April 7, 2015 By Francis Ndanema
Ebola orphans in Port Loko have lamented that it would be difficult for them to forget about their parents and loved ones who lost their lives to the virus. They were speaking during the distribution of solidarity kits to them by BRAC Sierra Leone, with support from UNDP.
The solidarity kits, including mattresses, were presented to 200 Ebola orphans in Port Loko to replace some of the materials they lost, as household utensils belonging to victims of the virus were destroyed; and to ensure they are given adequate care by care-givers.
The Ebola virus did not only affect women and the economy of the nation, it also left many children orphaned and vulnerable.
In Port Loko District, the virus has left more than 2,000 orphans. To ensure that their immediate needs are met, the UNDP has provided support to BRAC Sierra Leone to implement a project titled, ‘Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents’, which previously gave cash support to care takers of Ebola orphans.
Area Coordinator of BRAC Sierra Leone in Port Loko District, Josephine Conteh, said the essence of giving foam mattresses was to replace the ones that were incinerated as a preventive measure against the disease so that children could not sleep on the floor or mats.
Ms. Conteh disclosed that they had earlier distributed Le400,000 to each of the 200 beneficiaries in the district, adding that they would support more orphans if they secure more funds, as that is their desire.
She consoled the Ebola orphans to take heart and be determined to acquire education.
Three beneficiaries – Aminata Sesay, Joseph Turay and Isatu Bundu – said no amount of support would bring back their dead parents as their memory still lingers in their mind.
They disclosed that they still see their parents in their dreams, and called on the government and NGOs to provide them with support to acquire quality education and family care.
The UNDP is currently spearheading the Ebola recovery plan for Sierra Leone, which will help restore hope in children that have lost their parents to the deadly Ebola virus, and to the economy.