The Sequel to Ebola
Sequel and a Solution for Orphans
Sierra Leone’s Ebola outbreak began in May 2014, and left almost 12,000 children orphaned (having lost their primary care giver). The major challenges faced by Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone are heart-breaking with stories emerging of children left starving, homeless and forced into the sex trade. At best, Ebola orphans are experiencing trauma stigma, malnutrition and lack of access to education. Trauma, grief and uncertainty are major issues for Ebola orphans in all districts of Sierra Leone.
Paradise 4 Kids Africa Steps In
Construction of Orphanage Under Way
The orthodox mission under the sponsorship of Paradise 4 Kids Africa will offer safety and security for Ebola orphans in two districts: rural west and urban west. Children will be provided with safe, secure housing, hot meals, and free education from kindergarten through to the end of primary school.
In addition, social and emotional support, including pastoral care and designated primary attachment figures, will be given for all ages. The building of the orphanages reflects modern hygienic spaces for work, rest and play, offering children not just a place to survive but a place to thrive! The capital city of Freetown will offer a state-of-the-art orphanage, housing children three – eight years of age. Attached will be a kindergarten and lower primary school building which adjoins the church building.
The orphanage will cater for the holistic development of young children, incorporating a playground and ensuring that the physical, social, cognitive, emotional and spiritual development of children are nurtured.
Teaching staff will be drawn from the teacher training college where students are trained to use modern teaching methodologies and a deeper understanding of child development. A full-time matron will have her own private quarters and be supported by assistants who will provide care and recreational activities on the weekends.
The orphanage buildings at Waterloo (rural western districts) will cater for children from middle primary school upwards and the housing will consist of villas with their own bathroom and kitchen facilities and a house mother attached to each villa. The orphanages are built on the same compound that has pre-existing early childhood and school facilities, a medical clinic, church, and soon to be completed dining hall. In this way, the Ebola orphans will integrate into mainstream services and the life of the school avoiding the stigma of being ‘Ebola orphans’ and the social isolation that comes with their Ebola legacy.
The selection of orphans will be conducted by the Ministry of Social Welfare who have a registered data base of verified orphans. This will take place soon after the completion of buildings and appropriate resources for both the kindergarten to lower primary school and the living quarters are in place. We are excited to announce that both orphanages are due for completion by July 2017.
by Dr Eleni Athinadorou
If you would like to make a difference for the Ebola Orphans you can donate using the EziDebit button below.