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Our Christmas baby....

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

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Christmas.....

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

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Amecet 20 years anniversary

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

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Miracles still happen....

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

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Good news and sad news....

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

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Smiles are so important.......

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

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Updates.......

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

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Burials......

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

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Joshua R.I.P.

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

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Emmanuel R.I.P.

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

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