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Orphans’ Future in Limbo

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The lives of Children made orphans by the deadly Ebola outbreak that ravaged Liberia for more than a year are uncertain.

While there are reports of groups mobilizing and giving support at various times, many of the orphans are still seeking support from the government and its partners for survival and growth. Jerry Jallah – 14, who now relies on no one else, but himself, told this paper that he is self- supported, depending on a rather unusual business in the densely populated Slipway community in Central Monrovia where he sells water on the street.

Jallah explained that his Mother and father died from the deadly Ebola virus on November June 14 and 27, 2014, respectively when the crisis was at its peak in the country. “My mother and father were my everything; but they died from the killer virus/. Now I have to sell one bucket of hot water L$25 and one bucket of cold water l$15 where people normally come to take bath when they are in need before I can fine food to eat,” Jerry said.

A Gender Ministry document revealed that there are currently 947 orphans – meaning one who lost both parents, while 2,696 are semi orphans (lost either of their parents to the Ebola disease).  But not all orphans are getting this kind of support, as 12-year-old Mafanta Kromah, told the paper. Mafanta, who lost her parents in 2014 to Ebola, said due to lack of support, she has been forced to sell cold water at the Red Light market.

By Bridgett Milton – Edited by George Barpeen

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