On 7th November 2015 the World Health Organisation, WHO, declared Sierra Leone Ebola-free, 42 days (2 incubation cycles of the virus) had passed since the second negative test of the last confirmed patient with Ebola in the country. The country is now in a 90-day period of enhanced monitoring.
Although there have been no new reported cases, many of those who survived the Ebola virus still continue to suffer, often with medical problems such as joint pain, headaches and eye problems and many are still being ostracised by their neighbours and communities and orphans are still being found, brothers and sisters trying to look after each other after having lost their parents.
So whilst the panic and risk of infection of the last 18 months has quietened down the St. George Foundation home in Freetown is still at it’s full capacity of around 50 Ebola orphans needing their help, the majority of them younger than 11 years old. Having had over 2500 Ebola orphans registered in their area, the St. G F have so far directly helped around 800 of those children, 500 who have been cared for at the St. G F home and 300 for whom they managed to find foster carers straight away.
The schools are open again and the children at the St. G F who are old enough are going too. There are 6 various schools in their local area that the orphans are attending, so as well as providing a home and food, normal clothes, shoes and new bedding the St. G F also provides the school uniform and the equipment needed.
The St. G F tries to reunite the orphans with suitable family members as soon as possible but even when that happens they continue to monitor how the children are getting on in their new homes and provide additional support whenever necessary.
Despite the good news from the WHO, the work of the St George Foundation will not come to an end with the end of Ebola. They will go back to doing what the foundation was set up to do, giving a home and support to orphans or children living on the streets fending for themselves and at a cost of approx £200 per child the St G F needs a lot of support too.
The truck which they bought with the help of our school’s fundraising is in full use and we hope to receive some pictures soon.
In the run up to Christmas please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Donations can be made via our school charity page, www.justgiving.com/swanmore-primary-school