Across West Africa, the Ebola virus has become synonymous with devastation. A crisis which has forced children in Sierra Leone to watch their family members perish, their schools close and their communities shut down in fear.
UNICEF estimated more than 5,000 children contracted Ebola; more than 16,000 were orphaned, losing one or both parents. In total, more than 10,000 people died, including many doctors, nurses and other health workers. ChildFund responded to the emergency and began raising public awareness of how the virus was spread. Staff worked tirelessly to fight the spread of the virus by distributing hygiene supplies and working with government ministries, ensured children and families could access the services and support they needed. The goal was to strengthen community resilience and response systems. ChildFund also provided short term care for orphaned and vulnerable children through:
Interim Care Centres: the goal of the ICC is to contribute to the establishment of a protective environment for children affected by the Ebola Virus and to reduce the trauma associated with stigmatization. Observation Interim Care Centers were established where children who lost caregivers to Ebola could spend their 21-day quarantine periods while ChildFund worked to either reunify them with relatives, or find them stable foster family situations.
HOW WE HELPED THIS PROJECT
- Funded the Observation Interim Care Centers (OICC) where children are cared for and monitored and treated for symptoms.