Stop Ebola: What you can do

by BRAC USA
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do
Stop Ebola: What you can do

Project Report | Jan 28, 2016
How one widow is giving hope

By Alejandra Romero | BRAC USA Intern

Survivors gather with BRAC staff
Survivors gather with BRAC staff

Thank you to all of our GlobalGiving supporters who have enabled us to not only provide emergency response during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but also long-term recovery support to people living in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

BRAC’s psychosocial support network and programming geared towards Ebola survivors and their families has been met with a strong response. Communities across Sierra Leone and Liberia have sought after these services and we are looking to grow, strengthen and expand our reach.

Your support has helped improve wellbeing, alleviate stress, enhance coping skills, and build resilience of people affected by the Ebola outbreak including survivors of the disease. You have also helped improve community attitudes to reduce stigmatization of survivors to let people know that Ebola survivors aren't contagious.

Sumah is an Ebola survivor who has benefitted from BRAC’s psychosocial support program. Here is her story:

In June 2014 during the peak of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sumah’s husband came home from the farm not feeling well. Sumah stays in Grand Cape Mount county in Liberia where she used to grow and sell vegetables to earn a living. Sumah had seen awareness campaigns about the symptoms of Ebola and suspected her husband had contracted the virus. Still, Sumah nursed her husband at home. As his condition worsened, he was taken away to an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU).

A few days later, Sumah also came down with a fever and began feeling joint pain. She was also taken to the treatment unit. Sumah’s husband passed away in the ETU. Sumah was left alone to take care of their three children.

Sumah was released from the ETU and BRAC recruited her as a volunteer to raise awareness about the disease in her community. Sumah received psychosocial support training through BRAC where she learned how to provide psychological help to others.

“This work I started with BRAC has made me feel better,” Sumah said. “I reach out to other people in the communities, sensitizing them on prevention and first aid, and help people to have hope, not to feel discouraged.”

The financial support provided by BRAC helped Sumah save enough money to start a small business selling oil. The business is going well and Sumah is now able to send one of her children to school once again.

“I appreciate BRAC for giving me this opportunity to participate in the program,” Sumah said. “It’s through this project that I am now happy, not so sad like before. I no longer have to worry about what to eat and I can send one child to school and the others will when school opens next. I have saved some money to invest in my business. My aim is to have a big shop.”

On January 14, the World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free. Sierra Leone has had four reported cases in the last few weeks. These recent outbreaks in Sierra Leone have been rapidly controlled, as these countries are now experts in dealing with Ebola. This is a testament to the importance of community ownership and engagement when new outbreaks occur. 

Psychosocial support is still necessary for survivors to deal with post-traumatic stress. We need to keep educating communities to ensure Ebola survivors aren't stigmatized or outcast because of misinformation. With your support, we can continue working with people most in need.

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Organization Information

BRAC USA

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Melyssa Muro
Finance Manager
New York , NY United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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