She started to eat better, to play, to smile and to talk, mostly when they were suppose to sleep, then we could hear her talk, shout and sing to the other children. She started to move on her buttocks and then she started to walk!!!

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John went to his Eternal Home....

John was brought to Amecet in October 2022. Again a sad story, his father died before John was born and his mother died 2 weeks after the delivery. He was a total orphan. He had lost weight in those two weeks and had an infection. The doctor started  him on I.V. medication. He didn't want to drink, vomited a lot and had a bad cough. We struggled from the beginning with his health. John hardly gained and was very skinny and weak. We took him to several doctors, a lot of tests were done, HIV, sickle cell, a brain scan was done and a chest X-ray. We went to two paediatricians in Soroti, but all those tests came back negative. We didn't get a real cause for his "failure to thrive".

Everybody loved John, he could smile at you, with his beautiful big eyes and everybody wanted to do all they could, to help him. The relation with the family was not close. We called several times to the family, asking them to come for a visit, but they didn't come. John has been with us longer than normal, we knew that bringing him home in this  state, would not be good. The family could not handle him, the uncle and his wife had a big family themselves and also the care for John's brothers and sisters...

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Abandoned (continuation)

On April 4 I wrote a blog about some children who were abandoned by their mothers, we have some good news about two of them and I start with the baby on the picture. He is around 5 months old, we gave him the name Peter and he was left behind in the hospital, with a not. You can read the note in the previous blog.  Our Social workers have worked hard on this  case. We made posters and hang them in the hospital. We did announcements over the local radio and we placed a message in the local newspaper.

Reactions came!!!!!! We got several calls from people who thought that the baby was their grandchild. Three of them sounded very real, we talked with them and then one of them, we felt that this could be the grandmother of Peter. Which means that there are still two other baby's lost...

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Abandoned.......

At  this moment we have 8 children in Amecet, who are abandoned, most by their mother, but some also by their families, after the mother was taken into Police custody (for child abuse) or when the mother passed away.. Our social workers try to find the relatives or search among the relatives for a safe home to resettle the child. If that is not working out, the Probation Officer and the Police will ask us to find a local foster family who want to adopt the child in the future. Recently it seems that we have more abandoned children and I was thinking about this, why is a mother abandoning her baby, the baby she carried for 9 months and who she fed and cared for?? 

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Adoption papers were given!!!!!

It was for us in Amecet, a very special day........ We were able to give the final adoption orders from the Court, to 25 families!!!

In total there are 55 children adopted into local, Ugandan families. This are all children who could not go back to their own families, some were abandoned, and we were not able to locate their relatives, others were in danger to stay with their mother, some mothers had a mental illness and were just "on the road", others lost their mother and the relatives were not able to care for the children. Today, we saw 25 of them and it really touched me. Knowing, where the children came from and now seeing them, nicely dressed, loved and cared for, I am so thankful for these parents, who were willing to take them into their family and care for them as their own!!!!!

A special thanks goes to a Dutch organization; Metterdaad. They supported us financially. After the families had fostered the children for some years, the final adoption process had to start, but the families didn't have the money to start this long process. Metterdaad gave the finances and our social workers, Elias and Simon worked on the process, together with the Probation officer and the lawyer. Without the help of Metterdaad, we would not have the party today!!! 

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Twins x 3

Today, new twins were brought to Amecet. A boy and a girl... This brings the sets of twins to 3 in Amecet... And all 3 sets are boy/girl.......

The babies of today are 10 days old, left is Opio Silver and right is Adongo Benna, who smiled in her sleep, when I took this picture. They were born by caesarean operation, everything looked good, but after 4 days, the mother got problems with high blood pressure and she died. It is hard for the family to suddenly have to care for 2 small infants, so they asked Amecet for help. We are happy to help and the family can organize themselves and they will be ready in 2 months, to take over the care for them again.

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School is back in full swing...

Maybe you heard that the schools were closed in Uganda for almost 2 years..... January 2022 all the schools opened again and Elias, one of our two social workers , has been very busy to help the students we sponsor. With the help of a study support of the foundation The Figurant from the Netherlands, we are able to sponsor a number of students with their secondary school or life skill course. We focus mostly on the children living with HIV/AIDS and who are orphans. To give them a chance to be able to get a living after their school or course.

Elias is the person to help them to choose what to do, which school or which course. Someone may want to become a lawyer, but you need to have the ability to become a lawyer or a teacher. Elias sits down with them to counsel and to hear what they want. Elias is also the one to connect them with the school or course and to pay the school fees. All of them are in boarding schools and we are sure that they have a bed and meals during the day. There are many requirements for the student to bring to school, we have some students who have to bring all a bag cement when they come on the first day.... The school is still building classrooms and the cement helps with the building...

They all need uniforms, every school is different, many big notebooks, reading books and with the covid time, they all need to bring a big bottle of hand disinfectant, Vim and 10 rolls of  toilet paper. Then every student needs a matrass, soap, a metal box to keep his belongings safe and many other things. Elias is busy to provide all these things for each student.   

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Ocen was brought back to his relatives..

This week, our social worker Elias,  brought  Ocen back to his relatives in the village. When he was brought to Amecet, a couple of months ago, he was not sick or malnourished, he was a bit dull and sad, but that is completely over..... I made this picture some days ago, when they suppose to have their nap. He was standing in his bed, shouting to the other toddlers, to do the same and to make as much noise as possible.. His story is sad, as many stories of the children we get in Amecet. Ocen was brought by two gentlemen and a police officer, one of the two gentlemen said he was the former boyfriend of Ocen's mother. The mother had disappeared. We took Ocen in Amecet and our social workers started to trace for the mother.  It should be also the work of the police, but most of the times it is Amecet who is doing this work. Our two social workers, Simon and Elias, are the one's who trace for the relatives of the children in Amecet who are abandoned. Later came out, that the former boyfriend is the real father and the other gentleman is the real grandfather. In a situation like that, we can not just bring Ocen back to his father, knowing that he doesn't want him and might neglect him. We need to bring the child back to his relatives, but it has to be safe!! The social workers found where the mother came from, they traveled to her village and found the grandmother there and uncles and aunties. It was still a process working towards the day that Elias brought him there. The local authorities were involved and at the end Ocen was welcome. The mother was not at home, she is wandering around, but at least there is a home with a grandmother.

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Happy Birthday Hellen......

Last week we got a phone call from a health centre in the village, if we could help a 2 years old girl, who was severely malnourished. The mother had a mental problem, so the father had brought her to the health centre. We agreed and the next day, a nurse brought the little girl and her father. We did an intake, but the father didn't know much, he didn't know the date of birth of his daughter and he did not many answers on our questions. One thing was very clear: this child needed help!!! When we saw her, we knew that she might be at least 3 years old, she had her teeth, but the upper front teeth were already rotten. She was very swollen and had oedema all over her body. Rashes on the legs, she was in a bad shape. Severe protein deficiency....

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New children are arriving...

As we had only one toddler, a month ago, at the moment we have 5 toddlers and they run or crawl everywhere. Only last week we got 4 new children in Amecet. It makes the whole atmosphere different, because they run, they fall and they fight.... you need eyes everywhere..

One of the first children was Nathan. His mother is HIV+ and we have to go with Nathan to the hospital to do some tests. We have given him the baby ARV, because it is not sure if he was on it or if they have tested him before. So that is one of the goals for having him in Amecet, I have strong hopes that he will be negative, he looks like a cute healthy baby. His mother is struggling with her health at the moment, she is single and young, so in this time she can focus on herself and be strong when she will receive Nathan back .

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The new year has started........

The new year started with the coming of this little baby, on the first of January at 9 am, the Police brought this little baby girl. They gave her the name Rose, the Police lady who brought her to us, is called Rose. The story is that a girl of around 13 years, was in the hospital with the baby, she asked a lady to hold the baby for a minute, because she was needed in the ward, where her sister was admitted. The lady took the baby, willing to help, but the girl didn't come back..... The baby was reported to the nurses, who on their turn, reported the baby to the police. and so ended the baby in Amecet.

I took the baby to the doctor, she must be around one week old. Her cord was infected, her eyes were infected, and she has malaria. So we started medication and feeding of course.  She is drinking very well and she is a beautiful baby!!! 

The police lady told me that she spoke on the local radio last week and that she mentioned that mothers should never throw their baby in the pit latrine or strangle their baby, but if there is no other way, bring your baby to a safe place where she will be found. like the hospital... so I hope we will not get more baby's in the coming weeks......

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Our Christmas baby....

This is Proscovia, she is not born on Christmas, but she came this week in Amecet. Again a very sad story. She was born 10 days ago. Her mother gave birth in a hospital,  but there were complications, they referred them to another, bigger hospital. From there, they couldn't handle the situation either, so they referred them to Soroti Hospital. The mother was sick, she had a lot of pain and she started to swell ( according to the father, who brought the baby). She died in Soroti hospital, 6 days after she had given birth to Proscovia.  They went home to bury the mother, and that was the reason that they came to Amecet when Proscovia was already 10 days old. 

And all that time Proscovia had not been fed, only some water with glucose........ We heard that her birth weight was 2.6 kg. At arrival in Amecet, her weight was 1.9 kg. She was small, weak and a bit swollen (as you can see at the eyes and the hand). Both parents were HIV+, so Proscovia was started at the medicins which might keep her from being HIV+.

Today it is Christmas eve, and the reason that I call her our Christmas baby is that she didn't do so well today and after we went back to the doctor with her, she was started on IV medication, IV fluids and an NG tube to help her getting enough milk. Proscovia doesn't know how to suck, she never was fed properly, so it is hard to get the right amount of milk in her. We do start with the bottle, she had to get used to sucking, but we do the extra feeding with the NG tube. Frequently, because the doctor said she is malnourished, lack of protein, that might also be the cause of the swelling.  She is our special need baby during this Christmas time...

Pls. pray for her, that she will pick up and that her little body can handle the feedings which she needs so badly.....

Merry Christmas to you all!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas.....

Today we had again a party!!! The Christmas party for our staff... Every year we divide our staff in two groups. One group is free with Christmas and the other group is free with New Year.. To make the rota for those two weeks is a challenge!!!  Todays we had our party with all the staff, and tomorrow the first group is free.  We all got a name of another staff member and we bought a gift for that person 

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Amecet 20 years anniversary

It is so amazing that Helen Raby (from UK) and I moved into Amecet, on 15 December 20 years ago..... We could only use half of the house, in the other half of the house was still a lot of work to do. My room was our living room until the big living room was finished. Three days later we picked Sarah from the village. Sarah was the inspiration for Amecet. I met  her in the village and she touched my heart. She was so sick and so weak. I promised her that she would be the first child in Amecet, and there were times that I didn't know if she would make it..

Sarah was the first child, many would follow her, today 1089 children have lived in Amecet. Many went back to their relatives, quite a number went to live in foster families and were adopted. And for a number of children, Amecet was a doorway to Heaven, they are now with their Heavenly Father...... 

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Miracles still happen....

This is James, he is a miracle baby!!! On this picture, he is 3 months old and we are rejoicing, because he is going back to his family!! He is a very cute baby, smiles a lot and everybody loves him.... But if you have time to read our blog of 26 th of August, you would not believe that this is the same baby!!

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Good news and sad news....

This picture above, brings good news!!!!! It is a test result of a HIV test of one of our children. We still get children who are at risk, their parents are HIV+ and we don't know their status. Every child which come to Amecet and we know that the parents are HIV+, needs too be tested for HIV. Also children who are found or who were abandoned, need to be tested, because we don't know the HIV status of the parents. Every time there is that tension, when I go for the results. I know what it will mean to the child if the result is positive...  The child will be started on triple HIV treatment and that is for life!!!! Some children come from a difficult background en we are not sure if the parents manage to give the child every day their ARV medication. When the child was abandoned, and we can't find the relatives of the child, it will be very difficult to find a foster family who wants to adopt the child..... So it is a tense moment when I get the results from the nurse......

Yesterday I went for two results and I also took two baby's to get the test done. One baby, her parents were both HIV+, the mother had died after the delivery, but she had always faithfully swallowed her ARV's. The second child, about him we got the information, that his father was HIV positive, but he was killed some months ago and the mother was HIV negative. So the baby should be negative too. But there was so much confusion among the relatives, we don't know if this information was right, the baby is not really doing very well, so we felt we should test him to know the truth. In about one month we will know the truth!!

But........ now the good news comes.....

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Smiles are so important.......

This is the same baby as on our last blog: Messach!! We did shave his hair, but there is another big change........... Messach knows now how to smile!!! This is so important that children smile, it shows that they feel content, happy and safe. I think we can't let a child go back home when the child doesn't smile! It is good to work on the malnutrition, the medical problems, but we also need to think about the psychological problems. We have had children who were very rigid and always  you felt their tension when you carry them, we need to find a way that we can help the child to unwind and to relax and to feel happiness.....

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Updates.......

I realize that there are several children, where I asked prayers for, who are doing now very well, so I think it is also good to share our thanksgiving with you and one of them is Messach. He weighed 1 kg. when he came to Amecet and now he is 3 kg. On this picture he cries, he has quite a temper, you can hear his cries from far, very high pitch. And he is not smiling much... But he is such a cute little man, you can read his story in the blog of  23/7, we have tested him and he is HIV-. We have to go back to the hospital with him at the end of the month, after that he will go back to his mother!!

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Burials......

We went to two burials, yesterday, we went to the burial of Emmanuel and today to the burial of Joshua. It goes so very different than in the West. As you can see on the picture, in the middle is the bed, with the coffin on it and everybody sits around it. When you arrive, someone of the family brings you to the coffin and you can see the person through a window, or the coffin is open. This is very emotional for many people, they cry and shout and sometimes fall on the floor. After seeing the person, they escort you to the place where you can sit. This picture is of Joshua's burial, there were many big  mango trees, so there is a lot of shade. When there are not so many trees, they hang big cloths, where people sit under in the shade. there is a lot of noise and a lot of introduction of relatives and special people.

There are also a lot of speeches and some people use this time to have political speeches. I was also asked to say something on both burials. I used the opportunity to talk about HIV/AIDS, that people should be more open and take their medicines every day, I talked to the youth that they should be careful and really if Emmanuel and Joshua had taken their medicines daily these burials would probably not be there. I also tried to ask people not to be hostile to HIV+ people, but to encourage them and be kind to them.

These introductions  speeches go on for hours, then the church takes over with a small service, singing, praying and preaching and then they carry the coffin to the grave that they were digging behind the hut. A small prayer and a song and the coffin is lowered in the grave. Everybody goes back to sit and a meal is served. A meal is cooked for hundreds of people. then some men work at the grave to close it.

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Joshua R.I.P.

As I was getting ready to have breakfast and to leave to Amecet, we are going to the burial of Emma, I got a phone call from Simon. Josh died yesterday evening.......... Josh is also one of the boys we had living with us in Amecet in 2003. After living with us for a while, we re-settled him back with his relatives, his grandmother and his uncles. He died in the same hospital, here in Soroti....

This is too much, it is a bit the same story as Emma, not taking the ARV's right and not accepting his HIV+ status. It is so painful when you see that the youth is not seeing that they are as smart as others, that they have talents and opportunities, that HIV does not mean that they are worthless. We tried hard to let them know that they are so valuable, that they can dream about their future, but now two great guys, just dying a day after each other...

I know that they suffer because of stigma, but they all got opportunities, if they would just believe in themselves.....

Simon went to the hospital to help with a coffin and cement for the grave. We are going to lay Emma to rest today and tomorrow we are going to lay Josh to rest........

Pls. pray for the youth

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Emmanuel R.I.P.

It is not easy to be a teenager and being HIV+. There is a lot of sensitization in Uganda about HIV, but there is still such a stigma.   We get stories from the children about living with an uncle or auntie (often their parents have already died of AIDS),. They have stories that they only can eat from a special plate or are not allowed to play with their cousins or other children. We try to counsel the relatives, but they still suffer.  This picture of Emmanuel (Emma) is taken during one of our Amun weeks, where they meet their pals and we talk a lot about stigma and how to react on it. But it is hard when you are a teenager, you start dating, you don't want your friends to know that you take ARV's and that you are HIV+, out of fear for rejection. 

Emma was not a baby, when he came into Amecet. We were asked by his sister, if we could help. He was sick and malnourished. We took him to the doctor, he was tested and found HIV+, this was not a surprise, because his parents died of AIDS. He was started on ARV medication. This is not a cure, but is slows down the growth of the virus. It is really working well if you take the medication twice a day. It is almost making the virus to sleep.... He did well and after some months, we brought him back to his sister, where he was welcome.....

Emma struggled a lot. He felt it is not cool to take those ARV's every day.... He hung out with some wrong friends and dropped out of school. Several times the sister called to Amecet asking for help and then one of our social workers, Simon or Elias, went to talk with Emma and with his sister, trying to mediate. He did came to our Amun weeks and had a lot of fun there, Emma was a nice guy, he just struggled with life. We heard that he was sick, he was admitted in the health centre in his area. We helped with medication, he got blood transfusion, but still he didn't pick up. They transferred him to the hospital in Soroti, we heard that he had meningitis, we went to see him. He was very sick, and last night he passed away..... He can rest now..... no more ARV's and no more medicines.. He will be missed......  Tomorrow we will go to hi village and Emma will be laid to rest..... He was only 21 years old.

 

It is hard to see the older children struggle with their status of being HIV+, many want to stop taking the ARV's, especially when they go to boarding school. They do not want their friends to know that they are HIV+. When they stop taking those medicines, they get sick and I have seen some of them die, because the virus started to multiply.... We can talk and talk, but when they don't accept their status, things will go very difficult. Pls. pray for the teenagers and even the young adults as they built up their life and have to find a way to live with their HIV status.

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Simon Peter went HOME....

Yesterday I wrote about the new twins we had in Amecet and how the little boy, Simon Peter, was fighting for his life. Sadly I have to tell that he lost his fight... In the evening at around 9.30 his saturation (oxygen level in the blood), didn't come up anymore and his little heart stopped beating... The whole day, yesterday, we struggled, every time his saturation went down, but  came back up, the doctor came several times to see him, he was on oxygen and several IV medications and IV fluids. But God decided to take him HOME, he is now with his mother.

We got a small coffin this morning and we are going to bring him back to his relatives in the village. They buried his mother yesterday and today they will bury her little son next to her.

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Twins go and twins come.....

Last week twins went home, James and Samuel went back to their village. Around 6 weeks ago they were brought to Amecet, not because they were sick, or because their mother had died or because they were malnourished, they were brought to Amecet because their family feared for their safety.... Their mother has a mental problem and can be very aggressive at times. In the past she had two times twins before, they all died. The family was afraid that James and Samuel were not safe..... So they came to Amecet and in the meantime the family had clan meetings and our social workers went to talk with the grandfather. There was an auntie who was ready and willing to take the twins in her home and to raise them as her own. The mother didn't come there so the children would be safe. And last week, Simon brought them to the auntie and they were received very well. We pray that they will be united good in the new family and we pray that the mother will come to her senses...

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Lot of things happened......

Lots of things are happening, in Amecet, our days are not boring at all!! Some children went home, the picture above is Nalibe, he was brought by the Probation office (children protect unit) from another district. His mother has passed away and he was so vulnerable. His father came to pick him and was very happy to see him so healthy and smiling.

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Please pray for little James......

James was brought to Amecet after his mother passed away. During the pregnancy the mother had been sickly and the delivery was too early. Around 6 weeks early. The baby was born, but then suddenly the mother started to bleed and died..... James was very small, weighing only 1,6 kg, he was at risk, so the family brought James to Amecet. That was one week ago. We laid James in the medical room, with the windows and door closed it is a warm room. We took him to the doctor next door and James was put on IV medicines and we started to feed him by NG tube. There is a place in another district, where we can get special pre mature formula. We order it and they bring it to our home. We use that also for James. It looked to go well, but two days ago he started to have a temperature. For premature baby's it is difficult to maintain their temperature, so we check it every two hours and if it is higher we take away a blanket, if it is low, we ad a blanket. Normally that is enough. But with James not, he started to vomit a bit. We took him back to the doctor, and his medicines were changed, the milk intake a bit lowered and we observed... Two nights ago, his stomach started to grow and was a bit hard. When I came in the morning early (after some phone calls in the night), I took him back to the clinic next door. James had many prickholes from needles, I think even in the hospital, where he was born,, they tried to get a vein to give him IV medication. The cannula he got the previous day was blocked again... his veins are so tiny and now we had to stop the oral feeding and only give him IV fluids, so we had to get a new cannula. 

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3 sets of twins......

At the moment, we have 3 sets of twins in Amecet. .On the picture above you can see our last set of twins, Moses and Tom. They are 1 week old. They were born with a caesarean operation, everything went well, the mother was discharged and at home she started to bleed. They rushed back to the hospital, but it was too late, she died. The two little boys are brought to Amecet for 2 or 3 months. During that time the family can organize themselves and then they will take over the care for them.

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Amecet got two little brothers today...

This is Samuel, he is 13 months old and very malnourished, we picked him and his 3 months little brother Daniel today. But let me start at the beginning:  Yesterday, we got a phone call from a nurse, who works in a village Mission hospital in a neighbouring District. There was  there a young mother with two baby's , only 10 months apart, who were malnourished. The mother has a mental problem and the baby's are crying from hunger and mostly laying naked on the floor.

This morning, Simon and I went there, to see if and how we could help. Our car has a special permit, because it is still lockdown in Uganda and you can not travel from one District to another District. There are no cars on the road and there are Police checkpoints. But they know the Amecet cars and they just waved to us when we drove by.

When we came to the hospital ( around 1 hour drive), we talked with the nurse and the mother, the grandfather was also there and we saw the children.

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Goat Blessings.....

Today the Amecet staff received a Goat blessing! One of the missionaries in Soroti is a veterinarian doctor and he wanted to encourage and bless the Amecet staff with the precious gift of a goat!! They told us that God knows about our struggles and how difficult it was (and is) to be in, for the lockdown, that this was a reminder that He knows it all and that He wants to encourage us!!

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Amecet in Covid times...

As in many places in the world, Covid 19 seems to be on its return, in Africa, and in Uganda are we now in the second wave. This wave is worse than the first one....  In many boarding schools were outbreaks and two weeks ago, the President closed all the schools again and a stream of people tried to get to heir homes, up country. The president also locked up all the districts, so nobody could travel outside their district, public transport was stopped. In two days, all the schools in Kampala tried to get transport home, it was chaos, people slept on the bus stations, trying to get a seat. The busses were only allowed to fill up half, and the bus fares doubled...

The new infection rate is high and many people are dying. The prices in the private hospitals are outrageous and the normal hospitals and health centres are running out of oxygen. So last week the lockdown was tightened, no bodaboda's no private vehicles and no churches and any social gathering allowed. Bodaboda's are bicycle or motor taxi's who will bring you anywhere you want, so only walking is left and the bicycle, if you have one.. There is a curfew from 7 pm till 5.30 am. And you better be of the street, because the police and the army are on patrol, if they get you, they can be very violent...

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Children come and go.......

In the blog of April 16, I wrote about Ivan, a small malnourished boy. He was abandoned by his mother and he was HIV+. Last week we could bring him back to the village, to his father.... he is strong, smiling, healthy and almost walking!!! It is sometimes hard to let children go, you start to love  them, but they belong with their family and we pray and hope he will do well there. ( we keep in touch with them)... 

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We had a 2 kg. Party!!!!!!

In our blog of April 16, I wrote about the premature twin babies we got in Amecet. The girl's weight was 950 gram and her twin brother's was 1200 gram. Honestly, I was scared to loose them and together with the team, we set up a plan to care for them... They were in a separate room, got fed every 2 hours, taken their temperature and we did that for all those weeks!! God had His hand on those little one's, they started to grow and we never had major problems..... I had told the team, when they are both over the 2 kg., we will celebrate!!

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Three babies because of three Caesarean operations...

Last week, three small babies were brought to Amecet, you can see them on the picture. Left is Emmanuel, he was the first, He was brought on 5th of May, in the morning! His uncle came with a neighbour, the father was not able to travel.... Emmanuel was born the day before, his mother gave birth via a Caesarean operation, Emmanuel was breech... The mother died after the operation..... Emmanuel was her 10th baby!!

In the middle is Francis, he was brought by his clan chairman and a friend on the same day, in the afternoon. He was also born via a Caesarean operation, but 2 weeks ago. After the operation they went home, but the mother was not fine, she died yesterday from a long embolism(?). Francis was her 11th baby.....

The baby at the right is Nalibe, his parents are from the Karamojong tribe in the North. He was brought by his father and a friend. Nalibe was born on 22/4/21, also 2 weeks ago and also via a Caesarean operation. His mother started to bleed seriously, 2 weeks after the operation and she passed away. Nalibe was her first baby. 

Three small boys lost their mother, but there are 19 other children who also lost their mother!!! There is still so much to be done in the healthcare in Uganda, too many mothers die after giving birth, too many children loose their mother to give them love and care.

We do our best for those three boys, they drink and they gained a bit, but we can't help all those other children and we couldn't help the mothers....  Pray for the healthcare in Uganda, for the antenatal care and for those who help with the birth process....

 

PS.  Just some good news to end this blog: our two mini babies, the twins, have gained again!!! Deborah is over the 1.5 kg and William is going towards the 1.9 kg!!! Is that not great. you can read more about them in the two previous blogs...

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Good news and sad news......

Last Sunday evening, baby Hannah went to be with Jesus....... It was a big, big shock to all of us, because Hannah was doing so well. this was the baby who was found in the bush, still connected with the placenta. I wrote about her in the blog of March 9. We all got to love this little girl and there was a family, who was willing to foster and adopt her... Many questions and tears among the staff...... It was more than a year ago that we lost a baby. Hannah was not wanted by her biological mother, but she experienced so much love from the staff while she was in Amecet, and now she is in the loving arms of Jesus!!!!

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Two premature baby's...

This is Deborah (at the back) and her twin brother William (front). Last week Thursday, we got a call from the hospital in neighbouring district, that a mother has passed away, leaving 2 baby's behind...... The mother was only 7 months pregnant, but she had developed pre -eclampsia and the Doctors had preformed a Caesarian operation, trying to save the mother and the 2 baby's.  Unfortunately, the mother passed away. The family asked us if we could take the two mini baby's to Amecet. Honestly, when I saw them, I had to swallow, they were so small..... The little girl's weight was 950 gram and the boy weighed 1200 gram. We have had small baby's under 1 kg. in Amecet, but they didn't make it. What to do??? They would for sure die at home, those baby's need a lot of care, warmth, hygiene and feeding..... often they develop complications, because they were not ready to be born.... Earlier that morning I had read in a devotion that we get sometimes chances offered, it is to us what we do with them...... We don't have to do it alone..... So we took them in the car, back to Amecet. We took them directly to the doctor and we had to give them several days IV medication. We gave them both a NG tube and we set up a feeding schedule, with taking temperature, writing down urine and stool etc. At first we fed them only 5 ml. every 2 hours. They couldn't handle more... William didn't poop, so we prayed for poop and he did after 4 days. Now they are both regular with urine and poop.  They are now 8 days with us and they have gained!!!!!! Deborah was 950 gram, now she is 1105 gram and William was 1200 gram and today he is 1370 gram.  We are very happy with this, but we realize that they are not yet  out of the danger zone. They are laying in a separate room, which we keep as warm as possible. we have assigned one staff to attend to them and we pray that they will pull through, please join us in praying for those two precious children.....

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Baby found in a paper bag....

This morning a newborn baby was found in the bush. It was in a part of Soroti, not far from  Amecet . The baby was naked, still connected with the placenta and was put in a paper cement bag. people found the baby around 10 am and they called the Police, some women tied and cut the cord and the baby was brought to Amecet. It was a beautiful, newborn baby girl. She was a bit cold, we took her directly to the doctor  and her cord was re-tied and re-cut. She was given a canulla and is started on I.V. medication. Because of being in such a dirty place and we don't know how and where she was born, she is very vulnerable to sepsis. Her weight is 2.1 kg, she doesn't drink very good, but we give her some time. She is fed now every two hours and we keep her nice and warm. It makes me so sad, seeing this lovely little girl, and knowing that she was thrown away in an old cement bag. Nobody should be coming in this world and be treating like this. I pray that God will protect this little girl, we gave her the name Hannah, which means "favour" or "grace". 

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Meet our two new baby's: Samuel and Samuel..

This week two new baby's were brought to Amecet. The first baby was brought by his mother and a nurse from the HIV baby clinic in Soroti Hospital. The baby was 2,5 months old and his name was Samuel. The mother was HIV+ and was not doing so well, her Viral Load was very high, so she could not give breastfeeding to her baby. The nurse asked us if we could help the mother, by taking Samuel for some time in Amecet. .... 

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Elijah's story.......

This morning I went with Elijah back to the Orthopedic doctor in Soroti Hospital. I went together with Peace, one of our staff, because Elijah doesn't like me so much, I don't know why, but I don't want him to be stressed, so his big friend Peace carried him. It is good that he can express his favorite aunties, I really tried to become friends with him, but no, maybe because I always go with him to the hospital and he doesn't like the doctors either!! The braces, Elijah wears at night are becoming too small, so we went for a bigger size.....

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How our Miracle baby turned into a Christmas baby.....

This picture, above, shows the end of this amazing story, but we go back to July 21, when the Police from another District, brought a very small baby to Amecet..... It was an infant of 4 days old, it was a girl and her weight was 1.2 kg!!! 

She was cold, and very skinny, we took the baby directly to the clinic next door and the baby was started on I.V.Medication and we worked very hard in warming her up.

We laid her in our incubator and fed her every two hours a small amount of formula milk.

 

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Christmas in Amecet......

If you have read over last post (from yesterday), you would know that we said goodbye to 8 children in the last 3 weeks. It means that we are left now with only 4 baby's!!! We have never had such a small number of children, but it is also good for us, we don't have so many staff workers and with Christmas and new year, half of the crew is free....

It has not been an easy time for the staff during the Covid 19. When we went into the the tight Lockdown, we had to ask the staff who lived outside Amecet, to stay home. It was too risky to have the staff coming every morning and going home every evening. We offered them to come and live inside, but not everybody could do that. The staff who stayed, was at first not able to go home and to leave the Amecet premises. later we allowed them to go out on their free day. We also asked the outliving staff if they still wanted to come back to work and live inside, several staff members came back and lived in our staff house and in Amun house. It was not easy, and we even had to ask 2 staff members to leave, because we caught them stealing. This are difficult times, we understand that families are in need, but we can't allow this (it was after several warnings). We appreciate the staff so much, without them, we could not continue to minister to these little ones. 

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