We had previously shared with you the story of the unfortunate passing away of Ruth, a Develop Africa volunteer nurse and the survival of Geraldine. We're super excited today to share with you the follow-up story and video testimonial of Geraldine and the part YOU played!
Geraldine tells us in her video how Ruth contracted the Ebola virus through a patient and came home with the virus. She explains how 4 family members, including her, additionally became infected with Ebola. She was the only one who survived.
Geraldine specifically in the video expresses her gratitude to YOU, GlobalGiving donors, for your support through this crisis. Your support enabled us to provide Geraldine and her family with food and moral support during this trying time.
In spite of her pain, Geraldine is grateful to God for surviving Ebola and being a testimony to others.
Included in this report are also photos of a special lunch we organized on October 15 to provide counseling to Geraldine and her siblings - Sahr, Dorcas and Emmanuel. We continue to provide counselling and full support as they go through a process of healing and develop a future vision.
This family is just one of hundreds of families that have unfortunately lost family members and become Ebola-orphans. Thanks to your support we are helping to bring restoration and healing. We welcome your on-going support as we continue to support this family and also assist other orphans.
Ebola is personal and real. It has been a lot more in international news lately. Ebola has been even more personal and real to the Develop Africa family.
We regret to inform you about the passing away of a few members of the Door of Hope / Develop Africa Community, in Wellington, Sierra Leone. Ruth Lamin, a nurse (pictured), contracted Ebola at work and passed away in September. She contracted the virus while trying to help a fellow worker in the hospital who was sick. She did not know that this sick worker had contracted the Ebola virus. A test for Ebola was done but the results came after she had already made an effort to save her colleague’s life. Ruth was actively involved in our Ebola sensitization campaigns held in September. She was completely healthy with no symptoms when she was involved in DA's campaigns.
Frank (Ruth’s husband), Elizabeth (Ruth’s sister) and Geraldine (Ruth oldest daughter) also got infected with Ebola (through Ruth) and were taken to the Hastings Ebola Treatment Centre. Unfortunately, Frank and Elizabeth passed away shortly after. The remaining children and their house were quarantined for 21 days.
Since the parents were taken away in early September, we have been responsible for and taking care of this orphaned family – brother Sahr, sister Dorcas, cousin Emmanuel, Israel and Israela and two other dependent relatives that Ruth had been caring for. They are thankfully all in good health. We also sent food items to Geraldine at the Ebola Treatment Center. We received on-going updates that she was doing better and better.
There have been several other deaths in the general community over the past 6 weeks. The people in the community are in a state of extreme fear as people very close to them are losing their lives to Ebola. Per Joshua, the Director of Door of Hope: “The aftermath of this epidemic would be massive. Bread winners have been cut off from families. Children and dependent relatives are afraid of the future. Ruth was the main provider of her marital home and also for her relatives living in the Kono District in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. We need your prayers and assistance to help get rid of Ebola and afterwards support people affected to live a good life.”
Good News: As Joshua reports: “The Lamin family was in our prayers. As God would have it Geraldine survived! Geraldine was yesterday (Monday, October 13th) reunited with her family. Within a period of one month, Geraldine, Dorcas and Sahr became orphans.”
Geraldine’s survival is one bright ray of light in this sad period. Geraldine survived and beat Ebola! You can see a photo of her with her discharged certificate from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
We continue to be fully responsible for Geraldine and her family - providing them in addition with emotional and moral support as they integrate back into the community. They extend their deep appreciation to YOU for your kind support (see photo with banner).
Shipping Update: We have surface / ocean shipped 5 large boxes (3 of PPE for health workers, 2 of school supplies) to Sierra Leone. These items should arrive in 6 weeks.
The work we are doing is more relevant and important than ever before. Ebola is real. It has personally touched us and we have experienced it.
Today, October 15th, from 9 am EDT to 11:59 pm EDT (or until funds run out!) Global Giving will be matching donations up to $1,000 per donor at 30%! There is $75,000 available in matching! This will help us provide more PPE for health workers. Thanks so much for your support as we tacke Ebola!
On September 4th 2014, a 2-pronged "Stop The Spread" Ebola Awareness Campaign took place in the Wellington Community of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Door-to-door sensitization took place with a public address system and distribution of soap and Dettol disinfectant to 400 families.
A total of two hundred families were targeted in the Wellington Hill side community of Upper Beccle Street and Upper Mellon Street respectively. Each family received a bottle of Dettol, gloves and soap. The amount of soap received depended on the family size. The people in our community appreciate your gift in this period of health emergency posed by the Ebola epidemic.
Three hundred and sixty (360) children were taught how to wash their hands properly with soap and water to prevent them from catching the Ebola virus. They were taught to avoid hand shaking to help stop the spread of Ebola. They were also reminded about the importance of staying in school and getting an education. One thousand two hundred (1,200) exercise books were distributed to them, and every child was served food and drinks.
Impact: When some of the kids returned home, they told their parents what they had learned to prevent Ebola from spreading. A boy name Augustine Feika went home and when kids within his compound wanted to hold his hand, he told them “Help me stop the spread of Ebola – no hand shake.”
The distribution of Dettol to family heads and passers-by in the community started later in the afternoon. A total of four hundred (400) bottles of Dettol were distributed to two hundred family heads and two hundred individuals in the community. A parent said “If this had been the step taken by the Honourables (Government Representatives) in our community it would have helped a lot.”
Our very special appreciation goes to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and YOU, our GlobalGiving donors for helping to make this possible. The Wellington community appreciates your support during this trying time.
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