Responding to Ebola in Sierra Leone

Since the outbreak of Ebola there has been devastation to families and communities, our partners in Sierra Leone were already based in a community which had self-quarantined in order to protect their people.

However they were receiving stories from other communities of children being abandoned in their homes, not only now orphans, having lost their parents to the disease, but now also outcasts not allowed out of their homes, in case of transmission. If they survived the 3 week quarantine they were allowed out, but were then shunned by their community. Even though these children were now stronger and immune from the disease, nobody would care for them.

Despite wanting to care for these children our partners in Sierra Leone struggled initially to gain the confidence and support of the community that they were in. They began to look at finding land outside the community on which to build some homes to care for these children. The chief of the community then changed his mind, deciding that looking after these children was more important than the taboo connected to them.

Therefore when we received the donation last week we were able to tell our partners that they could start building the first home for the children, costing £7,000. Currently they are staying in a make shift home, normally used as office, as soon as the first building is complete they will be able to move in. Normally we would move away from building orphanages, preferring to make the most of extended families. However in this situation, there are very few families who are brave enough to take the children in so an orphanage is the way forward. These will hold a ‘parent’ (an Ebola survivor themselves) and 7 children.

Operation Orphan is now looking to raise the monthly support for 36 orphans. This will help those caring for them to keep them warm, safe, healthy and learning. If you would like to be a part of impacting these children's lives for the better either click here to donate online or get in touch (info@operation-orphan.org) and we will give you all the information you need. We have made a start and were thrilled to find that the day the money went out of our account, was the day that the children moved in to their temporary accommodation. Please join us as we bring these little lives hope for a brighter future.