Ebola survivors in Kenema

Recently, Sall Tee Jay travelled to Kenema, the third largest city in Sierra Leone, to meet Ebola survivors -- widows, widowers, and children who had successfully gone through treatment after caring for their close relatives and loved ones.

Lansana Tarawally (in white cap) used to be a truck driver. Now jobless, the father of four says he spends a lot of time knocking on doors at humanitarian organizations in Kenema District. Today, he is among a group of Ebola survivors at the Ben Hirsch Child Care Centre in Kenema town.

"I am up and down, wondering how to take care of my children,’’ Tarawally said. “That is why I only have two of them with me while the other two are in my village.”

Tarawally contracted Ebola from his father-in-law, who reportedly got it from a friend he helped up after a fall. In all, fifteen members of Tarawally’s family died of Ebola, including his wife.

Next to Tarawally was Mrs. Mariama Koroma, a widow. Her husband was a police officer. He died from Ebola virus disease, leaving her with three children.

“Some of us were rejected by society and are still faced with difficulties,’’ Koroma said. “It is time for government to find a safety net that can cover survivors.”

She also called on donors to come to the aid of Ebola survivors and their families.

Ben Hirsch Child Care was started in 1992, during the decade-long war in Sierra Leone. The center is run in memory of Army Capt. Ben Hirsch,  known for his philanthropy to the poor.  Recently, the management of Ben Hirsch Child Care received close to forty million Leones from Sierra Leoneans in Holland as part of the global effort in support of Ebola survivors and families.

Ali Badara Mansaray, commissioner of the National Commission for Social Action, said The World Bank has committed four million United States dollars for Ebola survivors, victims and their families. Each survivor will be entitled to fifteen United States dollars monthly for two years.

Ishaka Bangura and Watta Sheriff were just two of the orphans at Ben Hirsch Child Care.
Their parents died of Ebola in Kenema
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Alhaji Moijeh Kaiakai has said government is doing its best to care for Ebola survivors.


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