Faces of Courage | "Oh Nurses and Burial Boys, Someday Salone will Sing Songs About You"

Nurse Josephine Finda Sellu (Courtesy New York Times)

People like Josephine Finda Sellu and Kandeh Kamara are a few of the faces of courage in Sierra Leone's battle against Ebola. They are the little-known men and women working  behind the scenes to help a nation beat back a killer virus. Sellu, 42, is a senior nurse at the Kenema Government Hospital, and Kamara, 21, is one of about 20 young men doing one of the dirtiest jobs in the Ebola campaign: finding and burying corpses across eastern Sierra Leone. Nurse Sellu and the group of young men, many who were onetime students and taxidrivers, were featured in a New York Times article that has struck a chord around the world.

Below are some of the many comments left by readers. Read, be inspired and take action. Help!

The photo of Josephine Finda Sellu, the deputy nurse matron dealing with ebola patients and losing so many of her nursing staff, is one of the most beautiful, impressive and touching photos I can recall seeing in the Times. Compliments to the photographer and to the staff, and to the remarkable journalists who reported this amazing story of compassion, endurance and courage. Right here, if any other reason were ever needed, is the reason why the Times is so very special.--PS

A wonderfully moving article. I have put her picture on my desktop; every time I see it, I will be inspired by her courage and pray for her safety, and for that of Mr. Kamara and other health care workers. Would the authors of this article be able to find a way to send messages to these heroic people so that, at the end of their arduous days they would find some words of encouragement from people around the world? And would it be possible to contribute in other ways? --QD

With all the hate currently going around in the U.S. and elsewhere, this is a refreshing (but disturbing) story about real humanity. This woman and her colleagues are a reminder to the religious poseurs all over the world what it's really all about. --RB

The world needs more people like Ms. Sellu and the "burial boys" to make it a better place. "The burial boys" do it for their country in face of extreme adversity, even at first without any pay. Then when pay comes it's $6 a day. We sure can learn a lot from the unselfish people mentioned in this article. --WB

I hope that, somehow, the "burial boys" and the nurses who stayed to treat people know that even though their work might not be appreciated by some people in Sierra Leone, in other parts of the world, they are seen as heroes. --TM 

Geeeeeeze, what courageous people! And what a wonderfully written report. If Kandeh Kamara survives this ordeal, that young man is welcome to live in my home while attending a local school; I would be honored to give a helping hand so such a noble person. --JV

Power and wealth flow to violence and oppression, armor and weapons are admired and coveted, warmongers are lauded as heroes, suicide bombers as martyrs. These are true heroes and true martyrs. People who value life, who care for other people. People with their courage and strength are extremely rare.--LB

Wow! It is unbelievable that there can be this degree of goodness and self-sacrifice in the world when we hear daily about so much evil. This is true heroism. It just blows me away.--DS

A rare example of righteousness, conviction, and compassion soaked in human warmth.--JPS

Josephine Finda Sellu deserves a Nobel Prize. --SD

These people are the real heroes of our world. The display of bravery, courage and humanity in the face of death and destruction is humbling. We should all find a place and time to honor these people who have shown us what grace and courage we are capable of in the darkest of days. Is there a way we can support them in their work? Is there any organization working with them we can donate to? --OW

What inspiring brave humane human beings! There brother's keepers who hear the bell tolling for them in a fellow human beings despair and misery -BM

The true African Spirit
Thank you so much for this enlightening story
In the darkest times you can find light in the human spirit.
Heroes All.-AM

Is there somewhere to contribute to help these people with their work directly? What amazing stories of compassion, courage and kindness in a world that sees all too little of any. The photo is so illuminating of the beautiful soul of Josephine. -EC

Lincoln called it "the better angels of our nature." Until now, I really didn't understand what he meant. Maybe there is hope.--PG

Oh nurses and burial boys, someday they will sing songs about you.--Anon

Read the New York Times story here


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