Amecet story 1. the small beginning....

Amecet started really in my heart in 1999, when I met Sarah. Sarah was a very small, sick little girl, who lived in the village, where we came with the Mobile Clinic. I was working that time with FACE, a programme of Youth With A Mission Soroti, The programme was reaching out to the people living with HIV/AIDS in the villages. This was long before the ARV's were available. ARV's are medicines which slow down the growth of the HIV virus in the body. FACE had a Mobile clinic which could only help the people with the opportunistic infections they had, because of being HIV+.

Once we visited the home where Sarah lived, she was 2.5 years old, she was very weak and could not stand on her legs. She touched my heart and I knew God wanted me to do something for the Sarah's of Teso. There in that far away village, Amecet was born in my heart....

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Angella is smiling already!!!

Angella was brought to Amecet via a mission hospital in the village. Some weeks ago, they contacted us about this little girl, but she was so sick, that she first was admitted in the hospital for 2 weeks. She was still severe malnourished, her weight was 5.2 kg and she is 2,5 years old. Angella was brought by her mother and a nurse from that hospital. She was very weak, I saw directly that there was more going on than malnutrition only. I asked the mother some questions and then I heard that Angella didn't cry after she was born and that they had brought her to a bigger hospital after the birth, where she got oxygen... Angella had probably brain damage because of that.... She could hardly hold her head up and she couldn't speak. We took her to the clinic next to Amecet and the tests we did there, showed a very severe anaemia. Normal for her, the HB should be above 10, but Angella's HB was 1.2..... This is very, very low and she was given blood transfusion as soon as possible.  We were lucky that there was blood available in the clinic.. 

It is amazing what a blood transfusion can do to a child. She did much better after that and wanted to eat and drink . The next day we checked her HB again and it was 10.3, a couple of days later, we checked it again and is was still good. 

There is only  one week between those 2 pictures, we see an amazing change, (okay she is wearing the same dress, but we do have clothes for her than this one dress..) She can sit in the chair without problems, she can hold her head up and she is starting to play and she smiles... We can not do much about her brain damage, other  than exercises and stimulation, but we can help her to be stronger and more happy!!!

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We do see change!!!!

There are 2 months between those 2 pictures... and we can see a significance change in the two boys!! They were referred by the neonatal ward in Soroti Hospital. When they came to us their weight was 1 kg and 1.1 kg.  They were in our medical room for long, we fed them by NG tube for a while, because they were too weak to drink by themselves. They were sick a couple of times, inspite of our nets, they got malaria, but after treatment, they are fine again.

They gained, slowly, slowly, sometimes only 200 grams per week, but at least they were growing. Today their weight is 3kg and 2.8 kg!!!  I want to thank the people who have send us some  special milk formula from the Netherlands. We use it for Abraham and Joseph and it helps them so much!!

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Sad stories....

We hear a lot of sad stories, when they bring children to Amecet and we see a lot of suffering children. Aaron is around 3 years old, he was abused by relatives. There were old scars and new wounds... It looks like burn wounds and our hearts went towards this little boy. You could see the plea for help in his eyes... His hands were the worst, and we had to cover the wounds for the danger of infection. He enjoyed the care we gave, the food he was offered to eat and the hugs and love we gave him. Our social workers went to the village, to see the situation and the family will not place him back to the aunt and uncle he was with before. His mother loves him, but she can't look after him because of the stroke she has suffered from. Still we will try to place him back to his mother and other relatives. For now, he is still with us, he is doing well, playing with the other children, his wounds are healed, his weight id gaining and he laughs a lot!!!

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Saving Blood Transfusion...

One  month ago, we got very tiny, mini twin boys in Amecet, Abraham and Joseph, their weight was 1.160 kg and 1.050 kg. It is such a challenge to get those little ones.. They were one month old and of course premature born. They were together in our medical room and we feed them by NG tube, because they are too weak to drink themselves from the bottle. They are gaining, very slowly, but steady, Joseph, the smallest one  (on the picture) his weight is now 1.8 kg!!! His brother is almost 2 kg. but Joseph got malaria, and he was treated by IV medicines. It looked that it went well, on Saturday, we did a malaria test again and it showed no malaria parasites.... But he got some fever the night before and our nurse saw that the feet were white, quite suddenly, so we did a blood test again to see how his hemoglobin was, it was very low... The doctor told us that he needed blood transfusion.. And it was Saturday...  That means that it is even more difficult to get blood in the main hospital...  They called me (it was my free day and was planning to go with my daughters to a wedding). But I went to Amecet and got all the papers and went together with Simon to the hospital.. There was some blood in the blood bank, but not the right blood type. The man with the key to the new blood was coming.. I sat there, and I decided I would stay there until I got that blood, I would not go out of there without that saving 23 ml blood A+.... It took almost two hours, and knowing that this little baby was not doing well, made me nervous. We had taken his saturation before I left, it was also going lower. This blood was the only thing that could help him...

When the man with the blood came, they helped me first , I had not moved from my chair, so they were happy to help me. I got also more blood to give to the clinic next to us, so they would have blood in case they (or we) needed more during the weekend. We drove fast back to Amecet and after cross matching the blood with the blood of the baby, Joseph was hooked up and got the precious saving 23 ml. blood.

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Fire prevention training in Amecet...

This month, we invited the Police department which helps when there is a fire, to come to Amecet to train the staff in fire prevention  and what to do in case...... We have several fire extinguishers in our homes, they were due for refill, so we could use them to empty, during the training. 

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ALMOST full house......

It is full in Amecet, we have 24 children in our home, 5 toddlers and 19 baby's!!! We are busy and lots of laundry!!! In the month January we received 5 new children, but this month, in February, we already received 9 new children and we are only half way... They all come with sad stories,  Several of them lost their mother at birth.. one mother gave birth at home, on her own and after the baby was born, she bled to death, help came too late. We have one baby, who was part of twins, her twin brother died in the womb at 4 months pregnancy. The mother gave birth to both baby's and died herself. There are a couple of children whose mother has a mental problem and the relatives asked us to keep the baby, because the baby was not safe with the mother.... This is so sad, the person who should  be the most safe person in a child's life, can't give that because of a sickness.! Last week the police brought two toddlers to Amecet, we think they are 2 and 3 years old. They were abandoned in the hospital (and they were not registered there!) They had a bag with them and we found ARV medicines in the bag. We tested them and one of them is HIV+. Our Social workers have been trying to find their relatives, they have a lead, so we think we can find the mother, and the other relatives of the two boys.. Another boy was brought to us and it looked that he has been abused, he has many wounds (0ld and new) on his body, he is very malnourished. And he is so sad....

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Twins, Twins and..........Twins!!!

At the moment, we have 3 sets of twins in Amecet. On the picture you see them laying according their age... Left we have Grace Apio and Faith Adongo. They are 4,5 months old. They have been with us since half November. They were very small when they came, weighing 1.2 kg. and 2.1 kg. As you can see, they do quite well, but we are struggling with them. They have both small holes in their heart and Apio has been mostly on our oxygen machine. We take her off more and more, while monitoring her saturation. Her sister Adongo has a problem with her right arm, the doctor thinks that it was damaged while she was born, We do exercises with her. Their weight is now 2.8 and 3.7 kg.

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22 years CELEBRATION.....

This picture is taken in our Amecet compound on 19th of January at 7 am.... We are busy dressing the chairs, they already set up the tents and the people who are doing the decoration are also busy. It was an exciting day, we had invited all the government official who are working with children issues, in the 10 districts of the Teso region. We had a nice program and after the program, the invited guests could visit the Amecet home and there was a nice lunch prepared for them. It was a big venue for us to organize, we started with planning in September 2023, but today at last the day had started....

I just share with you some pictures, so you have an idea of how it went.. The Amecet staff looked great, in their new blue T-shirts and they were al over the place... I am so proud of them, they worked hard. We had of course, children in the home, they looked after them, they sang, they danced, they helped serving food, ushered people to their chair.... They were the Best!!!! We had expected some more guests, but I believed that the people who came were key people in working with children, there were Probation Officers, Community workers, Police who work with family and children, Health workers, Health Inspector, L.C. 5 and the Mayor of Soroti west. The Guest of Honor was Doctor Florence, a senior pediatrician, who has been a big help in the health of the children of Amecet. in the past and even still now. She had a speech and she cut our cake, together with 4 young people, who have been among our first children in the past. They all four shared their experiences with Amecet and their dreams for the future. 

With one dance of our Amecet staff, the guests joined in. It was a great picture!!

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She smiled!!!!!!

Of course, she doesn't smile on a picture, but really, she smiled to me... I am writing about Faith Adongo, part of the twins who was brought to Amecet in November. On the picture you can see her sister, Apio Grace, behind her in the little bed, she is still on oxygen and we feed her by NG tube. In the blog of November 23, you can read their story, how they came to us. Since that time we have been struggling with them, especially with Grace, the smallest one. Grace was only 1.2 kg in weight when she came, today her weight is 2.6 kg, so we see improvement there. Faith was 2.1 kg when she came and today her weight is 3,5 kg. Faith is doing quite well, but Grace is not doing so good, she is again on oxygen, now for already 3 weeks. We took them to the doctor, because several times they crashed. Grace even 3 times and Faith once. The doctor referred us for a heart scan, first with Grace and the scan showed 3 holes in her heart, 2 of them might still close, but one of them was a question. We took also Faith for a scan, as the identical twin sister, she had also 2 holes in her heart, but they might close by themselves.  

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Christmas party in Amecet

Yesterday we celebrated the Birthday of Jesus as the Amecet Family. We were all together and it was a happy party. Earlier the day, several staff had been cooking, together with our cook, a nice meal and two weeks before we had all drawn a name from a fellow staff member and we were all ready to bless that person with a nice gift!

We were all sitting in a big circle and one by one we gave our gift to our collogue. It was great fun, there was music and people went dancing to gift their gift to each other. The toddlers were with us and the baby's were in their bed, but on their feeding time they were fed by a staff.. 

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Christmas gifts.....

Christmas is the season of giving and blessing other people. As Amecet, we were so happy to receive an extra gift which enabled us to give Christmas blessing to 50 needy families in the villages. They are all somehow connected to Amecet, most of them had children staying in Amecet for a short time, many are grandparents or single mothers. It was such a joy to bring them a packet, as you see in the picture above, this grandma is very happy, almost dancing... Our social workers went around in the villages to bring the parcels.

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Our Miracle boy went to his grandmother!!

Richard was picked by his grandmother at the end of November, Richard made us so happy, I am calling him our Miracle baby....... If you can read our blog from August 23, you can read his story.. It is again a sad story, but the ending is somehow happy. Look at the two pictures from before and after........

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World AIDS day 2023

It is like a tradition, every year, on the first of December, we remember the children who died that year in Amecet. We speak out their names and we tell something significant about them, how we felt about them or what they taught us. At times it can be very emotional, because we cared for them and we felt the loss...... This year we had only one child we remembered, little Peter, a premature baby, who was only 25 days old when he passed on. 

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7 new children in 7 days..

We have 7 new children in Amecet, our social workers have been busy. We got several phone calls, some from concerned relatives, some from Police and Probation Officers (children protection). Every district has a Probation officer, most of them know us and have been referring children in the past. On the picture above,m you can see a meeting in one of the Districts near Soroti, where the Probation Officer asked us to come and asses the situation of a child. Other children come to Amecet because there is a problem in the family and the relatives ask us to come and look at the child. We always investigate the situation, ask input from the Local  Counselor, we see if there is a relative where the child is safe. If the child is in such a condition like, sick, malnourished or very weak, we take the child to Amecet. During the time the child is in Amecet, our social workers try to find a safe place for the child.

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Twins, together they weigh 3.2 kg...

Today, a mother came to our door in Amecet, carrying 2 small baby's. She asked for help... We looked at the two little girls, they were twins and one of them was very small. I asked how old they were, she told us that they were 9 weeks old, the first born weighs 1.260 kg and the second born weighs 1.9 kg.... and they are 9 weeks old!!! Normal weight of that age would be 4-5 kg. The twins were born premature, but still, this is a very low weight.. We did the intake with the mother and got all her information and also the information about the baby's and her living situation. The father of the twins had ran off after the baby's were born, she got help from her neighbors. We asked her to go home and come back with the medical papers and the letter of the local counsellor of her neighborhood. 30 minutes later she was back and she wanted her children back... We had a long talk and I told her that when she wanted her children back, I would given them, she is the mother and it is her right to get them back, but I also told her that they really were in need of help.. I got the feeling that someone had told her that it would not be safe to leave her children with us. So we agreed that we would go with her to her home and talk with the people there and if she would still want them back after that, we would hand them back to her. Our social workers were all out in the village to check on two children, so Sharon (one of our nurses) and me went with the mother to her home. We found her land lady and soon several of her neighbors joined us. We had a good talk, we explained what we did in Amecet and then they had many questions... Some about if we ask money from them, or if we give the children back without payment, if the children got sick, what do we do then, do we take them to the doctor, do we give them medicines?? Do we take the children anywhere else?? So we had a good conversation with them and at the end they all told the mother to leave the children in Amecet...while they were the people who had told the mother to get her children back, "because you do not leave the children with strangers"...

We also explained that the mother should come to visit them and to hold them and everybody was happy when we left, also the mother.

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2 abandoned baby's in 4 days..

On Tuesday, the Police brought baby Moses (at the right) to Amecet, we think he was only 3 days old. A beautiful baby boy, the umbilical cord was still there. And on Friday we got a call from the Police if we could come and pick an abandoned baby, he was found the evening before... We think that he is around 1 month old, we gave him the name Tom..

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Exiting news from the Farm..

This is a picture of the new Greenhouse in our farm!! I wrote in our blog of August 9 about our first eggs of our chickens and about the plans we had in the future for the farm. Last month we got some men coming from Kampala to build our Greenhouse!!

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This week 6 children went back home...

Faith (5), James (3) and Jeremiah (2) were brought to Amecet around 6 weeks ago. Left, you can see how they came in. The two brothers were malnourished, they had oedema and they were miserable and unhappy. The older sister was not really malnourished, but it was better to take her also into Amecet, otherwise she would be alone in the house. The father was away a lot, trying to get work. At first, the boys lost weight, the oedema disappeared, after that they started to gain. We brought Faith to Harmony Preschool every morning, she liked it a lot. In the meantime our social workers tried to work with the father, together they looked to several options for the children, but it did not really work out well. The children went back to the father . They live in Soroti district, we will keep an eye on them by visiting them regularly at home.

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On the road again....... Road???

Yesterday we had a long trip to the villages, we went for different issues, first we brought Grace back home. And it was a bumpy ride... You can see on the picture how small the "roads" are at times, not more than a bicycle track. Some of the homes are really deep in the village and we even had to walk at the end to come to the home. The car couldn't  reach.

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Children come and Children go...

Mercy is one of our new baby's, she was brought by her family because the mother had died after giving birth... She is a cute little baby, we have started her on the HIV medicines, because her mother was HIV+. When she is one month  old we will take her for testing. But with the good medicines we can give those baby's,  whose mother was HIV+, most of the baby's are negative!!

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Baby Hellen goes home and 3 new children were brought..

Two months ago, two family members came to Amecet with a newborn baby. Hellen's mother had passed away after Hellen was born via a Caesarean operation. She lost too much blood, the father was in shock, he couldn't come to bring his daughter himself. Hellen picked up fast, she drank well and gained weight and her father came to visit her many times... You could see that he loved his baby girl. And here he is, picking her from Amecet to take her home to his family. His sister will help caring for her. He was so happy, it is such a joy to us, to give her back to her family when you know she will be so loved!!! We prepared a bag with some clothes, a mosquito net, a drinking cup and we clothed her and put a blanket around her for the journey. This blanket is knitted with love by Dutch ladies who live in Spain during the winters.... A blessing for many baby's.....

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Swaddling class in Amecet..

Every month we have a meeting with all the staff, there is communication, we ask their opinion for certain things, they can bring up things they want to change or bring into a discussion. We also have every time some teaching, some of the subjects were Fever, Diarrhea, potty training, HIV, burping after drinking etc. This time we were talking about swaddling the baby. On internet there are very nice little teaching films and I had collected all the dolls in Amecet and we were practicing.. We had a lot of fun....

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We picked a newborn baby from the village...

This morning we got a phone call from a village, it was from a police post. There was a newborn baby, born early in the morning, and the mother has a mental sickness and had walked away.. If we could help??  After some discussion, we decided to go and pick the baby, they were trying to find transport to bring the baby to Soroti, that would then be by a motor cycle and we felt that it would not be good for this newborn baby, the baby was not been fed either. So we decided that we should go by car and bring a bottle milk with us. It was  just over 1 hour drive, the roads were not so bad and we met the policemen and the Community Development Officer. We first fed the baby and we heard the sad story.

The mother was known by the people there, last night, she had contractions and a good Samaritan took her inside her house around midnight. At around 3 am, she got real pains, the lady who took her  in, checked and saw the head of the baby already. She went outside to get help and in that time the baby was born. The nurse who was called, cut the cord and early  in the morning they brought them to the health centre to  be checked by the doctor. But the mother decided to ran away... We also got the story that this baby was the second born, the first baby didn't make it because of mishandling by the mother.  The baby was a little boy, very cute and together we gave him the name Joshua. Andrew and I went on our way, back to Soroti and the Policemen and the CDO promised to try to find the relatives of the mother.

On the way back, I  tried to give some more milk, the baby had not drank anything after he was born..

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2 malnourished babies..

On Thursday I received a phone call from a mission hospital in the village. There was a young mother of 17 years old who was brought into the hospital with a small baby. The mother was tested HIV+ and was started on ARV medication. The father was not seen, and the grandmother tried to care for her daughter and her grandson. The baby is called Richard and he is almost 5 months old, and his weight was only 1.9 kg. His mother had no breast feeding and the baby is now severely malnourished. The mother was also sick and very weak.

We (Andrew, Pius and me) drove the next day to the village to see the baby and to talk with the mother and the grandmother. I took a bottle with formula milk with me and tried to feed the baby. He was hungry, but it was hard for him to suckle. The mother agreed to give her baby to me and we drove back to Soroti. I had called from the village to the children HIV clinic if I still could come for a blood test (it was Friday) and we went straight to Soroti hospital. There they took blood and promised to bring it directly to the lab and to call me with the result. In Amecet we gave him a bath, dressed him and fed him. We feed him baby formula every two hours, day and night.. A couple of hours later they called me from the hospital that Richard was HIV-. That was so good, we were very happy with that result. We had taken Richard to the Doctor next door and they prescribed IV medication, but also IV fluids, because Richard was dehydrated. It was not easy to find a vein, he was so tiny, and the veins rolled away when you pricked in them. But our nurse succeeded and he went on drip..

After 3 days, we decided that we would give him a NG tube, because he wants to drink, but he is too weak to drink enough milk. So we first feed him by mouth and when he stops, we give the rest by NG tube. We want him to develop his sucking reflex..

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God blesses the small beginnings......

Today we found our first eggs, from our new chickens...... This is a good thing, we got  chickens before in our other house, but in the beginning of the year we reorganized our farm and we decided to bring the chickens there. We dismantled the chicken house and build a new one at the farm. 

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A sad day....

We have been struggling with little Peter, almost from day 1. The last 19 days , he has been on the Oxygen machine. We fed him every 2 hours via the NG tube and it was stressful... Our oxygen machine stopped working, and Peter couldn't be without the help of the oxygen machine. We could borrow the machine from the clinic next door, but you can imagine what a stress that gave, and of course those things happen during the night.... We are very thankful for the help from Doctor Engulu, our neighbour. He has been coming to see Peter several times and we also had the paediatrician coming to Amecet to examine him. She found a congenital heart defect, this might the reason why he was born so much smaller than his brother and still didn't grow much in spite of the feeding we gave him. On Wednesday 26th of July, it was tense, several times we saw his saturation coming down, but then it went up again. The doctor came to see him, but we did all we could do.... We just made sure that there was someone with him all the time, holding him, praying for him, talking to him. So, he didn't die alone, he was loved and at 2.45 pm we could lay him in the arms of Jesus.  His struggle was over.

It left us all very sad, but also released, we had been very busy with him for 26 days and it didn't go better. He might have had more problems than we knew, and God took him Home to let him rest and where he is now, there is no sickness, and no more injections and oxygen tubes...

We bought a small coffin, and we brought the small body back to his relatives in the village. A bed was waiting outside and we placed the little coffin on it. The people sat down around it and I had to give a report what had happened with Peter. people could ask questions and they thanked us for caring for him. We left the family to do the burial and we went back to Amecet.

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3 x twins......

Elijah and his sister Divine are eating their first meal in Amecet. They are 2 years and 9 months old. They were referred by the Nutritional Unit in Soroti Hospital. Last week their mother came with them, we talked , but she was scared to leave them in Amecet, so we let them go. This week they came back, she was now ready to leave them with us for 2 months. We encouraged her to come and visit them and we could ensure her that the twins will come back to her.. In the meantime, she has to look for a better place to live.. They are malnourished, their weight is 6.5 kg (Divine) and 8 kg (Elijah). They love to eat, do not cry too much and they are already playing and smiling. 

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One kg. difference....

One kg. is not so much, but if you only weighs 1.2 kg. and the you twin brother (who was born after you) weighs  2.3 kg. then is it another story..... Yesterday two little twin brothers, Peter and Simon, were brought to Amecet. They were born that same day and their mother died only 2 hours after the delivery.. The first born baby was very small and the second born baby was much bigger. we put them in our medical room, because especially the little one, needs lots of extra care. This morning we took them to the doctor and the doctor started them both on IV medication. We also give them Nevirapine, it is a drug for baby's whose mother was HIV+. This is not really sure, but we didn't have all the medical papers, just to be sure... Peter is the little one, he is not drinking much, but we will give him some time, we feed every 2 hours, if he will not do better, we will start feeding him through a NG tube. Pls. pray for these two precious boys, 1.2 kg. is not very much and they are both very vulnerable.

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The story of Aron..

In the beginning of March, a lady came to Amecet, carrying a small boy. he was weak, malnourished, looked very pale and could not talk or walk. She asked help, she told us that she was his aunt and that there were no parents to care for him. We looked at his medical papers and saw that he was not referred to us, but to the main hospital in Soroti (they came from the village). Because of the state he was in, we also felt that he would be better helped in the hospital, there are doctors and he might have to have several tests done. We explained to the lady and send her on to the hospital. Two weeks later I got a phone call from the Nutritional ward in the hospital. If we were able to do the after care for a little boy, who was out of his serious phase, but needed more help. I went to the hospital to see the situation and found that it was Aron, the same boy who came 2 weeks earlier with his aunt to Amecet.

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Amos has now his forever family...

On 21/1/2022 the Probation Officer (child protection) brought a small boy to Amecet, we thought he was around 2 years old. He was found, alone, in a half finished building without a roof, early in the morning. We don't know if he has been there all night or if he has been put there just early that morning.

He was malnourished, scared and his eyes were so dull and sad,, You could just see that this boy had suffered much. I wanted to put my hand on his head and he stepped back, as if he expected me to slap him....

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3 mothers died after the Caesarean operation...

...leaving behind 3 precious new born baby's.....

It is not an easy thing in Uganda, to deliver a baby, many times there are complications, many times they reaching the Health centre or the Hospital too late and many times the baby is born at home.... We have had baby's in Amecet, whereby the baby was born on the way, or the the mother did it herself, because she was home alone..... and many times the mother didn't make it through the whole process and the baby looses his or her mother...

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4 children went back to their family..

We said goodbye to 4 children, all those 4 children lost their mother after birth. The families had heard about Amecet and asked us to help them. When someone dies, there is so much going on. The burial is often the next day, sometimes after 2 days. Many people come to join the burial, there is a meal for everybody and family travels to be part of this. Also the neighbours, people from he church are attending the burial. It is not a good place for a new born baby to be there, even during the week after the burial, many people come to visit and they sit around to talk. Sometimes they forget the baby.....

When someone calls us to ask if we can help in such a situation, we say ves and if  possible,  bring the baby directly. They get the papers, sometimes from the hospital where the mother gave birth and died, they get the referral letter form the Local leader of their area and they bring the baby to Amecet.

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A picture tells more than thousand words...

The car loaded with goats, Ground nuts, Maize and Beans moving to the village........ We had planned to revise our list with grandma's and needy families, all relatives from children who have been some time with us in Amecet. We were waiting for the the rains, so that the people could plant the maize, beans and ground nuts. And then, suddenly, the rains were there...... We tried to finish the list and called all the people on it, we wanted to ask what they wanted to plant in their gardens and if they were still living where we knew they lived before. The last time we brought seeds was long before Corona.. the calling was not easy, many of the older people don't have telephones, so we searched in our files to any numbers connected with the child.. Most of the people reacted surprised and happy and they wanted Maize, Beans and ground nuts, so we went ahead and bought many kilos of them. We had enough money to also buy two hoes (kind of spade) and a female goat for every family..... We grouped the families by area and in  5 trips, all the families (who are living quite apart from each other) received their gifts: 1 goat, 2 hoes, 10 kg Maize, 10 kg Beans and 10 kg, Ground nuts. 

I let the following pictures tell the rest of the story.....

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A day fieldwork...

We went for a day fieldwork, Andrew (who was driving), Pius (the new social worker) and me. We left around 9.30 in the morning. We were going to 3 different villages. We first stopped by the Probation Office in Soroti, one of the representatives of the office was going with us. We also had a 12 year old girl, Margret, with us (left in the the picture), we were going to bring her back home, but the problem was that she was not sure where her home was.....

We first drove to Amuria, we were going to talk with a man who brought a baby to Amecet. He found the baby on his veranda, but there were so many loopholes, that was one of the reasons we had someone from the Probation office with us. We needed answers about this child..

The roads are very bumpy, dry and dusty. It is not really nice to drive to the village at this time.. When we arrived in Amuria, we found out that the man we were going to meet wasn't there. He was sick and was in a far away village, we would not be able to reach it today. That was a pity, but we have to postpone it to another visit... 

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and Many Hello's.......

In the last blog I wrote about the many Goodbye's, but this time I write about the many hello's to the new children we received in the last 2 weeks.

The picture above is from Aron, he is a little boy of 3,5 years and he is very sad and malnourished. We got a phone call from the hospital. Aron was there in the nutrition ward and if we could help. We have to do exercises with him,  because he can not walk, he has one hand and leg very stiff. He has gained already 2 kg. in two weeks!! He loves music and he loves eating!!

He can say a few words like " give me" in his language and he talks in himself in his own language!! But as you can see on the second picture, he looks more happy and healthy already.

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Many goodbyes....

We have said a lot of goodbyes in the last weeks.... several children, who have been with us for quite some time, went home!!! This picture is from Deborah, she is a real miracle child. She was brought to Amecet in September 2022. (read the blog of 20/9/2022). A little sad girl of 15 months old, unable to stand or walk.  She was sick, fevers, didn't want to eat. We took her to the doctor, tests were done, but nothing came out of that, more tests were done and then they found TB. It was not really very clear, but the doctor decided that we started her on the anti TB medicines. And in two weeks we saw a different!!!She started to eat, to gain, to play (a bit) and to smile (a bit).. We had patience, she had to take those anti TB medicines for 6 months... But it was so beautiful to see her getting better and stronger and she started to walk and talk. It was a joy to have her with us and such an encouragement!!!

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Update /News.......

It has been a long time, since I wrote the last blog.............but here we are again, we have been around, we have been busy , but sorry we have not been writing... The picture above is from the same boy from the last blog ..Jovan is still with us and we have seen a very big difference and progress!! ITo remind you, I show the picture from November 22 and the picture from January 23.

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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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To read our old blog you can click here