17 October Oct 2014 1425 17 October 2014

Ebola emergency in Sierra Leone

Ebola has orphaned 2,000 children, only in Sierra Leone. "This number might also grow to 10,000, if the virus will not be stopped before Christmas”, warned the Government. Orphans issue has now become one of the most crucial. AVSI Foundation is supporting people of Sierra Leone to face the consequences of the outbreak. We are working to assist orphans, distribute water, food and non-food items to families in quarantine, and we are also addressing the population through information and awareness activities in order to reintegrate survivors.

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At the beginning of the outbreak, AVSI’s goal was to limit the spread of the virus, addressing the affecting communities through information and awareness activities and contact tracing operations. During the last weeks, AVSI’s work focused on supporting families in quarantine, who cannot move from the hospitals, distributing food and water. But the biggest priority is to assist orphans whose parents have died of ebola.

AVSI is working in Sierra Leone since 2000, together with the local NGO Family Home Movement, with projects to support distance learning and the local education system . Now we decided to put our staff and our expertise to fight Ebola emergency.
We help people in need by distributing food and water . We educate people on how to recognize the symptoms of Ebola and intervene promptly. We speak with families because they do not refuse the survivors of the virus. Then, when a family or an entire village is quarantined , we seek to understand how many people there are and what their needs and communicate them to the government”, explained Nicola Orsini, chief of AVSI Foundation in Sierra Leone.
"People of Sierra Leone keep on be suspicious, they don’t trust authorities. Last week, in one village an imam died of Ebola. Since he was considered a man of great wisdom, people of the village took his bodily fluids and used them to cover themselves, respecting an ancient tradition and hoping to acquire the death man’s wisdom and courage. Many from the village got infected. In general, people keep on considering Ebola as a curse, not a virus. Many volunteers during the three days of quarantine faced the same arguments: some thought that the soap they provided contained poison, even Ebola itself. The volunteers had to use soap on themselves to show that it was safe. As staff of the Italian ngo AVSI Foundation, we are working on information and awareness activities with affected communities, informing the population about the concrete possibilities of healing”, said Ernest Sesay, President of Family Home Movement, local ong, member of AVSI Foundation network.


From the website:
(Select: Emergenza Ebola in Sierra Leone) Bank transfer: CREDITO VALTELLINESE SEDE MILANO STELLINE, Corso Magenta, 59 IBAN: IT04D0521601614000000005000 Bank account: AVSI FONDAZIONE Reason for payment: Ebola emergency in Sierra Leone/h2>

For international bank transfer: Swift code (BIC): BPCVIT2S


To better assist children and orphans, It is now possible to help us through the Emergency Distance support programm for Sierra Leone. You can subscribe it online or writing to (phone number: +39 0547 360811

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