Over the weekend, the World Health Organization announced the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia is officially over. After having gone 42 days without any Ebola patients (twice the incubation period), the country is free of the virus that claimed more than 4,900 lives.
We are so incredibly thankful for your support. You helped fund more than 30 locally-driven organizations that responded to the crisis. You helped provide necessary medical equipment to doctors and health workers treating patients. You helped deliver Ebola prevention kits to limit the spread of the virus. You helped raise public awareness of the virus, not only through informational PSA campaigns in Liberia, but through your own social networks to get more support for this important cause.
You helped achieve this important milestone and the people of Liberia thank you for your generous support.
But the fight is not over. Sierra Leone and Guinea are still experiencing new cases of Ebola, and Liberia is now beginning the long road to rebuilding their health system for long term resilience. This week we are sending an additional half a million dollars in funding to 14 organizations in West Africa working to achieve these goals.
As always, we will continue to update you on the impact your donation is making to get to zero cases in West Africa and help rebuild Ebola-affected countries for the long term.
We know that every donation has a story, so we wanted to leave you with this one about a group of women in Liberia you helped support who fought Ebola and are now giving to earthquake survivors in Nepal. Thank you again for your generosity.
Last week we shared how your donations are making a difference on a large scale to combat Ebola in West Africa. This week we wanted to share with you more specifically the direct impact that your support is making in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
As we enter 2015, more than 20,000 cases of the Ebola virus have been suspected or confirmed in West Africa and more than 8,000 people have died from the virus. Ebola has had enormous consequences on the affected countries - existing health systems have been devastated, schools have been closed for nearly a year, and economic development has stalled. Despite these challenges - and thanks to your support - progress is being made. New cases are starting to decline in many areas, the government of Liberia announced that schools would reopen on February 2, and the path to zero new Ebola cases is now possible.
We’re happy to announce that thanks to your support, we have just sent an additional $1.8 million to our partners working to combat the Ebola crisis in West Africa. A summary of each of the grants given is below, and we’ll continue to update you with the progress on these grants in the coming months.
AdvocAid: To provide Ebola prevention materials and food supplements to 7 female prisons, 20 police stations, and 50 ex-prisoners and their children throughout Sierra Leone.
Africa Responds: To fund two grassroots groups in Liberia (AAD and Face Africa) and two in Sierra Leone (HOPE and WAHD), along with community outreach of grassroots stories and Diaspora outreach.
BRAC: To reinforce BRAC's network of community workers to raise awareness and stop the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Develop Africa: To provide medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and support children orphaned due to Ebola in Sierra Leone.
everyday gandhis: To provide four months of supplies for 4 clinics, 2 private nurses, and 10 public restrooms
Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa: To carry out Ebola awareness in conjunction with a sexual and reproductive health campaign.
Global Communities: To conduct community-level and district-level Ebola education and outreach meetings.
Greatest Goal Ministries: To provide awareness on Ebola, as well as medical/sanitation supplies and food to disabled families in six districts in Sierra Leone.
Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia!: To train and hire 10 community health workers to provide health education, lead vaccination and immunization campaigns and provide first aid in Kakata, Liberia.
Imani House: To support a health clinic in Brewerville, Liberia to hire additional staff and community outreach workers, distribute Ebola prevention kits, and purchase additional medical supplies.
International Medical Corps: To restore the functionality of 7-10 Community Primary Care Clinics in Sierra Leone, to help in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in the region.
Internews: To build a dashboard facilitating two-way communication to ensure accurate Ebola-related information flows between local media, government, and health agencies; and to provide support to Community Action Against Ebola (CAAEB).
IsraAid: To provide psychosocial support for Ebola survivors and health care workers and to support a life story program called "Ebola Heroes" in Sierra Leone.
KidSave International: To recruit and train foster families to care for 140 children who are orphaned due to Ebola.
Last Mile Health: To support health facilities, the Ministry of Health, and train and supervise Community Health Workers in Rivercess County, LIberia to combat Ebola.
More than Me: To fund the Ebola-free Coalition's efforts to provide ambulance services, outreach and case finding, home health care, household communication, and quarantine kits in Montserrado County, Liberia.
National Empowerment Program for Women and Children: To carry out door-to-door awareness, contact tracing, psychosocial support to survivors, families and communities, and take-home education lessons.
Nursing for All: To support nurse-led community initiatives on Ebola prevention and education in Ganta and Monrovia, Liberia.
PCI-Media Impact: To support PCI-Media Impact's #ISurvivedEbola radio drama series and call-in show.
Save the Children: To provide WASH support to health clinics to help fight the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.
Solon Foundation: To provide in-home Ebola awareness and general education using an innovative teaching model for students who are unable to continue their education while schools are closed in Sierra Leone due to Ebola.
Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK): To provide awareness, contact tracing and psychosocial support related to Ebola, as well as provide a transit center for children affected by Ebola, train foster parents, and carry out family tracing.
UNICEF: To support UNICEF's Ebola protection efforts in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, including running community care centers, social mobilization, and child care and protection.
Vision Awake Africa for Development: To carry out contact tracing, education, provision of PPEs, and support to Ebola orphans and survivors in Paynesville, Liberia.
WeOwnTV: To create 4 PSAs and 5 episodes of an education drama series about Ebola, and translate those media into 11 languages for radio broadcast in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, as well as to support the creation of a full-length documentary.
West Point Women for Health and Development: To promote zero transmission of Ebola in West Point, Liberia and surrounding areas through community outreach, providing medical supplies, assistance to survivors, and coordinating community Ebola support.
Thank you again for your critical support for these efforts. We’d love any questions or comments you have on this support, so please share your thoughts!
In December, TIME magazine named Ebola Fighters — doctors, nurses, caregivers, scientists, and medical directors "who answered the call," often putting their own lives on the line — as its "Person of the Year." We couldn't agree more: local West Africans and long-time residents like our friend and partner Katie Meyler and her colleague Iris are courageous, vital, and worthy of support.
While much of the emergency funding from private donors and companies has been channeled to U.S. government partnerships and programs, we've been focused on helping donors reach the "last mile" with their donations. Aaron Debah is familiar with that last mile. Aaron, a Liberian nurse, has rallied his neighbors to go house-to-house to combat rumors and misinformation in a culturally relevant way. He's also producing a local radio show about Ebola to spread the message more widely in the community. Through Internews, GlobalGiving donors like you are funding motorbikes for community activists, a scanner/copier/printer, and mobile phones, among other items. Through your generosity, people like Aaron are making an enormous difference in the fight against the virus at a hyper-local level.
$3 Million and Counting for Locally Driven Ebola SolutionsAt the end of 2014, we announced that more than $3 million for Ebola relief had been donated from donors like you in 68 countries through the GlobalGiving community. Already, 29 community organizations that are preventing and fighting the spread of the virus in West Africa have received support through this fund. By giving to local nonprofits that are deeply rooted in the affected areas, you are supporting organizations that were creating change in their own communities long before this Ebola outbreak - and will be there to drive the recovery of the region over the long term.
More than 3,800 of you have supported the efforts of these organizations to fight Ebola. In November, a $200 donation to the fund came from a community of concerned people in Mozambique: "Though it may not seem like much, this is equivalent to two months minimum wage here. Thank you for connecting our hearts with fellow Africans who are suffering!" said Brian, the man whose family collected and sent the donations to GlobalGiving.
Private foundations have joined donors like you to support locally driven organizations combating Ebola in West Africa through GlobalGiving. In August, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation gave $100,000 to the GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund in the form of a matching grant, motivating more than 700 individual donors to give $100,000 over a span of just four days. In September, the Sall Family Foundation also gave $100,000 and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation contributed $400,000. And in November the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave $2.2 million to the fund.
Transparency around this funding is important to us. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving has been vetted and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. We're also publishing donation data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) on a daily basis.
A Marketplace That Creates Local ResilienceAs 2014 was coming to a close, Jennifer Lentfer, a leading blogger on aid effectiveness, made this comment: "Grassroots groups fighting Ebola have formidable challenge. They must continually seek out and compete for new resources in a funding environment that favors short-term grants to larger, higher-profile groups and that is often led by global trends rather than persistent, ongoing challenges."
Jennifer is right, and that's exactly the reason the GlobalGiving marketplace exists. We work not only to connect small groups to major funding, but to help those organizations build their own capacity and funding networks so that their communities will be stronger and more resilient in the face of ongoing challenges and future crises.
For us at GlobalGiving, it's about even more than just access to funding. We're also making sure that local organizations have access to the information and ideas they need to be as effective as possible with the money they do have. We're connecting organizations of all sizes to technology and information that would have otherwise only been available to major international NGOs.
More Than Just Funding: Access to Technology That Could Help Stop EbolaIn November, several of our nonprofit partners in West Africa highlighted a major challenge: they needed faster access to data from the field. We connected those nonprofits with Journey, a South African technology company with a history of success developing mobile health solutions in Africa. Journey is now working with GlobalGiving partners to create and distribute the Ebola Care app, helping health workers track individual patients, coordinate education events, follow up with at-risk children and orphans, and log data about survivors.
"In order to be effective during any crisis, being able to access real-time data is critical, as time is of the essence," Sam Herring, data manager for More Than Me, one of our partners that is using the app in the slum of West Point, Liberia, explains. "Thanks to the Ebola Care app, data that once took weeks to get to us is now rolling in by the minute. This allows us to identify hot zones, have our ambulance transport suspected Ebola patients to Ebola treatment units immediately, send in our social mobilization team to provide psychosocial support, food, and cleaning items to affected homes, and enable our nursing team to educate residents about prevention."
Together with Journey, we've mobilized smartphone donations for nonprofits that have the desire and capacity to use the app. And after developing it with input from some of our with local partners in Liberia, Journey is distributing the app on smartphones to other GlobalGiving partners who have expressed interest. Journey also continues to gather feedback and improve the app based on feedback from the field so that it will become even more effective in meeting the needs of health workers on the ground.
Our co-founder, Mari, gave a TEDx talk earlier this year in which she noted that "the power of crowdfunding isn't in the funding, it's in the crowd." We've seen that idea come to life over the past several months as we invest in organizations networking to support the fight against Ebola. Thank YOU for the important role you’ve played in making this happen.
Stay tuned for another update next week where we will share more details about the life-saving work each of these locally driven groups are doing on the ground in West Africa!
Dear Ebola Fund donors,
We regularly send these reports with written updates about how your donations are being put to work to fight Ebola. But today’s update accompanies an invitation: we’re inviting you to participate in a conversation with some of the important leaders who are responding to Ebola in West Africa.
Join our Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (or AMA) happening today, Thurs Oct 2, between 11am and 1pm ET. Our partners on the ground will be available to answer any of your questions about your donations and the conditions they’re seeing in West Africa. Here's who you’ll hear from:
If you can’t participate in the AMA live, please check the link here to see a record of the conversation that takes place.
As always, we’d love to answer any of your questions about your donation, either on Reddit, by phone, or email. Thank you so much for your generosity.
Ebola continues to spread across West Africa, with the number of those affected continuing to rise dramatically. The latest report from the World Health Organization counts 3,069 cases of Ebola in the region and 1,552 deaths from the disease so far.
The region’s entire health system is under strain. Clinics across West Africa are closing their doors, and the numbers of available trained workers is dwindling as health workers contract Ebola themselves or return to their home countries. Liberia recently enacted a curfew and a quarantine that affected tens of thousands of people. Livelihoods are collapsing as people cannot go to work or collect food or water for their families. Misinformation continues to be a major factor in the spread of Ebola, with many people still refusing to believe that Ebola even exists.
Our hard-working, locally-driven partners in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are engaging in a wide range of proven tactics to counteract this outbreak. Some are providing direct care to those already infected with Ebola, while others are providing personal protective equipment to keep aid workers safe. A number of our partners are executing public education campaigns and distributing sanitary products in order to stop the spread of the disease in their communities.
Your donation to our Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund is already hard at work fighting the outbreak. We made our first grants to partner organizations within one week of opening this fund and have continued to get money to the ground quickly so that it can be used by those most in need. When deciding how to allocate these funds, we looked at the individual activities, budgets, and other donations received by our partner organizations. Below is the full list of grants made to date:
As always, we will continue to update you on how your funds are being used, and invite you to see the full list of partner nonprofits currently seeking funds for Ebola relief work. Thank you for being part of the effort to put a stop to this terrible epidemic.
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