During the final weeks of May, 2015, members of the eg Liberia team commenced Phase Three of our Ebola awareness and prevention work in Voinjama, Foya and Kolahun Districts. This included a re-supply of medical and sanitation materials to local clinics and schools along with a series of awareness events and mourning ceremonies in surrounding communities. Environmental conservation trainings were also held to make the connection between the mismanagement of Liberia's forests, climate change, and most importantly, Ebola. Lasana Kamara reports on these happenings.
Supply Donations, Awareness Events and Mourning Ceremonies
We continued Phase Three of eg’s Ebola awareness and prevention following the distribution of ICE materials to ten schools-- four in Voinjama District, three in Foya District and three in Kolahun District. Additional donations of medical drugs were made to five clinics, one in Voinjama District, two in Kolahun District and two in Foya District. These clinics are close to the borders of Sierra Leone and Guinea where people cross to Liberia daily, making them vulnerable regions for a re-transmittance of the Ebola virus.
Presenting schools with sanitation supplies
Medical donations to neighborhood clinics
Furthermore, two Mourning Ceremonies were held in Zanglo Town, Voinjama District and Yankoitahun, Kolahun District. Both towns were hard hit by the virus and lost several community members to Ebola. The blue structure shown below indicates the death and survival of loved ones in Yankoitahun during the crisis. Those names in red are those that died and those in white, who survived. Thus, the presented materials for ceremony were timely and appreciated.
The awareness events covered four political districts (Quardu Gboni, Kolahun, Foya and Voinjama). Our message to the communities was to continue the Ebola preventive methods even though Liberia has been declared Ebola free, especially since Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reporting low numbers of the disease.
Overall, the communities were very happy to see us back again with hygiene materials and medical drugs. Community dwellers enthusiastically expressed their appreciation for everyday gandhis work throughout the Ebola crisis.
Community Plaque designating those affeced by Ebola
Photos from mourning ceremonies and communal feast
Environmental Training Workshop
The environmental training workshop was held on May 22- 23, 2015 at the everyday gandhis Guest House. James Makor, friend and mentor at SAMFU, a local Liberian non-governmental conservation and development organization, hosted the event. The participants for the training were eg’s staff, two representatives from our Mobile Peace Teams in Kolahun and Foya, our Peace Team from Sarkonedu, Barkedu, Kuluka, Jarmoulour, Quardugbasa and friends in central Voinjama.
Topics discussed were:
The importance/diversity of the Liberian forest
Deforestation and its connection to Ebola
The workshop was very interactive. Participants were interested in learning more about the importance of the forest, how to best manage reforestation, who are responsible for destroying the forest, what causes climate change and much more.
At the end of the workshop, participants recommended that such a workshop should continue and be rotational so that others may participate in the conversation and have the chance to educate their communities about these important topics. Doing so will help to ensure the future health of our forests and to decrease the likelihood of another deadly epidemic.
Photos of workshop participants
-Lasana Kamara, Field Coordinator, everyday gandhis Liberia