World Renew was blessed to receive generous support from individuals and churches across North America. Through these prayers and financial gifts, World Renew has been able to partner with churches and health organizations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to truly make an impact in the face of this crisis. (click to tweet)
With a roughly $800,000 budget, World Renew programmed a range of preventative, educational and health/medical response initiatives to the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Guinea and Sierra Leone, World Renew worked with Christian Reformed World Missions and local Christian partners to help educate people about Ebola, how it could be prevented, how to properly care for those who were sick, and how to bury those who had died. World Renew and its partners have also provided food assistance and necessary supplies to people leaving Ebola treatment centers.
Eight year-old Kadiatu in Sierra Leone is a great example. Kadiatu contracted Ebola in November 2014 and spent three weeks in a treatment center that had received supplies from World Renew. It was a scary time for the young girl. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, Kadiatu could have no visitors for the whole time she was in the hospital. She said that she “was afraid and cried a lot” even though the medical staff cared for her well.
After three weeks, Kadiatu tested negative for Ebola and was cleared to return home. There she discovered that her father and two sisters had both died from the disease. Because of the stigma associated with Ebola, she and her mother were forced to move out of their small apartment. They went to live with one of her aunts.
To help the family get by, World Renew and its partners provided them with food for over a month. They also began working in the community to help fight the stigma associated with Ebola survivors. Kadiatu is happy to report that while she was initially shunned in the community, she can now play with her friends again.
Similarly, in Liberia, World Renew provided essential medicines and personal protective equipment to medical centers. They also established triage units. These triage units at health centers help identify and quarantine Ebola patients more quickly and make these facilities safer for those suffering from malaria and other ailments.
World Renew’s International Relief Manager, Annie Bergshoeff, shared, “In many of these hard to reach communities, especially in the southeast part of Liberia, there was very little knowledge about Ebola. The team from World Renew’s partner, the Christian Health Association of Liberia, was welcomed and at every class session the health workers were intensely engaged. Word got out that these classes were being held and often people came from some distance to be informed.”
Providing this assistance was not without risk. The staff from World Renew’s partners faced difficult driving conditions as well as the real threat of becoming infected themselves.
“What a tremendous sacrifice these men and women made to stay true to their mission, risking their vehicular safety on dangerous roads and experiencing great mental anxiety and fear as they put their own physical health and life on the line,” said Bergshoeff. “They have earned the gratitude of the communities they serve for the lives they saved. They deserve the deepest respect.”
World Renew plans to wrap up its Ebola response by June 2015. During the final phase, a number of projects will be completed, including food assistance and additional triage units in Liberia, and in Sierra Leone, an additional 200 families will receive food, clothes and kitchen items to help them rebuild their lives in their post-Ebola communities.
Please continue to keep this program in your prayers.
Ebola Response At A Glance
- Trained teachers at Timothy Leadership Training Institute and Emmaus School about Ebola, how to recognize its symptoms, how to prevent it, and how to care for those infected
- Provided lessons to 10,200 students on Ebola prevention
- Provided personal protective equipment and medicine to 45 health institutions on two occasions in Sept / Oct. a second larger distribution is underway in March and April 2015
- Set up five triage units at remote health centers. Five more units will be built from March through May 2015
- Trained community health workers at 18 health facilities on Ebola prevention
- Provided food rations and food security inputs to 2,390 families as well as hygiene inputs to 7,000 families
- Provided 270 gallons of chlorine and 450 water containers to households
- Provided Ebola prevention training to 570 villages (260,000 people)
- Trained community mobilizers to distribute Ebola prevention messages further
- Provided food, clothes, and kitchen supplies to 400 families of Ebola survivors as they leave the treatment centres