The Ebola crisis in Liberia has nearly subsided completely, but the last year and a half has been devastating to the country. Just over 4,800 succumbed to the disease, and as a result, there are now over 4,000 children left orphaned. The vast majority of these children have been placed with extended family so that they did not end up in institutional care. Many of the families struggle to provide for them, but they are doing their best.
Last week Orphan Relief and Rescue started distributing clothes and food donated by Chris and Amanda Pilkerton and JP Morgan Chase. These donations went to children orphaned by the Ebola crisis. With the help of social workers from the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection we visited with aunts and uncles, grandmothers and cousins who had taken in the children of their relatives that died from Ebola. While we were distributing, we stopped to visit a community forum hosted by the Ministry for Ebola survivors, their families, and children orphaned by the disease. It was amazing to hear their stories of strength and resilience in the face of such devastation. I was also thankful to see that they have a safe place to talk about their struggles and fears. These types of forums help to integrate families effected by Ebola back into their communities and help to heal the trauma that they have experienced.
I am so happy that Orphan Relief and Rescue has been able to provide this assistance to children orphaned by the Ebola crisis. Thank you, Chris and Amanda Pilkerton, and their team at JP Morgan Chase, for the donations you gave to these children.