Ebola Appeal New Year Update 2015

A Happy New Year from everyone at CODEP both in Sierra Leone and the UK.

You can guess what our most fervent wish for 2015 is. The sad case of the Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey has brought home just how dangerous this virus is. We all hope that she pulls through.

We do not know how she caught the virus, but the fact that a trained nurse who will have been all too aware of the dangers still caught the virus made us realise just how important our ebola education forums are. We held another in Campbell town between Christmas and the New Year. There was no hall available so it was held outside in the shade of the trees. The forum was again attended by a representative for UNICEF and there was a focus on how to avoid catching and spreading the virus.

This forum was a little different as one of the speakers was Hamid, whose family have all died of the Ebola virus, leaving him alone. He explained about the double hardship he has faced, not only losing his family, but then facing hostility from the community who feared his presence. Hamid was blacklisted by his own aunts and uncles who feared he could pass the virus on to them, even though he had been cleared. We hope that our forums by giving voices to survivors such as Hamid can help end the Stigmatization faced by survivors.

This was the primary reason Campbell Town had been chosen as a venue for the forum; it had previously been an Ebola hot-spot and we know there are many Ebola orphans in the area who will all face the same problems as Hamid. As you may have seen here, the Ebola orphans received a special visit on Christmas day and we are continuing to provide them with aid and support. Whilst we may have been recovering from our New Years’ Eve celebrations, Rosetta and her team were out making their deliveries.

The future in Sierra Leone remains uncertain, we can only hope that the situation will improve as it has done in Guinea and Liberia, until that time we will continue to do our best to provide further aid and support.

Here’s hoping 2015 will become Ebola-free everywhere.

The CODEP Team.

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