Cathy, may you Rest in Peace....

On 26th of July my youngest daughter Catherine passed away...  only 7 weeks since her sister Sarah died... My heart is aching, my eyes are tearing... Cathy was 9 years old, a very active and fun loving girl, she loved to go to school and to play with her friends...

Cathy did not react good on the change of ARV medication and even that we stopped the medicines already after 10 days, the liver started to fail. She was flown, with the help of friends, to Kampala in an small airplane that had oxygen on board, was cared for in the I.C.U. of a good hospital, but after being in a coma for one week, she passed away due to complete liver failure. My, our hearts are full of pain, I miss her every day, in 7 weeks two of my four daughters left me.. If you see the picture above, this was Cathy, a beautiful little girl, my heart is full of pain and questions.

The YWAM community and other friends were all around us during this difficult time, Cathy got a nice burial, with 650 people attending, all organised by friends. Her grave is in our garden, next to her sister Sarah. I know they together in Heaven, no more pain and no more ARV's. Sarah loved Cathy so much and they will be together with Jesus.

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Sometimes I don't understand.....

I live in Uganda for more than 20 years, I have seen quite a lot, but sometimes I am still shocked and I don't understand what is going on... I wrote  before that it was so quiet in Amecet, and it was, but now.... one baby after the other is coming and the stories, they make you cry...

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3 baby's and 3 brothers new in Amecet..

It was a bit quiet in Amecet, a number of children went home and one went to his new foster family. Three new baby's were brought, they all lost their mum after the delivery!! Mostly it is overbleeding or the placenta doesn't want to come out. Still many of the children are born at home, in the village. When I ask them why they didn't go to the healthcentre, they answered that the baby came at night.... On the picture at the left is Michael, he is the oldest, he was born on 15/6/2019 and he was brought to Amecet that same day, in the middle, the little lady Veronika, born on 21/6/2019, she was brought 3 days later and at the right little Innocent, he was born on 3 days ago and 5 hours later, we received him in Amecet. At the moment Michael is not drinking so well, so the doctor suggested that we give him a NG tube for now, until he starts drinking better

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Safe in their "Forever Family"....

This is a pictures of 31 Ugandan families, who all are fostering 1 or 2 children via Amecet. It is so exciting, read this story below and meet some of the children....  For quite some years we try to find Ugandan foster families, who want to take in a child without any relatives, and are willing to adopt that child in the future. The process is all done via the Probation Officer (Child protection), there are forms to fill, interviews done and their home is inspected by the Probation Officer. At the end the Magistrate of the Court grant the family a Care order to foster the child and the Probation Officer comes to Amecet to hand the child officially to their  new family. This is such a joyous moment, a child that was abandoned or rejected by their own relatives has hope of a future and they belong to a family and they are wanted!!

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Sarah, may you Rest in Peace

You have not been able to read our Blog for almost 2 months, my excuses for this. I also do not use this blog to write about my own family, but today I will. In the beginning of May, I left with my 4 adopted, Ugandan daughters to the Netherlands. We were invited by the Stichting de Figurant, to join them for their 20st anniversary with a benefit concert for Amecet. De Figurant has helped Amecet a lot and we were all very excited to go and see family and friends.  I also used that time to go with my second daughter Sarah for a second opinion to a cardiologist, because she was not doing well, health wise. While being in Holland, Sarah went worse, she was confused at times, was very tired, could not walk much and I became very worried. I was able to see a neurologist and he advised me do go for a MRI and a lumbar punction. Because of the short time, it was not possible to do this all the Netherlands, but I was able to set an appointment in Kampala for the day after we arrived back in Uganda. You understand that this visit went very different then we had expected.

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Memory, Memory and ...memory..

The 13 Karomajong girls, I wrote about in the last blog, are still in Amecet. They are from a District, North of Soroti and were being transported to Soroti, to work in people's homes, gardens and kitchens. The Police found them in a check point and brought them to Amecet for safe keeping, meanwhile they sorted everything out, We have been getting visitors from Kampala, from their District, from Soroti government, Police, Probation Office etc. But they are still with us and it is not easy. Their ages are 5-15, they want to go and work themselves as well and now they sit in Amecet. Especially the older girls are tough!! Only one of them can read and write, the rest never went to school. But we found out that they like the game Memory..... And now they play Memory everywhere... And they love it. They also play on the trampoline, the swing, but Memory is the favorite!! It is busy, having those 13 girls around, we are not the best place for them, there is not much to do for them. But until the authorities are still talking and sorting them out, at least they are in a safe place. They didn't like to sleep on the beds, they were too soft, and they are so surprised that they get so much food, like 3 times a day....

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Children traffic and Good Friday

You might ask what is the connection between children traffic and Good Friday ?  Today we remember Good Friday together as staff and we got a group of 13 girls on our doorstep, they were rescued by the Police, they were being trafficked for child labour....

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No more pain, no more medicines anymore....

Dear, Dear Raphael,

When you came to us in November, you were so weak and sick.

We took you to the doctor and there we got the confirmation that you had that terrible disease, AIDS,

but we had hope and started you directly on the medication..

We did have worries about those enlarged nodes, but we prayed and hoped that they would disappear after using the medicnes

After a little while, you became stronger, you started to move around, playing a little...

But the swellings in your neck were growing and later we found out that you got also that other terrible disease;: Cancer...

I am so sorry Raphael, it seems so unfair, that you with your 3 years, had to carry both sicknesses and had to go through all this..

We tried to help you, gave you your special blanket with the pillows in the middle of the hut.

You sat there as a little King and we served you as a little King!

You got porridge when you asked for it, Bananas  when  you wanted them, Auntie Dominique gave you sweets...

And yes, you were a child, sometimes you cried, because you wanted a sweet or sitting on the lap with auntie Agatha...

A sweet, some soda, it brought a smile on your face, and your smile made our day, so we loved to give you what you asked for...

We saw your leaving come closer, we were sad, but also glad that your suffering would soon be over.

Today it was the day, we didn't know yet as we all gathered around you to pray, to release you and to ask God to take you in His arms...

5 minutes after our prayer, the Father just did that, He took you in His arms and you were gone....

Many of us cried, we miss you...

We miss your smile, we miss our little king on his pillows asking for bananas,

 I am sure there are bananas in Heaven and your are enjoying them, right now!!

Dear Raphael, you were truly loved, we are thankful that we could be with you in this time,

your struggle is over, the pain is gone....

Enjoy the loving arms of your Father......

 

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Christine, our Miracle baby went home...

Christine was brought in Amecet on 7th of Feb. 2019, only just 2 months ago, very weak, sick and malnourished. The mother passed after excessive bleeding after the delivery. Christine was very small, her weight was only 2 kg. In the beginning,  I was afraid that she was not going to live...... But she did!!!!!  We had to feed her by NG tube, she was on IV medication and IV fluids, but she fought and we could give back to the father and the grandmother, a lovely smiling baby, weighing almost 4 kg!!

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Re-settling the children is hard work....

Last week we were able to bring Faith back to her family, together with her 6  weeks old baby!! We love to help and take children in our home, but we even love it more to bring them back to their families!!!!  Faith was brought via the Police, she is 15 years old  and she was 5 months pregnant. She had not been living at home, with her family, for a while.. There were many issues to deal with and our social workers have been visiting the family several times, to prepare them for taking Faith back in. Last week was the big day, we were able to make a packet with some practical items, for her. Having now a little baby of 6 weeks old, to care for, makes a her extra vulnerable. Her uncle and his family welcomed her back in.. When we bring a child back to the village, we bring her back to the community... As soon as we arrived, a small crowd gathered and the baby went from hand to hand. It is the community that has to welcome her back as well.  We will visit her from time to time...

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Visitation day for our secondary students..

As Amecet, we not work only with baby's. We still follow a group of vulnerable children (HIV/AIDS and Orphans) even when they go to secondary school. They all have been living in Amecet when they were young and Amecet has helped them through the primary school, when they were living with their relatives and even in secondary school. There is a group of 5 girls in a secondary school in Soroti, they are in boarding and yesterday was the visitation day. There is one visitation day per term (3 months). So families come to school and everywhere people sit in little groups and eat together. Simon's son and daughter are also in the same school, so we were in a big group!

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A happy crew and a sick baby...

Maybe you remember the picture (left) from 17 days ago, 2 crying miserable little boys. They were weak and malnourished. Today I made the picture above. And we are all amazed about the difference we see in the two boys. They are smiling and playing and Francis, (at the left) is walking everywhere. They are eating good and they love to drink milk, which helps a lot when you are malnourished!!

They even got a new friend, (picture at the right) Alphonse was brought 4 days ago to Amecet. Both parents disappeared and the grandfather cared for him. But he struggled and Alphonse is malnourished now. But even Alphonse can already walk and he walks around and he plays. Our group of toddlers is growing,

We have 4 toddlers again, Raphael is also among them, but he is too sick to walk now. He sits on his blanket and plays sometimes a little with a car or so, but for the rest he can't do much. The doctor gave us morphine, which helps against the pain. We try to make his life as comfortable as we can. If he asks for bananas, he get. The other day we had soda's for our staff meeting and he also wanted soda, we give, he is still eating well, he loves porridge. But it is hard to see him suffering.....

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Two little girls without their mothers..

These two little baby's do have their mothers, but they are not able to care for their daughters. Both mothers have a mental problem and the baby's are not safe with them. That is sad, because the mother would be the one to care and protect the baby....

One of them, Jesca (left) was born 11 days ago in a health center  somewhere in the village. The nurses of the centre had seen the pregnant lady and she seems not to talk and nobody knew where she came from. They felt pity and took her in the health centre, because she was almost giving birth. It was not all that easy, the lady screamed and got wild, but baby Jesca was born... There was an article in the Ugandan newspaper about her, with a picture of the mother, but nobody reacted.. The Health authorities called Amecet, they were very concerned about the baby, the mother didn't want to breastfeed the baby and was still not talking. They were afraid the mother might just ran off and leave her baby behind. So Simon drove to the village and had a talk with the people in charge, and came back with baby Jesca, (named after the midwife). Now our job starts... Simon took also pictures of the mother, we will also put her picture in the local newspapers, because out of the two words the mother spoke. she must be of this area. We need to get in contact with her relatives......

Around 8 days later, we got a phone call from the hospital in Soroti. A mother with a mental problem, had given birth to a baby girl. They were concern for the baby. We went to the hospital and recognized the mother....we have had already two children from her!! Both of the children were taken in by relatives, so the children are safe, but the mother is still very confused. The nurse needed medicines to treat the baby, I went to buy them and left them with the nurse. The next morning, we got a call to come and get the baby. Simon, our social worker, had contacted already the family of the mother. They didn't know she already had given birth. I went to get the baby, together with Mary and Babrah, our two nurses. But the situation was changed, there were suddenly some relatives showing up and they were not happy with us, being there. After investigation, the ladies were no relatives at all, but one lady had taken the pregnant lady in and cared for her and brought her to the hospital, that is really good, but her motives were not good. The other lady wanted the baby and we think she had already paid money, because she was talking about that she lost money and wanted us to reimburse the money.  The ladies left and later the mother also left the hospital, leaving the baby behind. The baby is now in Amecet, I am sure we will be able to find a good home for her.

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Women's day in Amecet.....

Today is International Women's Day!! In Uganda it is a Public Holiday, all the school are closed.. But not for us, the women of Amecet, for us it is a normal workday,

But in the afternoon, the men served us a soda and biscuits.... Calvin, Emmanuel and Elias carried the soda's out to the hut where they were welcomed by an applause!!! We missed Simon, who was gone with a child to visit the village and David, who went to the Market to buy vegetables.

Of course there was enough for the men too to enjoy!!

But we let Emmanuel and Calvin fold the diapers, while we enjoyed our soda!!! (we helped them a bit, later).

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Not a very happy crew...

Frances (left) and David are two new toddlers, brought to Amecet. They are both malnourished. David was brought to Amecet by his mother. She wanted to leave him with us, she came without any papers and we felt it was too risky to take him in, even he needed help. The mother was separated from her husband and had gone back to her own home. We talked with the mother and explained that she should come back with the letter from the local leader and a relative. She did and we talked and decided to take him into Amecet.  Yesterday, Frances was brought by the Police. His story is sad, his parents also separated and the mother left, Frances was left with the father and a new stepmother, who had abused him. He is also malnourished and has wounds on his body.

We have seen smiles from David ( he is now 3 days with us) but Frances is not happy at all, he cried the whole night and nothing could stop him, he is angry and irritable. At the moment he sits in a children chair next to me in the office, I found a music box that he likes and he sits with it in his hands. There will be a lot of work to be done, when the boys are healthy and hopefully smiling and playing again, our social workers will work with the family, so that they can both go back to a safe environment. 

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Today was VERY HAPPY day!!!

Today 4 children left us, to live with their new foster families, who were willing to give those 4 children a home and a future!!!! This is a real happy day, all 4 of those children had no family, they came into Amecet with sad stories, but now there is Hope, there is joy and there is a future for each of them! The Probation Officer, Mr. Oluka Amos (at the left on this picture) came to give them officially to their new parents. There was a process before, all the forms are filled, interviews are done, house inspected and today was the official handover.

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The day of the two Charles

On Tuesday baby Charles was brought into Amecet. A small baby, who was too weak to drink by him self. We had to feed him by NG tube. The next day we got all the medical papers and we saw that he was a premature baby, who was born 3 weeks too early. The mother had died because of severe bleeding, the health centre where  Charles was born, referred them to he hospital, but also there they could not help. The baby had already traveled a lot, before reaching Amecet. At first we thought he was doing well, he only vomited  every time after feeding, so we reduced the amount of milk we gave and fed him more frequently, but on Friday morning he had problems breathing.  We went to the doctor and he was started on several IV medicines and we also put him on our oxygen machine. It looked he was doing better, but this morning at around 6.45 am, he suddenly died. It was a shock, there was not much struggle, he just stopped, while still on the oxygen. We had to call the family and get a small coffin in town.

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Life is not always fair...

A lot is going on in Amecet. This is baby Christine, she was born in the hospital, where her mother passed away, after a Cesarean. The family brought Christine 18 hours later, to Amecet. By that time Christine was dehydrated and had fever. She was weak and miserable. We took her to the doctor and she was put on IV fluids and IV medication. We had to feed her by NG tube, because she was too weak to drink from the bottle. We are now one week further and she is doing better, the fever is gone, the skin is better, not so dry, we still feed her via the NG tube, because she can drink only 10 or 15 ml.by herself. But I feel, that we won this battle (don't know how many battles are around the corner...).

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Sad news

In the last blog I wrote about the 2 Raphael's, this blog goes about one of them, the small Raphael, who is still with us in Amecet. I wrote that we went to the hospital to let the doctor take a biopsy from one of his glands and we have been waiting for the result. The result I got back yesterday..... and it was very sad news, Raphael has Cancer and it is a very advanced stage.... We have been afraid of this, when he came in Amecet on November 20,2018, we took him even the same day to the doctor and the day after that, to the HIV clinic, where he was started on ARV's. There have been x-rays, scan's, blood tests and they "hoped" that it would be TB, Raphael was started on anti TB drugs, but now it came back to us, black on white, that it is Cancer.... According to the doctor it is advanced and too far gone to start treatment.. Raphael has no parents, his father was murdered and his mother died of AIDS, she never went for treatment or ARV's and never took Raphael for treatment either. At the burial of the mother, there was a clan meeting and the clan decided that Raphael would be given to his auntie. But they saw how sick he was, so they first brought him to Amecet. The auntie came to visit Raphael twice, she is a kind lady, but we don't know how she shall react when she hears how sick Raphael really is. I am so sad about him, he is starting to adjust, smile and talk. he plays a bit, but he is too weak to really play. Someone gave him this cap, which you see on the picture, he loves that cap, and even put it up when he sits on the potty!! It stays in his bed during the night!!  We have to talk with the auntie, to hear what she thinks of this, but Raphael might stay a bit longer with us and I pray we can love and care for him, give him a banana party every week (he loves bananas) and cuddle with him and pray over him when he is sick and help him when needed. Pls. join us in prayer for this precious boy!!

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Story about 2 Raphaels

This is the first Raphael (12 years old), he was brought to Amecet in August 2018. He was very weak, sick and malnourished. He is HIV+ and we took him the same day to the doctor to do tests and to see how bad it was. His Viral load (load of the HIV virus in the blood) was over 3,000,000 (normally it should be undetected). He was really very sick. He got the right medicines and also medicines for several infections. At first we thought that it was going well, until we started to see strange behavior. We took him to the Psychiatric ward  and the doctor there diagnosed: HIV related psychosis!! He got more medicines and was now spaced out, so the medicines were changed. I was hesitated about keeping him in Amecet, with all the little baby's, was it safe??? We decided that we would give him a chance, but that we, as staff, always needed to watch him, where he was and what he was doing.... Now, looking back, I am so happy that we made that decision, it was tough in the beginning, but he picked up, got more peaceful, happy, started to eat himself, (we even had to give him a NG tube, because he refused to eat!)  Started to play a bit, we had to go back to the doctor several times and the medicines for the psychosis were getting less and less... He wanted to go to school, and we started with half days, we informed the teacher and everything went well!! He was part of the Amun week en he went back home to his father and sister. In February he will go to a boarding school and he is doing so well. I was in the hospital this week and the nurses called me back, they told me that the last Viral load of Raphael came back and it was only 160,000!!! This is amazing!!! 

If you compare those two pictures, the one left and the one from last week at the top of this blog, only 5 months difference!! We are so happy this boy has his life back! Of course he has to keep taking his ARV medicines every day, but he has definitely a future ahead of him!

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Stolen baby was given back to his mother....

Last night, I got a phone call from the Police, they were standing in front of the Amecet gate, but no one opened the gate for them. I called Amecet and they went to open the gate, the Police brought, together with a nurse from Soroti Hospital, a small 5 day old baby for safe keeping. The baby was born on the first on January in Soroti Hospital by a Cesarean operation. Someone had stolen the baby from the bed. The mother was discharged and went home, while the Police tried to trace for the baby. And they succeeded!!! So last night they got the baby and arrested the woman who had taken the child. They brought the baby to Amecet for care and safety. This morning a big group of people (16) came into Amecet, it was the Police and the father and mother of the baby, together with grandfathers, clan leaders of both sides (fathers and mothers side). It was such a joy to lay the little boy into the arms of the mother!! She was so happy, she had still a lot of pain from the operation, but she was smiling and shining all over when she saw her little son. After some talking the group left, with the little baby and they were very happy and thankful!!

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The story of James.......

James was born on Friday, December 28 at home, in a tiny hut, deep in the village. Someone helped his mother, but after he was born, things went terrible wrong... ..his mother started to bleed, the family looked for a way to get her (and James) to the nearby Health centre, but his mother passed away on the way to the centre..... The family turned back home and the next morning the family decided to bring James to Amecet, they had heard that they looked after baby's. They organized a motorbike and an uncle and an auntie started the 2,5 hour journey on the motorbike, with the tiny baby. (this was Saturday). It was my free day, so I got a phone call, that a new baby had arrived. I told them to take the baby in Amecet and just take all the details. One hour later, Dominique called, the baby was very small and very cold. The doctor of the neighbour's clinic had been called to see him, but we had to first try to warm him up, the temperature was even lower than the thermometer could read. The weight of the baby was 1.140 kg., this baby was very premature, even the family had told us that he was maybe 1 month early... 

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Amun week 2018 has come to an end...

Friday was the official ending of the Amun week. In the morning we had a teaching about the good of education, with Elias and Andrew. Then the groups went to practice a drama about one of the lessons they have had. And after one hour they presented the drama's in the big group. It was fun to see the creativity of the different age groups about HIV/AIDS, honesty and family life. Of course we made our group picture and we had a nice meal with a soda. We also had the official ending in a big circle and giving our struggles to God, in believe that He will help us with the,m, because: everything is possible when I believe!!!!

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Teaching about HIV/AIDS and acceptance....

Yesterday we talked a lot about HIV/AIDS. We did the first session in a quiz form, so that they were teaching each other. They really know a lot about HIV/AIDS. And  it was good to see them explaining to one another. We talked about the ARV medicines, all the children are on ARV's, they know where they talk about... Then we had a lesson about acceptance, that was a tough one. It is hard to accept your status, it is a process and we talked about the phases of that process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then the last one acceptance. The last item was: disclosure of your status to others, that was difficult, the children are afraid to be rejected. Many of them have been rejected so much in their life.. We gave some steps they could take. In the afternoon we had our four peer groups and they all talked a lot about the teaching from that morning. They were very open and shared their own experiences. Some were very painful.

There was a lot of rain yesterday, we even had to all pick our chair and run to the shelter, because we didn't trust the tent. But the programme went on and we could even do a game in the afternoon, when it was dry again.

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Today we talked about that God believes in us and about honesty..

Today we started with singing clapping and dancing, we only had half of the tent, because the other half had collapsed. Yesterday a big rainfall came down, just after our games and the tent fell. They came with new poles and while we were singing the tent was set up again. Julius is leading the singing, together with Sharon and Samuel.

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Amun week 2018 has begun!!

Every year we invite all the older HIV+ children, who have been with us before in Amecet, for the Amun week. A week full of teaching, singing, sharing and having fun together. This year the theme is: "all things are possible, when I believe" and we gave them all a T shirt with the theme at the back. The children arrived on Saturday, they are all staying in Amun home, with some in Amecet home. We have a tent in the compound of Amun home, in the tent are all the meetings. We have 50 children staying with us, so we got extra staff to help with this event from the YWAM base. It is such a joy to see them back, some are now teenagers and they are going to secondary school. To thin k that some were baby's when they were in Amecet, or toddlers.  To see them all back gives me such an encouragement, all the children are HIV+ and they all are taking their ARV's, but they are a testimony that it is possible, that they can live normal lives. Of course it is not always easy, there are problems and specially when they are getting older. We try to listen to them and also to give advice and encouragement,. There are also children from 10, 11 and 12 years old, they have still to learn a lot, but it is so good to see the older children, take care of the young one's.

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Our Premature mini girl is going home...

In August we got this little mini girl

(pictures left) her mother passed away after the delivery and her weight was only 1.3 kg. We have had some struggles with her and there were times that it did not go well, but she pulled through!!!

The pictures at the right show how well she is doing now!! Her weight is almost 4 kg. and she is going back to her relatives this coming weekend. She is a lovely little girl, she smiles, drinks good and is hardly sick now. We are so thankful that we were able to help her and we pray a bright future for her!!!!

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World AIDS day in Amecet....

As people, all over the world, remember their loved ones who passed away due to HIV/AIDS, we  at Amecet do it also on our own humble way. We lost this year 7 children, not all on HIV/AIDS, some were too small to check.....We remember every child, several staff members tell their story, we say their name and we light a candle. We remember where they came from, how their situation was and how they passed away. It is painful and some tears are flowing again, one staff member narrated how one little girl came in Amecet, due to malnutrition and sickness, the mother had died after the delivery. The baby went home after some months, very healthy, then  one morning  in July of this year, the father came at the gate, the baby got sick and was admitted in the hospital, where she died. He was on his way home, with the body of his little girl in a sack, which he left outside our gate, because he didn't know if we would allow him in with a dead body..... (read the blog of 4/7/2018) Some of us cried again, hearing this story, the suffering is so great... The little pre-mature baby, whose mother had down syndrome and was raped.  The baby lived only 5 days.... Another girl of 13 years old, she died of HIV/AIDS, she suffered so much (blog 11/6/2018). We know those little one's are with Jesus, their suffering is over, no more injections, no more ARV's and no more pain!! But sometimes you get overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of the children, there are so many more who are sick and rejected. We always have a big vase with flowers on the table, next to the candles, these flowers represent the children who went  back home well and who are shining and blossom!! We end our small ceremony with singing songs of thanksgiving to God for all that we could do in His name through Amecet.... For some we are a doorway to Heaven, for many a way to shine again!!

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Pre-school Graduation....

Every year it is a big happening, the graduation of our Harmony Pre-school!! It is every time such a joy to see those little one's in a gown and wit a cap! They are so proud of themselves, they are still so young and innocent... There were 40 graduates, this year. It was a nice party, we started a bit late, the electricity went off, so they had to go for a generator. There were two tents, but there was so much wind (as it is the beginning of the hot season) one of the tents went almost into the air, so all the parents took their chair and moved in the shade of a big tree.

But after a little while the ceremony went fine! There were songs, memory verses, dances and of course the giving of the certificates to the graduates!

The children did a traditional dance, together with two teachers, which was a big success! After the certificates were given, all the parents came to dance!! It was such a fun!

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Who will care for the children??

Lately, we have been receiving children with such  sad and sometimes horrible stories. It almost breaks your heart, when you realize what is going on.... The baby that was rescued from the pit latrine, after 5 hours being inside the pit, thrown in by the mother. She is struggling at the moment.... Then there was a baby brought in Amecet from the maternity ward in the Hospital. The mother  killed at night the grandmother, who was taking care of them in the hospital. She was stabbed  to death. The mother was taken to the Police, the family was outraged (it was the mother of the father who died) and the baby left in the hospital. The baby was brought to Amecet, because the family was too upset to care for the baby. The last news we got from them is that also the father is now admitted in the psychiatric ward... Last week a child of 2 years was brought, his mother died and the father has been lynched some months ago, when he tried to rob a motorcycle and killed the driver in the process...  Two days ago a baby of 6 months was brought, the mother has a mental illness and the child was not safe at home......When you look into their eyes, you can just see the suffering, as young as they are. We try very hard to get a smile on their face, but it is very hard at times.... I am sometimes worried, where will the children go back to?? Who will care for them?? Who will dry their tears?? Who will protect them?? We need the hand of the Lord, we need the wisdom of the Lord. I know that He cares for them and I am honored to be His Hand and Voice where I can........

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Rescued from the pit latrine.....

Friday, it was almost 6 pm,, baby Grace was brought by the nurse from the maternity ward in Soroti Hospital. She came together with the mother  and the auntie of the baby. The mother was a young girl of 17 years and she was still in Primary school. Nobody knew that she was pregnant and last week on Wednesday, she delivered alone, at school. Nobody saw it, she gave birth behind the pit latrine and when the baby and the placenta were out, she threw them in the latrine. The pit latrine are the toilets here, it is a very deep pit and the latrine is build on top. Especially on a school, the latrine is used a lot.

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A busy day, with the School and Hospital.

It is almost the end of the school year. In our school, Harmony Primary School, we have this year 13 candidates, this are students who are in P 7, and are doing their exams next week. This is a big event in Uganda, those exam results will give you entrance in the secondary school and are very important. Wednesday morning we had a time of celebration and prayers for them. All the teachers and the other 6 classes were present and also several representatives of YWAM Soroti, as the school is part of the YWAM Soroti family. It was a happy time, with singing, and all the other 6 classes did a song for them. A time to encourage them and pray for them. And of course there was a cake........ They have their days of exams on Monday and Tuesday........

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Welcome to Flora!!!

Yesterday evening, our Frisian cow, Clara got her first calf!!!  We have called her Flora. In the blog of March 30th, I wrote about our first income generating project for Amecet, We got in  March, 3 Frisian cows and our goal is to have enough milk for the Amecet household and the rest we can sell.. We have been waiting for the first calf and yesterday evening it was born very fast. This morning the veterinarian doctor came to check her and to give us advise. But everything is fine with both , Clara and with Flora!! She is already walking and drinking from the mother. We are preparing our farmland, (is in the village, just outside Soroti) to bring the cows there and to get more crops growing there as well. 

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Fire in our kitchen...

We had PANIC this afternoon..... We have an outside kitchen with a grass roof, like all the houses in the villages have. Sunday evening our supper has chips, and we fry them ourselves. Before we had an electric fry pan for that, but that pan was overworked and since that time we do it with oil on the charcoal stove... And that went wrong today.....The fire went in the oil and we had a fire..., we tried to stop it with putting lids on it, it was too much, everyone went for sand to throw on it, but it was too much and the flames went high towards the roof. It was panic, everyone was trying to help, the people from the clinic next door came to look and some men came to help, we got buckets, basins and I got the hose and we tried to water the roof, but it was too much... One of the men climbed up and with the hose he was able to stop the flames. The staff started to pull the grass down and threw water on it. I got the car out, which was parked next to the kitchen. We made it!!!! It was so close to the home, I was almost starting to get the baby's out.... When everything was over, my legs were trembling, it was very close to a disaster. ... We do have fire extinguishers, but yesterday the fire brigade came to pick them, to refill them and they used the opportunity to give a lesson to the staff, how to use them, and they emptied them..... we expect them back, refilled, any moment.... and just then we have this problem....... I thank God that we could stop the fire and I thank God for the staff who were all so hard working and trying to help!!!!  We were a good team!!!

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Remember Anna Grace?????

I wrote about Anna Grace in the blog on 14/8/2018. She was brought in Amecet after she was born 10 weeks too early and her weight was 1.3 kg ( see picture left). We have been struggling with her, at times it was very hard and we feared for her life. But see the picture now (above). Her weight is 2.8 kg today and she is gaining every day!! She drinks very well and she is a beautiful little baby!! We are so happy with her and we thank God for sparing her life.. We need to look at those "success stories"  at times, esspecially after loosing baby Godfrey (read the last blog).  That can be so sad, when you try and try and still the baby dies. Rejoice with us in the life of Anna Grace!!!  We have already three new children, one baby was brought to Amecet, while we were bringing the body of Godfrey back to his family. that was baby Rosemary, her mother is agressive towards her, she has a mental problem and the grandmother and great grandmother brought her to Amecet, so we keep her for some months, while they go for treatment for the mother. Then on 16/10/2018 two twin sisters were brought to Amecet, they were born the evening before by a Caesarian operation. The mother had passed away. They were called Mary and Esther, Again sad stories, but the baby's are doing well and they all drink good.

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R.I.P. little Godfrey......

Little Godfrey left us peacefully on Friday morning (12/10) at 6 am. I wrote in the blog of Thursday, that there was no news about him. But that day it went already difficult. I was with him almost the whole day, and I saw that his saturation (level of oxygen in the blood) was dropping. I went to the doctor and he prescribed IV medication and to put him on the oxygen machine. His temperature was also not stable and he vomited small amounts. I really felt for the little man, so small and so fighting for life. We prayed as a staff, for him and asked God to touch him , but knowing that God knows the whole situation, we trusted Him for whatever would happen...

In the night, the saturatiuon dropped more, in spite of the medication and the oxygen and in the morning it dropped so low that he slept in peacefully, there was no battle, he just left us. It is still a shock and we were all sad, we had really wanted him to live.... We bought a small coffin and and laid him to rest. In the little coffin he even looked more small and vulnerable. We had called the family in the village, so they knew what had happended and were waiting for us. We drove to his village and we saw the little grave, dugged next to the still fresh grave of his mother, who had been buried 2 days ago.... We shared with the family and neighbours what had happended with little Godfrey and we left them to do the burying. As we drove back to Soroti, over the small village roads, we were all thinking how fast it can go and we should not take life for granted.. Simon, who was driving, got a phonecall, a new baby was being brought to Amecet,..... We know that Godfrey is safe now, in the arms of Jesus, and we....... will care for the next baby.....

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Six children left Amecet today....

Last week we got 6 six children on one day, today 6 children left Amecet on one day!! On the blog of October 5th, you could read how the 5 brothers and sisters arrived in Amecet. Since that day, our social workers have been working hard on their case. They visited the village, where they came from, talked with the mother, who is in police custody and with the authorities there. The father was taken by his family to another hospital, far from there. The only family left, to care for the children, were the relatives of the mother, who also lived again in another district. Simon and Elias, our Social Workers, followed up with those relatives and they were willing to take the children and care for them. So today, Simon is bringing them, we made a packet for them, with matrasses, mosquito nets, clothes and some food items. The children were excited to go and Simon left Amecet with a happy crew in his car... It is strangely quiet now in Amecet.... They were a wild group, we had to pick them out the trees, rescue them from the trampoline and get them out of the fights they had with each other, but  we did enjoy them, especially Emmanuel, who has Down Syndrome. He  came out of bed in the middle of the night, clompetely dressed, because it was light, so it was morning.... there was no electricity in their home.. We had an interesting time with them, but we are also happy that they could go to their relatives and go back to school and be in their normal circumstances.... 

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A new mini baby

A new baby, his weight just over 1 kg!!! The baby is born last night and came via the clinic of the neighbours in Amecet. The mother passed away, after excessive bleeding. The baby is premature, very small and his weight is just over 1 kg! There is no father, he ran away and the uncles came this morning to Amecet, to fill the papers and sign. His name is Godfrey, he was cold, so after weighing, we wrapped him into warm blankets, and warmed him up in the incubator. We feed him via a NG tube, because he is too small for sucking. We are not sure how much pre mature he is, according to the papers of the mother, he is 4 months pre mature, but we think it might be 2,5 month or so. He is smaller than our last mini baby, her weight was 1.3 kg.. Please stand with us in prayer for Godfrey, we feed him a little bit of special premature baby formula, every 2 hours. But he does vomit a bit. His breathing is very good, and his temperature is normal now. I will keep you informed!

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Six new children........

This afternoon we got 6 new children in two hours.... First a new born baby, he was 2 days old. His mother passed away after the delivery, because of over bleeding. The family of the late mother came to bring the baby. It was again a sad story, the mother had been working in Kampala, they had never seen the father of the baby. There was a lot of confusion and the baby had only been fed water with some glucose.  We can take care of the baby, while the family  buries the mother and sort out everything with the father. 

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To the Hospital with baby Jane..

Yesterday morning we, left Amecet at 8.30 am, to travel to Cure Hospital in Mbale. This hospital is specialized in neuro chirugy and treats children with Hydro cephalus and Spina Bifida. We had asked the grandmother to come with us, she is willing to stay with Jane in the hospital, in case they want to admit her. Elias drove and he dropped us at the hospital and while we were waiting there, he drove to visit a family and had an appointment with the Probation Officer in Palisa. 

Jane is a 17 days old baby with a hydro cephalus. She came in Amecet after the doctor in Soroti Hospital asked us to help. The mother of Jane has a mental illness, Jane was born by a Cesarian section, the mother didn't allow anybody to toch her. The grandmother was too busy to care for the daughter and to also care for Jane was too much, the mother didn't want to hold her or to feed her. Nobody know who the father of Jane is, the mother was raped. It is a sad story....

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PARTY TIME...Anna Grace weighs more than 2 kg.!!

Today we had a small party, Anna Grace's weight was today 2,030 gram!!! This is such an accomplishment, this baby was born 10 weeks early, at the side of the road and her weight was 1,3 kg.. She has been in a room, seperated from the other children. Fed via the NG tube, but this little girl is a fighter!!! We are very happy to see her coming from so vulnerable up to this day!! She is still small and vulnerable, but  now we have confident that she will live!!!!

That is why we had soda's for the staff today, to say : "thank you"  to them for their commitment towards Anna Grace (and the others..) and to encourage them to go on!!!!! 

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Happy Second Birthday Martha!!!!

This is a true miracle story about this little sweet Martha. Martha’s mother was still a teenager when she became pregnant. The father was a married man, with a family… The mother was only 15 years old and Martha was born premature, and very small and malnourished. The mother and Martha were more than 5 months in the feedings centre in Soroti Hospital. As Amecet, we visit the feeding centre every week with some feeding supplements and some encouragement. We brought some clothes and blankets to Martha, but every time we came, we saw the baby laying on the bed (without the clothes) and the mother was elsewhere. When Martha was 6,5 months old, the social worker of the hospital called us to come and rescue the baby. He felt the mother was giving up and he feared that Martha may be in danger. Talks started between Amecet and the family of Martha and her mother and the result was that Martha came in Amecet on 13/2/2017, when she was 6,5 month old and her weight was only 2.9 kg….

 

 

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Meeting an old friend again...

This week I got a phone call from the Probation officer; Els come to our office, there is here an old friend, you have to meet again!! So I went to the probation office and there I met Brenda!!!! I first had to look very good, but then I knew, this is Brenda, who we got in Amecet in 2005. She was rescued from the shrine of the witch doctor. When she came to Amecet, she had everywhere big wounds, even from nails and burn wounds. She stayed quite a while with us, but we got her re-united with her mother in Kitgum, in the North of Uganda. She now stayed for a while in Soroti again, with her auntie, she goes to P6, but the family moves back to Kitgum  It was so nice to see Brenda again after 12 years!! She is a young lady now, she is happy and looks very healthy. This as such an encouragement, Thirteen years ago, this girl was in a terrible state, she was to be sacrificed, the people around the home of the witch doctor, warned the Police and they rescued her. In Amecet we saw the wounds heal and also her emotions started to heal. And now I saw a young girl, happy and healthy!!! I thank God for Amecet and I thank Him that I was part of the healing of this girl!! 

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Toddlers.... we love them!!

Lately we had a lot of toddlers, out toddlers room was full and you have to have your eyes everywhere, because they do all kind of things they should not do... On the picture above, Paul and Gilbert are sitting together and have a nice time....eating the flowers!!

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We have now 2 mini baby's....

It goes well with little Anna Grace. Her infection is gone and she is gaining a little bit, her weight is now 1.5 kg!!! Her temperature is good, her saturation is good, we do still feed her by NG tube, but she takes it well. Since some hours she has a little friend!!! I was called by the maternity ward from Soroti Hospital, that a mother passed away this morning and she left a small premature baby boy behind... I went to the hospital and talked with the father, who was very thankful that we wanted to help. The baby is 5 days old, but was born 4 weeks too early and is very small. The mother had been very sick and their plan was to go for further investigations after the baby was born. And now the mother died... The baby is called Stephen (after his father!) and his weight is 1.550 kg,  so he is 50 grams more than Anna Grace. We are using Pre mature milk formula for him as well as for Anna Grace. We have now 2 mini baby's in our medical room. We keep them seperate from the others, to keep them warm and more protected. Pls. keep praying for them

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Five children are going home......

Today we celebrated the going home of 5 children!!! It is always such a joy, to see them go, healthy and happy! There were 4 bigger children leaving and one small one. Our social workers, Simon and Elias are bringing them home. They have been working at this for a while. The children came from different villages and some could not go back to their old home. It would not have been safe for them. One boy was kidnapped and sold by his father to be sacrificed, another girl was raped by her HIV+ stepfather. But we are so happy that she is HIV-, she was put on ARV's for 1 month and several tests were done, but she is negative!!! She also never had gone to school before, she went for the first time to school, while in Amecet, and she did so well. So in the talking, that Simon and Elias have done with the relatives, they made sure that the children will continue their schooling. Two of the children came in Amecet, when they were quite sick and malnourished, they were both HIV+. But now they have gained a lot and they are active and playing and they do well on the ARV's, prescribed by the doctor. We will keep visiting them and checking on them and their relatives, that they keep taking their medicines and go to the clinic for their reviews. You can read some of their stories in the blog of June 6, 2018 (the tears of the little people). 

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