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Peace Island School for Ebola Orphans - Open and Teaching
Statistics alone don't tell the human stories of tragedy and loss. Per the CDC, the Liberian death toll as of 4/17/2016 was 4810 persons passing away. This number does not tell you how many fathers, mothers, grandparent-caregivers, uncles and relatives taking care of children fell ill and died leaving children alone. In Africa, when your caregiver dies surviving family takes you in or your neighbor. Resources are stretched thin, education and advancement take a back seat to survival.
The Women's Restoration Counseling Ministry, a local NGO that partnered with EWL during the Ebola Crisis, found a concentration of Ebola orphans on Peace Island (just outside of Monrovia, Liberia's capital city of 1 million). They were moved to engage and find ways to help. With EWL's help they have started regular visitations to address immediate needs (food support, mattresses, clothing, etc.,) and begun classes to teach the children to read, write and other basic skills.
It soon became evident that these children, some of them stigmatized because of their status as Ebola survivors, would have problems being accepted in the existing school system, already stressed. Thus the need for a school building so education, training and community activities for these orphans could be provided became clear to these women leaders who reached out to EWL to start this project.
The building was completed in Sept 2017 and is now open and holding classes.
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Women's Bucket Brigade (Ebola Crisis 2013-2015)
The Women's Bucket Brigade Project owes special thank yous to several partner organizations such as ReachBeyond, CornerstoneEPC Church, and Loving through Literacy for their generous financial support.
In addition, Vicki Kloosterhouse, an EWL volunteer at the time provided significant logistical and administrative guidance to make the project work within the cultural context stressed during the Ebola Crisis. A team effort all away around!