On 7 November 2015 The World Heath Organisation declared Sierra Leone free of the Ebola virus transmission after 42 days had passed since the last Ebola patient tested negative.
After staying in London for over a year and a half I decided to leave London on the 18th of November 2015 to see for myself my hometown in Sierra Leone. WHO announced that the Ebola virus had been managed and safer to travel back to Sierra Leone,
My first instinct was to go home and help, educate and assist any groups that could use my skills. I prayed to God for wisdom and guidance. It was heart rendering watching on TV how the country was suffering and seeing the number of people been buried. I lost my nephew who was diagnosed positive. He was a nurse and was sent to escort a patient to the provinces and on his return he was checked and a few days later he died in September 2014. The sad thing was his sister died in May 2014 from a heart condition.
There were lots of groups involved targeting various institutions helping in the Ebola after effect. My daughter and some friends organised a Miss Sierra Leone pageant to raise funds to help fight the disease.
Ebola is a virus which was so deadly and caused a lot of people to die. It affected doctors, nurses, families and children. Many people were displaced and some had to move from the villages to the city of Freetown which has caused a lot of overcrowding. There are not enough houses available for everyone. Water is in shortage, there is a lack of electricity throughout. The number of people in the city is alarming. Children did not attend school for nearly a year and now spend a term + before been promoted to the next class. The university and all educational institutions were brought to a standstill.
Whilst the Ebola crisis was affecting the world, many Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora organised church services to pray for the country, luncheons sales and dances to create funds for the people of Sierra Leone.
My personal contribution as a Christian was to get involved by attending to some functions. I collected clothes, shoes, bags and provisions from friends and relatives which were shipped to Sierra Leone. I distributed too few I know personally.
I met a friend who went to organise feeding and handing over an amount of £1,500 towards the construction of the roof of the Freetown Cheshire Home at Kissy. Many people pledged money and services. Most of the children in this home were handicapped disabled and displaced. There was an Ebola girl who was abandoned and seemed confused and helpless. I fell in love with her. There were others who loved dancing and we had artists performing free. The kids danced and requested all the popular stars to perform. This they did. It was organised by someone I know personally. I have photos to show of this function. This home brought back memories of my late brother who was born
with polio and was placed in the Cheshire Home in BO. ( Town in Sierra Leone).
I visited some schools to see what help and assistant I can give. Whilst visiting my old secondary school, Methodist Girls High School, I had the privilege to see the principal, who gave me a tour of the work done in the school. I met a girl who was looking for a space in the school but would not be accepted because she had left school 5 years ago through pregnancy and was trying to return back to do her 6th form exams. As the principals could not take her and listened to her concerns I gave the girl my phone number and asked her to see me personally the next day. Bright and early the next day she came and I assessed her and decided to send her to a private institution to continue her studies. I pay for her monthly and hopefully she should take her exams next year. She keeps in contact regularly and sends me details about her progress.
As the Ebola crisis was just over I was scared to go to places but watched TV to see how people in the country were suffering. I took down details and contact numbers. I visited Waterloo where the British team treated Ebola patients and where the hospital was built.
Ebola has left a painful legacy for survivors in Sierra Leone. Ebola is gone but the Sierra Leone health system is on its knees.
I have decided to continue visiting as often as possible. I want to help the children in the Cheshire Home, Children Hospital and St George’s Home for the elderly. I returned to London again at the end of February 2016.
26 May 2016