May 4, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Non-governmental organization, Sierra Leone Social Aid Volunteer (SLSAV), last Thursday (30 April) held a one-day confab targeting 100 Ebola survivors in the Port Loko District to interact and reflect on the impact of the outbreak in the district.
According to Executive Director of SLSAV, Alfred Alex Jatta Dumbuya, the one-day meeting was to enable them collate views from survivors to inform advocacy on their behalf to government and international donors.
He said since the start of the Ebola outbreak in May last year, SLSAV had conducted several sensitization meetings in Port Loko District, thanks to support from Christian Aid.
He said they provided foodstuff for 200 quarantined homes and 240 individuals with cash of Le200,000 for each survivor in the district in December last year.
Dumbuya said SLSAV came into existence in 2008, and they support vulnerable people and communities and have been implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in Port Loko through support from UNICEF.
Also, head of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in Port Loko and Kambia districts, Bamie Joseph Sesay, thanked SLSAV, on behalf of the ministry, for the significant activity of bringing Ebola survivors together to discuss their welfare and experiences.
He urged the survivors to be ambassadors in the fight against Ebola and assured that the ministry would provide them with livelihood support.
“We are going to make sure that people respect survivors and we are not going to allow people to marginalize them in any form,” he said.
A survivor, Osman Mohamed Koroma, commended the organizers for hosting ‘an interactive conference which accords survivors the opportunity to forward their problems’.
He also called on the government and non-governmental organizations to provide survivors with scholarships, jobs and skills training.