Isata Gbadoma and her children
While the media's interest in Ebola has waned and headlines predicting a worldwide epidemic have fallen short of their prophesies of doom, countries such as Sierra Leone continue to be severely affected and impacted by the virus. Kidsave Sierra Leone in partnership with Village Care Initiative unwaveringly continues to fight to find safe and permanent homes for children orphaned by the ongoing epidemic. Currently we are operating in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Sembehun, Pujehun, and Zimmi.
To date 365 orphans have been registered with our program. One hundred of these orphans are being hosted by women and families throughout several communities. This leaves 265 children still in need of family placement. Since early January, nineteen women have joined our loan groups which have helped enable them to welcome forty children into their homes. One woman, Isata Gbadoma, used her loan to purchase extra rice to increase the sale of her dry goods micro business. With the added income, she and her daughter Michaela (5) were able to take in Aminata (8) and make her part of their family.
Schools in Sierra Leone were scheduled to re-open at the end March but due to the resurgence of Ebola the date has been pushed back to April. Due to this situation Shed Jah, our partner on the ground, has been delivering school supplies to help the orphans in our program keep up with their studies. These supplies include: practice books for reading and writing, pens, pencils, rulers, paper, and backpacks.
While our efforts are benefiting many children the situation on the ground changes rapidly. The following text message excerpt received from a volunteer in the field on February 28 makes the continuing dangers starkly clear:
“Hi Mr. Jah, It is sad to inform you that the Ebola Virus Disease has again intensify in our operational areas Tonkia and TiKonko respectively and most of our Kidsave children are again affected.”
Both Tikonko and Tonkia are within our operational area of Sembehun. Six Kidsave children between the ages of 7 and 10 and their four adoptive families were in the affected area.
Upon receiving the text our dedicated staff and volunteers jumped into action. Once reaching the affected villages, personal protective equipment (PPE) including: gloves, chlorine solution, boots, protective clothing, masks, and disinfectants were distributed to the families. Following the PPE distribution the four families were transported to other communities and taken in by friends and family. Luckily none of the four families has contracted Ebola.
Currently Kidsave is in the process of purchasing a four wheel drive vehicle for our partners on the ground to equip them to more easily and safely respond to future emergencies. The vehicle will also make distribution of supplies, follow up visits with placed orphans, and continuing village trainings quicker and safer for everyone involved. We are also tirelessly pushing to find safe, permanent homes for growing numbers of Sierra Leonean orphans.
Aminita, better known as Amie is fifteen years old. Amie lost her father when she was very young and her mother recently succumbed to the Ebola virus. Deprived of food and bullied by her brother’s wife, Amie ran away from home. With nowhere to turn she was directed to the Kidsave program through a local rescue care center. Kidsave and Village Care Initiative helped to connect her with a family in Kenema where she is now in a stable living situation.
Kidsave is proud to continue working with our partners and volunteers in Sierra Leone and recognizes that it is you, the donor, who makes this crucial humanitarian work a reality.
Countless communities and families affected by Ebola continue to need our support. Please consider helping our ongoing efforts with a donation. As an added bonus Global Giving has offered to match private donations on April 1st starting at 12:00 a.m. EST up to $1,000 as long as their matching funds last.
We at Kidsave want to thank each and every one of you who has, will, and continues to contribute to the important work of helping Sierra Leone’s orphans find families and begin the long healing process.
We appreciate your continued support through sharing these children's stories with as many people in your networks as possible. Thank you!
Shed Jah delivers school supplies