Outreach workers in a meeting
Ebola became one of the scaring words in the Township of West Point and, all in all, the psychological effect it had on all Liberian both at home and abroad. The West Point community is engulfed with its own problem of sanitation, hygiene and congestion with people living in close shelter conditions, in deplorable state, maybe this way of life can be attributed to people looking for greener pasture in the urban areas and West Point being very close to the capital has become an ideal place where nationals of other West African countries and people who leave the rural areas of Liberia come to settle for easy access to Monrovia the capital.
With all of the reasons above, West Point is a place where you find poor sanitation most especially on the beach, this is why there were many deaths within a short period of time in the Township of West, and in other words, the environment was suitable for Ebola. So here’s how the community experienced more deaths from the killer disease.
The Ebola Virus Disease killed more than 183 persons in West Point and halted many activities particularly the livelihood of the community including school’s activities. Love ones left behind by Ebola, have to go through psychological trauma that needed immediate attention, this is where WPWHDO with support from Globalgiving came in to provide both, the outreach work and counseling. The psychosocial counseling aspects was done by 10 trained counselors hired by WPWHDO to help stabilize these victims children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wife and other relatives conditions while carrying out the outreach work. WPWHDO hired 50 outreachers and their 5 team leaders who went about sensitizing people in West Point and Central Monrovia telling the people to keep safe and continue hand washing while avoiding touching other people because Ebola is spread by bodily contact from someone who may be sick from the virus and no one person can know the other person’s status but encourages people to take all precautionary measures, we also give out sanitary kits for household and family use.
The outreachers comprises of 36 females and 18 males going out in the field. These outreachers were provided with 1.USD for lunch per day, every day, they were also given 2 sets of T-Shirts and PPEs individually.
There came a day, a hot and busy day in January this year, we just saw the police coming into our center along with other people from the community. When they entered the building, came upstairs and came straight to my desk and said madam we have a problem we want the women’s center to help us, I asked, what is it? The head of the police delegation started telling us that a man was carry by the Ebola ambulance but asked us to enter his bed room along with his nine years old daughter to find all his business money and bring it to the women’s center and he asked that we bring his daughter to the human rights women (this is how we’re commonly called by people in the community) to take care of her, he don’t want his daughter to live with any of his relatives residing in Liberia this is why we’re here for, here is the money can we count it here? We told them yes and they started counting and count all of the money and came up with a figure when they in turn gave the money to us, we counted the money too in front of everyone presence and put the money in WPWHDO safe. The total amount including Liberian and United States dollars was $802.00USD.
We accepted the little girl because the situation was too moving, the little girl was crying and there weren’t any relatives around to take the girl in, she needed attention at the moment. We later asked about the girl’s mother, we were told that the girls mother abandoned here when she was 2 months old and didn’t know her whereabouts ok, there’s another thing, the girl needed someone to stay with, we then asked one of our member named Esther to take the girl in which she did. The girl is with her up till now. Later on the next day, the girl’s half brother from the father side came to us.
The money left behind by their father was later distributed among the two with the elder brother taking 25% of the amount leaving the sister with 75% of the total amount to take care of their school expenses for 2015.
The little girl’s name is --- but was affectionately called by her father, Chelsea Queen, according to neighbors, he used to love the Chelsea international football club and because he never wanted to forget the idea, he nicknamed his daughter Chelsea Queen, who just recently lost her biological mother to an unknown illness in April 2015 according to her relatives who later learned that Chelsea Queen was with us. Chelsea Queen is now an orphan who needs all the care she deserves to grow into a sound womanhood, there are many Chelsea Queens out there who were made orphans due to the killer Ebola virus disease snatching their parents away.
WPWHDO is finding ways to have her put in a boarding or mission school so as to prepare her for a brighter future. We don’t want to raise her in West Point.
We started the Second Ebola intervention project January 1st, and ended the project April 31st, 2015. WPWHDO bought 2 sets of t-shirts for each of the 55 outreach workers, a pair of boots for each, a rain suit for each give 1 instructional booklet, a writing pad and a plastic folder for each of the workers, we also provided 2 hand sanitizers, nose & mouth masks, plastic gloves (durable & disposable) for each of the outreach workers.
Our intention for this outreach work was, we wanted the message of people taking all precautionary actions against Ebola are taken into consideration. We know we did just that because looking at the present pronouncement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Liberia Ebola free is a milestone by all of us including you the donors and us the fighters. The only problem present here is the psychosocial aspect, how to help those who lost many love ones to Ebola, these people are faced with inner burdens they cannot handle unless with the help of constant visitation and counseling to make them know that there are people who care even though they’ve lost important people in their lives.
Even though the awareness aspect of the West Point Women for Health and Development Organization (WPWHDO) Ebola Response within the project is over, the psychosocial aspect is still ongoing. The 10 counselors do periodic visit to survivors and victims family members to see how they doing. We’re doing this intervention for 2 months (May & June 2015. WPWHDO hopes to continue helping these victims’ family members through visitation and if we can, help the children with some school materials and little fees. Note: not all of the orphans are been given help in this direction.
Our heartfelt thanks go to our kind donors out there who sees the need to help the West Point Women help humanity and to Globalgiving who continue to fundraise for us!
THANKS A MILLION!!!
Team and leader poses for photograph
Chelsea poses for photo
Ebola orphans and victims family members