News outlets increasingly bring to light the harsh toll that Ebola is taking on children. The Washington Post this week headlined, “War-Torn Liberia Already Had Too Many Orphans. Then Came Ebola.” It describes:
In a country still recovering from 14 years of civil war, Ebola is posing a new threat to children, with challenges never seen here before. Some children have been forced to leave homes where relatives are infected, cleaving families into the sick and the well. Others face stigma if parents or siblings contract the disease, or they are shunned if they get it themselves and are fortunate enough to survive. And Liberia has a new wave of orphans, like the one caused by the war.
Amidst this mounting crisis, many CAFO member organizations are serving in effected regions, aiding those impacted by Ebola both directly and indirectly. Below are brief overviews of current activities:
Feed the Children
We are working with trusted partners in Africa to take steps to stop the spread of the disease, to get more of those with Ebola into hospitals, and to help parents who live in high-risk countries to take action now to prevent the spread of Ebola. (READ MORE)
A Child’s Hope International
We partnered with Restore Hope for a shipment to Sierra Leone where they work with orphans and vulnerable children as well as the elderly. Our shipment included over 50,000 high protein meals, clean water kits, the Gospel and medical supplies (oral thermometers, gloves, alcohol wipes, etc.). The high protein food as well as the clean water kits are produced by volunteers.
We are working closely with our National Directors in Liberia and Sierra Leone to assure they have the much-needed supplies to prevent the spread of illness and to serve children who have been brought to their care in the crisis. In Sierra Leone, our directors have take in 60 extra children to their Transitional Home during the day to reduce the possibility of their exposure to the disease. We are working to raise funds to provide food and disinfectant supplies to the more than 2,000 children we work with and their families in this great time of need. (READ MORE)
David C Cook
Since early in 2013, Gbee Darlington was teaching David C Cook’s Children-at-Risk program three days a week in schools in Monrovia, Liberia. He wrote on Oct. 1, “Since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease, all schools have been closed down by the Government of Liberia. Right now, I am only teaching the kids at Capehart’s Children’s Home. Is there any literature you have for me to share with them?” Cook sent him lessons to use with these children three days a week. One day will center on spiritual transformation. One day will be on character development. The third day teaches life skills.
Food for Orphans
Food for Orphans is currently feeding orphans in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, the two countries greatly impacted by the Ebola Virus epidemic. We are feeding 74 orphans at the Sierra Leone orphanage, and also are providing additional funds to feed 154 homeless orphans living a short distance away in the community. Food for Orphans is currently preparing to ship 285,000 pre-packaged meals to the orphans in Sierra Leone, as food stock has been decreasing and becoming scarce. We invite you to help us ship this needed container of food. More HERE.
New Horizons Adoption Agency
New Horizons is working in Liberia to assist children who are homeless and/or orphaned because of the Ebola crisis. We are working with the Ministry of Health in supporting and providing homes to house children and provide for them. Our Liberian representative is attending the meetings with the committee to coordinate our efforts on the areas most needed, and updating us with information and statistics for the best utilization of our funds.
Lifeline Christian Services
(Un)adopted, a ministry of Lifeline Children’s Services, partners in Liberia with REAP (Restoration of Educational Advancement Programs). Through our partnership with REAP, we implement Gospel-centered learning camps designed to bring hope to orphaned teens in Monrovia, Liberia. Together, (un)adopted and REAP host 4 camps per year for more than 200 orphans. During 2013 we partnered with REAP to begin the sewing center as a next step for long-term trade skills. In light of the Ebola crisis, (un)adopted is working to provide the most effective support possible to our West African partners who are engaged daily in orphan care, and through them, we have the opportunity to meet immediate Ebola related needs. If you are interested in helping us provide protection and support to orphans in West Africa, specifically Liberia, please contact us at unadopted.org . (Read more HERE & HERE)
Lifesong for Orphans
Love in Action has been the response of our staff in Monrovia, Liberia. While our staff and kids we serve have continued to stay healthy and take precautions, volunteers from a local church have joined our director, Emmanuel Jones, to distribute food and hygiene materials to communities in extreme poverty. A soup kitchen has also been set up in one of the largest slum, feeding over 1,000 families while giving helpful Ebola awareness training. Please join us in praying for God’s mercy and protection! (READ MORE)
Orphan Relief and Rescue
We as Orphan Relief and Rescue have over 120 children that we are feeding on a daily basis, and we have another 100 kids from our graduated orphanage homes, though self sufficient, are still a part of our regular check- up schedule so we can ensure they also have what they need to be protected. Our Liberian staff are currently running our programs and making sure they everyone has what they need to remain healthy. Our Liberian employee’s and children all know they are apart of our family and because they are taken care of they are also able to help their neighbors and those around them as well. We have been keeping everyone stocked with food, diapers, formula, bleach, sanitizing materials, medicine and many other necessary items to ensure everyone has what they need to be safe and protected. There are many needy kids that have or will become orphaned due to Ebola. We are putting plans together to safely and lovingly care for those who have just lost parents and who are coming into the social welfare system. (READ MORE)
Currently, no Compassion International children or staff have been directly affected by the Ebola virus. However, we are taking precautionary measures to protect our children and staff should the outbreak spread into the West Africa countries where we work – Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso. Compassion is working with country health officials to stay informed about the Ebola outbreak and its potential risks. In all three countries, Compassion field staff are undergoing Ebola awareness training and distributing educational resources to church partners, volunteers and families. In addition, U.S.-based staff travel and sponsor vision trips to the West Africa countries where we work have been halted, while Compassion staff within our Africa region are discouraged from inter-country travel.
Agape has had the privilege to partner with a family, who is adopting a relative from Liberia, through the home study and post adoption process. This family and their adopted child continue to encounter road blocks in their efforts to bring this child to the United States. Agape continues to lift this family up in prayer as we work to get this child home. Please join us in praying for her safety and continued good health.