Ebola Orphans Need Your Help

 

The ebola virus disease is ravaging Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. It has infected more than 21,000 people, killing more than 8,000 in the three countries.

 

Most of the new infections now occur in Sierra Leone, which has recorded more than 10,000 infections and 3,000 deaths.

 

The disease is reversing gains in economic development in the form of capital flight; reduction of major economic activities, such as mining and agriculture; suspension of infrastructure projects; and shortfalls in government revenues.

 

Schools and colleges remain closed, and access to hospital services even for non-ebola ailments is precarious.

 

Even when the virus is defeated, the task of rebuilding the economy and society will be enormous.

 

Children of parents who have succumbed to the disease are among the hardest-hit in all three countries.

 

The diary of the British nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone, is a chilling reminder of the fate of many children today:

 

“Had an awful shift this week. I was with a lady who was dying. I could tell she didn’t have long, so I was trying to make her comfortable.  There was a young boy standing at the window looking in and I waved to him. A few minutes later she had passed away and I heard the boy crying outside the ward. When I went to him, he asked if she had died. I said yes. He said she was his mother. He had already lost his father to Ebola, and now he had no parents.”

 

Ebola orphans suffer stigmatization and are shunned even by extended family members because of the deadly nature of the virus.

 

By mid-January 2015, 15,258 children were directly affected by the ebola crisis, with 7,968 children having lost one or both parents to the ebola virus. link

 

Fortunately, a few organizations with a good track record in humanitarian work have stepped up to the challenge by providing help in the form of care homes, scholarships, food, access to clinics, and play facilities.

 

The Salone Association provides funds to credible organizations that are helping the ebola orphans to rebuild their lives.

 

Please support these efforts by donating to the Salone Association’s Fund for Ebola Orphans.