Anna Grace is fighting for her life..

Anna Grace is now 11 days old, but she was born 10 weeks too early!!!  At first she did well, she started to breath on her own and her temperature was stabilising, but then....  She developped a fever, all her other vital signs were normal, after some tests it showed that there is an infection in her intestines. Being born at the side of the road brings a lot of extra dangers... She was put on I.V. medication and we were very alert on her. Yesterday we stopped all the feeding by NG tube and only gave her I.V. fluids. This morning we started with a little bit formula milk by NG tube.. You see on the picture above how she holds my finger, she is too weak to really hold it, I feel that is how she hangs on life, she is almost too weak to fight. Please join us in prayer to stand for her....... The picture under in just taken right now, she is very weak and there is still some temperature. On and off her saturation drops, but there is still hope!!!!!

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A day of happy endings en new beginnings..

Today was a day of happy endings, three children were leaving Amecet with their new parents who started the fostering process in order to adopt the child. The Probation officer Adotu Amos (right on the picture) came to Amecet to hand the children officially over to their new parents.

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Pls. pray for this pre-mature mini girl...

Yesterday, Baby Anna Grace was brought to Amecet by her uncle and grandmother. She was born after 30 weeks of pregnancy. The mother had not expeced her to come yet, when the contractions started, they set off to the health centre. But  the baby was born on the way, at the side of the road....The mother passed away, due to heavy bleeding...The baby was, ofcourse, very small. They brought the baby to us. The baby was cold and a bit dirty, you can imagine how that must have gone, there at the side of the road.... So our nurse, Deborah, first wiped the baby, as fast as she could, we weight her (only 1.3 kg.) and dressed her and she was placed in the incubator. They tried to feed her, because she had only be given some drops of water, but she couldn't suck. So a NG tube was brought in. After trying to warm her for an hour, they took her to the neighbours clinic and the doctor saw her. She was started on IV medication, against infection and also for her lungs. She was also put on oxygen, because the saturation (oxygen level in her blood) was low.

This morning she was fair, her temperature was normalised and the saturation was also normal. She was fed every two hours by the NG tube, a little bit of pre-mature baby formula and she cried a bit.....

Anna Grace has still a long way to go, she is not yet out of the danger zone, but she is a fighter!!! Please join us in prayer for the life of this little one, pray for us as staff, we have now 29 childrenin our home and Anna Grace needs a lot of attention.

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Our baby room is almost full again...

The room has 8 baby beds and we had only 3 small babies. But since the beginning of this month, we got several new babies coming in.. Their stories are all so sad. We got a phonecall from a health centre, there was a baby born and the mother has a mental illness. We know the mother from before, she had twins and we were asked by the authorities to take the twins. We had tried the relatives, but nobody wanted to care for them. Now we went to get the newborn baby, the mother was very happy to see us again and was very okay with us taking her baby.....

This morning a newborn baby was brought by the midwife of another health centre, the mother had died after the delivery..and the family didn't know what to do with this pre-mature baby at home. It is a little girl, we took her to the doctor, because the cord was infected, the baby is now on IV. medication, but drinks well.

Another little baby boy was brought, his mother also died after the delivery and the families were arguing about the dowry, because that was not paid yet. So the family of the father has to pay the family from the dead mother, before she is burried. The dowry is often paid in cows and goats. And this arguing can be very bad, in the middle of the mouring process. So the baby was brought to Amecet, he was small and didn't drink well, so we had to feed him by NG tube.

Then the other week, when I came back from town, a ambulance was standing in the compound, inside was the body of the mother of another little baby boy. The mother had passed away after the delivery and they asked help for the baby. The family came from the north (Karamoja) and they were on the way with the body, to bury her in their clan grounds. The baby had blisters on his face and needed IV antibiotics to treat this.. 

A family came to ask for help, their sister got a baby, but the mother refused to feed her baby, didn't want to care for her and they were afraid that someting bad might happen to the baby,. They asked if we could take the baby for a while, whil they went wioth the mother to the doctor in the Psychiatric ward. So the little baby came to Amecet. She also didn't drink well and we had to give her a NG tube, to help her. The mother has been visiting the baby, with her brother. But this week, she came alone and we didn't trust her with the baby, she had tried to ran off with the baby before. So we asked her to come back with her brother. She got angry and started to remove all her clothes. We calmed her down, she put back her clothes and said she would get her brother. But when she was outside the gate, she again removed her clothes and ran along te roadside. Elias went in the car, with some staff and went after her, they got her and they went to the family home. It is so sad, you would love to give her the baby, but we need to know that the baby is safe with her.

This are some of the sad stories, every child has a story behind him/her and we hope and pray for happy endings!!!

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A tribute to the Foster families!!!

This picture is taken a couple years ago, we had a meeting with the families who  foster a child via Amecet. They all want to foster, to adopt later. I am so thankful for these families, they are willing to open up their home and heart to a child who has no family or home. We get children who are abandened by their parents, or just left behind in a bus station or in a maize field, we had a small boy, who was found at night, alone sitting in the main street. These children also need love, care and protection. As Amecet, we do the first aid, but then, they need to belong somewhere.........

We get also baby's whose mother has a mental illness, they sometimes leave the children behind, or put them on the street. Often the Police will bring those children to Amecet and our Social Workers try to trace the mother (who often left Soroti already) or the relatives of the mother, by putting the child in the newspaper, on the radio and with posters hanging in town. Sometimes we get the relatives, but more often nobody reacts. Then we look for a family who is willing to foster and later adopt the child. We are so thankful that more and more Ugandan families come to Amecet with the request if they can adopt a child. Then they go through the process with the Probation Office, fill the forms, every family gets a homevisit from our Social Worker and the Probation Officer. If everything is in fine, they get a care order from the Court. and the Probation Officer hands the child over to the family. As of now we have handed over 37 children to Ugandan families and at the moment, we are in the process of 5 more children. It is such a joy, to know that all these children have a future now and that they are wanted and loved!!! There are several families who have adopted one child and they come back for a second child! I have a lot of respect for the families, most of them are not rich, but they are willing to share what they have, with a needy child!!

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Two baby's expected...

In Amecet, we care for baby's, that is how we are known, but lately we got three girls of 11, 15 and 16 years old, who were brought by the Police. The 11 year old girl was raped by her HIV+ stepfather, she was not pregnant, but the danger was that she is also infected by the HIV virus. We took her to the doctor for tests and she got one month ARV medicines as prophylaxis. After one month we took her again for a HIV test, she was negative!!! Last week we took her for her last test and she is still HIV-!!! We are very happy for her and our Social workers are now looking where the best place will be for her, she has never been to school before. We took her to Harmony Primary school, in P1, and she loves it!!!

The other two girls (of 15 and 16 years) are both pregnant. The  pregnancys are  32 and 30 weeks old. We took them for a scan and to pre-natal care, which is in the clinic, next door.  One is pregnant of her stepfather, her mother doesn't want the girl to come home now and she never wants to see the baby (her grandchild). The other girl had ran away from home, some time ago and got pregnant, The boy first denied, but later agreed. Our Social workers went to search for the family of the girl. She gave at first another name and was scared to reveal where she was from... But they found the family and they were very happy to hear about her, they thought that she might have died... They came to visit her in Amecet and we all agreed that she will stay in Amecet until the baby is born. The home in the village, is far away from a health facility and because she is so young, she needs to have good pre-natal care and help with the delivery. 

This is again a new ministry, within Amecet. There is not much help for those young girls elsewhere. Please pray for the three girls, for their emotional and physical needs. Pray also for us, that we can be there for them........

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Exercise at Amecet

We have 8 cute toddlers at the moment... And before last week, only 1 could walk, but now there are 4  toddlers that can walk!! Exercises are being done. On this picture you see Sam in the middle, he is not happy, because he doesn't want to walk!!!! He is almost 2 years old and very behind in his development. He does not talk and has some problems with his locomotion. He can't crawl, but he moves now on his buttocks around the room. When he came to Amecet, he couldn't do anything, so he improved  a lot!!

 

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AMECET WEBSITE IS BORN!!!!!

Sjaak, a Dutch volunteer has been working many hours behind the computer, creating our first (after almost 17 years!!) Amecet website. It gives a good over view from all the work we do in and around Amecet, it is in Dutch and English. The blogs will be also on it and many other things, pictures, updates etc. Please visit our site and if you have feedback, please, let us know!!!

 

amecet-childrenshome.com
 
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Our last respect to Margaret

Margaret has been in Amecet and went back to her home in February 2018. She didn't had an easy start in life, her mother died at her birth. That was the reason why she came to Amecet. In February, her father took her back home in Serere to care for her. She was doing good. On Friday (June 29th) Simon got a phonecall that Margaret was sick and she was admitted in the hospital in Serere. He followed it up and heard that she was referred to Soroti Hospital. The father came on Saturday to Amecet for some help, to buy medicines for Margaret, who suffering from a pneumonia. On Monday morning at 7.45 am, the father came to Amecet, he told us that Margaret had died that morning. The staff asked him what was now going on and found out that the doctor had said to the father to take everything out the hospital, so he did. He had taken the body of his daughter, put it in a basin and in a sack and walked to Amecet. He had left the basin (with the body) outside the gate, not knowing if we would allow him to bring in a dead body. The staff took immediately the body into our medical room. Cared for it and washed her and lay her out on a bed. With dignity and respect, Margaret was laid down in peace.
The father was sitting on our veranda, he was upset and crying. We served him tea and bread and he calmed down a bit. Simon went to get a small coffin and later Margaret was laid in the coffin and Simon brought the father and the coffin to their village in Serere, where she was to be buried, next to her mother.
Why do I write this story??  Maybe, because I am also upset how things went yesterday morning, how a mourning father is treated in the hospital and how the system works, that there is no respect for the death or for the mourning parent. This is how things go here and I am sad about it.....
Dear Margaret, your struggle is over, rest in Peace...... 
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Amecet Farmland...

We would like to share with you an update on our Farmland... On May 17th I wrote that we had bought it and all the money was given to the former owners in the office of the lawyer. In the blog of May 17th,  I also posted a small (simple) map and there was a funny corner in our land. We were able to buy that little part as well, it was owned by an other person. And now the work has begun.....

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The joy of meeting old friends again...

It is always such a blessing to meet children again, after they have gone home or have been adopted. To see how good they do now and knowing that we have been involved in the beginning of that process!

The family who adopted Nico in 2010, shifted back to the  States, but came with their whole family to visit Nico's home country! Nico was their first born son, later they got three more (biological) children. It was so nice to see Nico, he is a big boy, doing well in school and is good in sports. We feel so honored that we could be a part of this! Nico was a bit shy, didn't remembered us, but it blessed us so much to see and meet him again!

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Education is a key

As soon as possible, when the child is able to go, we enroll the children in school. We feel that it is very important for the children to get education. Today, Silivia (second of right) went to school for the first time in her life. She is 11 years old and had never the chance of going to class. The boy at the right is Daniel, he is 13 years old, he is  in P1, together with Silivia and also with Okello the boy third from the right. Okello is 9 years old and never went to school either. You should have seen their faces, they were so happy and so proud of their uniform and their school bag!! It is not easy when you are 11 or 12 years old and you are in class with children who are 6 or 7 years old. We are truly thankful for the teachers from Harmony Primary school, who always allow our children to join. The girl at the left, is Harriet, she is 12 years old and goes to P3. When the children are going back to their families, we will make sure that the child will stay in school.
 
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Bringing Betty to her last restingplace....

It was a sunny Sunday morning today. Together we carried the coffin in to our car. The children all looked and it was a moment of saying goodbye... We prayed for the journey, for Betty's father and family and for the children, staying behind in Amecet...

We left with 4 staff members, accompanying Betty to her last resting place. On the way we picked two staff members from the organization that helped Betty when she was in the village and we drove to her village. It was around 1 hour drive. When we came close to the home, driving on one of those small, little roads, people came running to the car, and they started to run in front of the car, a moment later, some were running behind the car. Elias drove slowly now, the little road was bumpy and very small. More people joined, running behind the car. It was so special, like if they joined Betty on her last trip home... When we arrived at the home, chairs were borrowed from several neighbours and we sat down. There was already quite a group of people sitting under the mango tree, waiting for the arrival of Betty's body. The coffin was brought into one of the huts and we all joined the people under the mango tree. After some welcome words, I started to explain what has happened in the 9 weeks that Betty had been with us. She had been sick for 7 weeks and the last 5 weeks was most of the time on bed. I also urged anybody, who was on ARV medicines, or cared for children who were on ARV medicines, to take them on time, every day and to go to the health centre when someone was sick. The family was very thankful for all that we had done for Betty, they all gave it back to God, they said. We left, so the family could mourn without us, they will bury her today......

We drove back to Soroti, there was worship music playing in the car, 10.000 reasons to thank you Lord.. Sometimes you have to think about that, but yes, in spite of everything, we thank the Lord for the short life of Betty. We enjoyed her, she was a beautiful girl with a sweet spirit, another beautiful Morning Glory flower has withered.......

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Betty's suffering is over.....R.I.P.

Today, Saturday, I got a phone call at around 5 pm., Betty was doing very bad. I was at home, because of my free day, just wanted to start cooking, Mary and I jumped in the car, leaving Sarah in charge at home, with Helen and Cathy.
When we came in Amecet, we saw a big change, she was really dying now. I have been writing in different blogs about Betty ( April 28, May 15 and 21 and June 6). It is so hard to see a child of 13 getting slowly worse and worse. You can't do much about it, just trying to make her comfortable.
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Study "Cow" tour to Kumi

Last Saturday, we went on a study tour to a Cowsfarm in Kumi (around 45 minutes drive from Soroti). Now we have our 3 Frisian cows, we want to make sure that we do the right thing and that we get as much milk as we can. Via some friends in Holland, we got a contact in Kumi. It is a Dutch project and they have 85 Frisian cows. So they are much ahead of us!!? 

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The tears of the little people

Even after so many years working with children, I am still asking myself, what world we live in, that people can do those things with children... Lately we have taken some older children in  Amecet and their stories make me so sad and angry at the same time....

A small boy was brought, we think he is around 5 years old. He was kidnapped 4 months ago, to be sacrificed, but because he was circumcised, he was not a good sacrifice and the police found him somewhere far from his home, on his own... His own father was involved in the whole thing!!! They told us that he was traumatized... At first he was wild and not listening, but now he is okay, loves to play around the house and he loves to eat!!! Then a 16 year old girl was brought by the Police, she is 6 months pregnant, from her stepfather.. The mother is angry, doesn't want her at home and will never accept the baby, she says. Another girl of 11 years old, was brought last week, she was raped by her stepfather, she is not pregnant, but the stepfather is HIV+, so the danger is that the girl will end up HIV+, she is now on ARVs. She can't go back home, because the mother blames her and forgives the stepfather, who is taken into police custody. My heart goes out to those children, who have now scars for their life. Simon and Elias will be busy finding the right place for them to go to, we heard that there are relatives, who want to take them, but first, we need to go and talk with them. So the children are with us, and it is so good to see them play and laugh. They feel safe and for now is that very important. They love to jump on the trampoline, kick the ball and color in their coloring books. We hope and pray for a safe place for them, after Amecet...
 
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A sunburned baby was found

Sunday evening the Police came to Amecet with a small baby. The baby was found by an old woman, in a maize garden. They brought the baby to the Police andthe Police first went to the hospital with the baby for check up, and after that they came to Amecet. Nobody knows the mother, the Police is doing investigations to find the mother. The baby is a cute little girl, who got the name Angela, her weight is 2.2 kg. We took her this morning to the doctor, the baby is burned by the sun, she is red and also her tummy is red. We don't know how long she has been laying in the sun, in that maize garden... It is sad to leave a baby in such a position, even dogs could have found her..... She will get IV medication and also the ARV medication for baby's, until we can prove with the HIV test that she is negative.
 
 
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Rest in peace, sweet Jesica

Jesica passed away last night, just before 11 pm. We have been going to the doctors with her several times, she was diagnosed with Neonatal Sepsis. She probably got it at birth, because when she was born, her mother started to bleed and the family organized an ambulance to take the mother to Soroti Hospital, for blood transfusion, but the mother died on the way. The baby was also in the ambulance. They went back home and the baby was brought to Amecet. The symptoms started some days later and resulted in her death last night. Every time it is so painful. to see this beautiful little girl, laying in the coffin, inside feelings and emotions of sorrow, of anger, of doubt (did we do all we could have done??).
 
We had a small coffin made and together with the grandparents, Simon and some of the staff members, we drove to the village, where the family lived and where the mothers was buried, not even 2 weeks ago...  My heart went out to the family, as they sat, under the tree, around the small coffin with the body of Jesica. They had sat like this, only 12 days ago, around the body of the mother of Jesica...... We shared what had happen with Jesica, the time she was in Amecet, they thanked us for our care and that we brought the body home.... Then we left them to mourn and bury the little girl next to her mother....
God have mercy on them!!!!!!
 
 
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Gideon and Job went home with their new parents.....

Today was a special day for baby Gideon and for Job!!! They were going home with their new parents!!!On December 14, 2017 Job was brought to Amecet by the Police. He was found in the bus station and was a very traumatized little boy of around 5 or 6 years old. He didn't talk and was wild, he was scared of people. You can read in the blog of January 26 about his story and how we tried to find his relatives... But today he went with his new parents to his new home. 
 
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Amecet has new (farm) land.....

In the blog of March 30th, I wrote about our 3 cows, Betsy, Clara and Daisy, and I shared about our desire to have more income generating activities for Amecet. Today I want to share  about our new land!!!

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Children come and go

I have been a bit quiet, those last weeks, but there is a lot going on in Amecet. Yesterday a small. new born baby was brought  to Amecet by the Police.

The mother of the baby had knocked somewhere on a door and had asked for some food, after she had eaten, she asked if she could rest a bit, before going on her journey. The lady of the home gave her a mat to rest. The lady went outside and when she came back, the mother was gone and the baby was laying on the mat. She went to the Police and they brought the baby to Amecet. We gave her the name Naome. it is a beautiful little girl, with cute hair and she is probably only 4 days old.. 
 
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