“Who should I run to? Where should I go? Who is out there waiting to accept me? I am the only lucky one that survived”.
Many Ebola orphans are now under the care of extended family members who cannot afford the additional cost of sending these children to school. Our bursaries provide school uniforms, shoes, text books, bags and stationery so that these already vulnerable children’s futures are not put at even greater risk by missing out on their education.
By employing local tailors we have been able to keep the costs of uniforms lower, meaning that we’re able to help more children than we expected; 210 in total, all of who are still going to school.
Our work within Ebola-affected communities has brought us into contact with severely traumatised children who have lost parents, or in some cases, all immediate family members to the disease.
By delivering psychosocial training to teachers and key members of the community we are ensuring that there is a network of adults who can identify and support these extremely vulnerable children.
To reduce the impact of the school closures that took place during the Ebola outbreak, the Sierra Leonean government is broadcasting radio-based lessons. However, the reality we have found in rural areas like Kambia is that few households can afford the expense of batteries, let alone radios. Even in those that do, a lack of literacy and numeracy amongst parents or guardians prevents them from helping their children understand the lessons.
We are providing learning assistants in rural schools with ‘school in a box’ kits which include a radio, batteries, lamps and learning materials. The teaching assistants form learning groups, helping children to access and understand the radio lessons and catch up on the learning that they have missed.
54 radio clubs have been established, offering support to hundreds of children.