At EducAid we have been fighting to protect ourselves from Ebola from the very beginning. We are in the fortunate position that the majority of our school compounds are generally self-contained and stable. Under the guidance of our Country Director and Trustees, the staff have implemented strict protocols that restrict the movement on to and off of our property – limiting them to those that are absolutely essential. Now that the streets are nearly deserted for fear of further contamination, and the fact that Ebola is only spread from symptomatic carriers of the virus, we have consolidated our position enough to consider the next step.
Errands that are likely to lead to increased risk of exposure – those via public transport or to congested areas – are taken under extreme caution with long sleeves and gloves mandatory. We have also managed to stockpile our food, water, and gasoline resources to hold until December. Now we are beginning to prepare ourselves for the even greater challenge of educating and preparing our population for life after Ebola.
This blog is the beginning of a series that will keep our donors informed of how we are tackling Ebola on the ground in the short, mid, and long-term. We will be documenting our efforts to consolidate the protection of our schools, how we are striving to continue the education of our students that are not currently under our care, and our strategy for dealing with life after Ebola. Our network of schools and staff around the country puts us in a good position to describe what it is really like to live with Ebola in Sierra Leone.
These are the stages of our program to fight Ebola:
Stage 1: Protocol – protecting our school sites by ensuring that our students and staff are educated in the best ways of avoiding contagion. Implementing strict protocol on travel and behaviour.
Stage 2: Education – delivering learning from a distance. We will be making and distributing educational materials so that the children currently not allowed to re-join our schools are not left behind. We will also be empowering them with the correct information to make the right decisions regarding Ebola within their family homes.
Stage 3: Post-Ebola preparation – It is the responsibility of organisations like ours to ensure that our students and staff are prepared sufficiently, and to help them avoid any social or civil upheaval in this vulnerable country. From the orphans of Ebola to the education of the wider population, we must be ready.
Our program centres education at it’s core. We believe that the education of young men and women is essential to: unlock human potential, overcome poverty, improve wellbeing, build democracy, and to providing the cornerstone for stable development. We are sure that, with the assistance of the international community, Sierra Leone will be able to isolate and contain Ebola, and we know it is our mission to be there in the aftermath.
Aside from detailing our efforts in this blog, we will also be bringing you more insightful information in to the perception of the Sierra Leonean population on a range of subjects, and trying to combat some of the myths that still exist around Ebola within the Western World.
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The EducAid network covers 9 schools across the country. Through our blog we will bring you our stories of how life is inside, and outside of the schools.
We have 0 full-time employees in the UK, and over 180 in Sierra Leone. Together we educate over 3000 students, and we’re building for a life #AfterEbola