As part of their support to Ebola-affected women in Kailahun, past and present students of Hertie school of Governance in Germany on Saturday donated food and non-food items to the Kailahun Women in Governance Network (KWiGN) for onward distribution to Ebola survivors.
Among the donated items worth millions of Leones, are 50 bags of 50kg rice, 150 gallons of cooking vegetable oil, 50 bags of salt, 4 cartoons Maggie, 12 pairs of women shoes and 4 mattresses, among many others.
According to one of the goodwill ambassadors presently based in Belgium, Laura Georgina Roman, who was interviewed on phone, she became aware about the present Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone through a Ghanaian friend, who was her classmate at Hertie School of Governance in Germany but presently working in Sierra Leone, adding that they understood it is an emergency situation that needs urgent help, which was why they to raised funds to assist the women in particular in Sierra Leone.
She maintained that despite working in Belgium, she was able to solicit funds from her classmates in Europe and America, within the shortest possible time to make their own little contribution, explaining that they are used to work as a team, while in class in Germany and now that one of their friend is working in Sierra Leone, where there is an outbreak, they are willing to support him and the women that are affected by the virus, as the monies was from their personal savings as she hopes to visit Sierra Leone to see the people.
Distributing the food and non-food items on behalf of the goodwill Ambassadors, the President of KWiGN, Madam Lacy Gondor, disclosed that apart from the funds from Laura and her colleagues from Hertie School of Governance, Eva Merel Fuchs, a former worker at GIZ in Sierra Leone based in Kailahun, also made her own input to help the women of Kailahun, where she worked for a very long time.
The president states the items were distributed among Ebola survivors at the various Chiefdoms in the District, explaining that the support is timely, as it had relieved their distress about where to get food for the survivors of the deadly Ebola disease which had left so many children orphans and women widows, as the supply had made them realize, that there are other women outside Sierra Leone that are thinking about their constraints at this trying time.
‘As the President of the Women Network in Kailahun, we have become more proactive in our sensitization and prevention stride to end Ebola in our district and the country as a whole’ she recalled, explaining that the concern shown by these women is something they will never forget in their lives, as even their children will know about it as most of the survivors are women and children who survived the Ebola disease since its outbreak in the district.
According to Madam Lucy, the women are at high risk and vulnerable to the disease as they look after the sick at home, which exposes them to contact the virus easily, adding that even the 11 years civil war, affected the women greatly and that they are faced with many challenges at the moment, as they were even thinking about the future of their children, especially the girls, who are out of school presently as they are exposed to teenage pregnancy which makes them worry.
Speaking on behalf of the survivors and beneficiaries, Aminata Lamin, expressed thanks and appreciation to the people who thought it fit to think about their present plight as survivors of Ebola, stating that all her household items were burnt, when she was tested positive of the virus and that after her recovery, she had no bed unless she slept on the bare ground, but with this support, she was fortunate to receive a mattress and other food items that will keep her family going.
She maintained that they were not expecting this assistance at this moment, as they were just waiting for supply from the government and other partners that normally support them, and that she will continue to sensitize her community people about the disease as a survivor and look forward for more help from their friends abroad.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Monday September 29, 2014