As they celebrate two years of existence
…SLAES calls for more support
January 9, 2017
The Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES) would embark on a two-week celebration of two years of successful existence, but has called on the government and other partners to provide them with more support to enable them adequately advocate, promote and address the challenges faced by members across the country.
The association was formed in January 7th,2017 and its President, Yusuf Kabbah, had stated in a press conference held on Saturday at the conference hall of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, that the day was special, not only to the association but also to the entire membership and the country as whole .
He said the association was formed to advocate and tackle the challenges of survivors, thus thanking President Koroma for his continued support to the progress of the association.
He desired the need for partners and the government to be providing them with stipend support for their volunteers, as well as providing them with permanent offices at district and regional levels.
He said since its formation in 2015,the association has been faced with constant challenges including health problems of survivors,stigmatisation,loss of jobs ,loss of dignity, self-esteem and confidence, but noted that with perseverance and hard work ,they have carried out numerous activities including the visit to quarantine homes and providing counselling service to colleagues survivors, ,organising donation of blood plasma,organising members into various district senstisation groups against stigma, training of members as counsellors,who provide physochosocial support to colleagues.
He said they have identified 2,945 survivors out of 4,042 and that with the support of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, they have issued out over six hundred identification cards to survivors across the country.
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He continued that the association through the support of partners, has provided seedlings, food and non- food items to survivors across the country and that in the area of literacy training, they have been providing monthly cash incentives of three hundred and fifty thousand Leones each to 1416 survivors across seven districts.
In the area of livelihood support, he said they have provided seven hundred thousand Leones to 1280 survivors across five districts and that through the support of partners, they have also provided start up kits to survivors across five districts upon the completion of CUD training, provided back –to- school packages to Ebola orphans.
He reiterated that survivors were still faced with numerous challenges including the lack of access to medicine, stigmatisation and discrimination, job insecurity, lack of access to housing, inadequate opportunity for adult education, food insecurity and housing support for orphans, inadequate support for widow and widowers among a host of other challenges.