Photo from Develop Africa
It's been more than four years since the first cases were reported in what became the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Across West Africa, the virus infected more than 28,000 people and claimed more than 11,000 lives, and severely disrupted local economies due to international travel bans and internal quarantine zones.
In response to the epidemic, the GlobalGiving community came together in an inspiring show of solidarity with the people of West Africa—more than 5,000 donors like you raised $3 million to support 44 vetted nonprofits partners engaged in a wide range of efforts to end the outbreak and care for survivors.
As Ebola rapidly spread across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the late summer of 2014, your donations supported our partners providing life-saving medical care, delivering emergency supplies, tracking suspected new cases of the disease, and educating the public about how to avoid transmission. As relief efforts transitioned to focus on long-term recovery, you helped fund care for children orphaned by the outbreak, the reopening of schools, and investments in local health infrastructure to improve community resilience ahead of future natural disasters.
And I'm proud to report that our partners are still hard at work supporting survivors and strengthening Ebola-affected communities:
- Develop Africa's Dream Home for children orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone, where more than 3,000 children lost their parents to the epidemic, continues to provide holistic support to the children in their care. Along with ensuring kids have food, clothing, counseling, and psychosocial support, they're supporting their education by providing money for school fees and helping students prepare for national exams and entry to college.
- Imani House's clinic in Monrovia serves more than 15,000 Liberians and in the wake of the epidemic has become a leading source of health education in the area. Last year they published their Liberian Women's Health Manual, which grassroots groups of women are using to provide instruction on topics including health, sanitation, nutrition, and human rights to others in communities across the country.
- Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK) operates a "transit learning center" for children orphaned or otherwise affected by Ebola in Monrovia, where they provide foster care, psychosocial care, and educational support.
- In Sierra Leone, KidSave International continues to find loving homes for children orphaned by Ebola, either through reuniting them with members of their biological family or connecting them with foster care families. Just last month they reported on yet another success story—a boy named Ishmael who had been living in an Ebola care center for three years until KidSave's team was able to reconnect him with Pa, his paternal uncle.
- WeOwnTV is launching WeSurvive: Stories of the Ebola Outbreak to add depth and authenticity to how the Ebola crisis is understood through the sharing of personal testimonials, and to ensure that African voices are included in the telling of African history. The web-based, oral history database will allow users to access a substantial collection of personal video testimonials from Ebola survivors, their family members, and other community members affected by the epidemic.
- Accountability Lab is training Liberian youth to use film as a tool for social change in their communities, so they can counter corruption that can weaken their country's resilience against future epidemics and natural disasters.
I’m sure you’ve seen news about the recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We’re thankful that reports indicate this outbreak is being effectively contained, and if you’re interested in supporting efforts on the ground, Oxfam just launched a project on GlobalGiving to fund their work to control the spread of the Ebola.
Thank you again for your support of community-led recovery efforts in West Africa, and for making the smart choice to donate cash to vetted nonprofits responding to the epidemic. While we are closing this fund at this time, I hope you’ll continue to follow the ongoing work of our partners by subscribing to their project updates.
Will Frechette + the GlobalGiving Team
Photo from Imani House