Heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported our Ebola appeal last year. Though the worst of the crisis is over, the country is now dealing with the terrible after-effects of losing so many people.
A hopeful future
The SOS Children’s Villages in Freetown, Bo and Makeni are taking in children orphaned by the virus. You may remember our story on Charles (pictured), who was one of the first children to come into our care last year. We’re happy to report that he and the other orphans at Makeni have now settled well into their new home with SOS mother Mabinty.
Since our UK appeal raised a wonderful £60,000, we have been able to use funds to help affected families get back on their feet. In Makeni, Bo and Freetown we have provided staples such as bags of rice, beans and cooking oil, mosquito nets and hygiene items such as soap and Dettol to prevent fresh disease. This is part of the process of restarting our Isle of Man Government-funded food security project, which had to be suspended during the Ebola outbreak, through which caregivers will receive loans and livestock training.
26-year-old Marie Mansaray heads up one of the families on the SOS food security programme in Goderich, Freetown. Marie lost her mother, daughter and sister to the Ebola virus and says their deaths have “left a big scar”.
Since her mother was looking after ten grandchildren when she died, Marie has taken over this huge responsibility.“The value of the shade is not known until the tree is cut down,” says Marie of her mother’s life.
Although the family is still coming to terms with the deaths of so many loved ones, Marie is determined to look after all the children and keep them in school. To that end, she is looking forward to the extra income which rearing livestock in her backyard should afford the family. Marie is deeply appreciative of the support being provided by SOS Children’s Villages, all thanks to the generosity of UK donors.
We've been operating in Sierra Leone since 1974, giving children with no-one else to care for them a mother and a loving home. Find out more about our work there and how you can help.
Please note that our Ebola appeal is now closed.