The Young Women Christian Association of Liberia or YWCA, in collaboration with the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia or AEL, has embarked on the provision of food and other essential materials for children directly affected by the deadly Ebola virus in the country.
The project- funded by Tear Fund-Liberia, will last for six months. It will target three affected communities in Margibi County, including Matiala, Gotumo and Joe Blow Towns outside Kakata.
Speaking to this paper, YWCA’s Program Officer Mongar Grisgby said the project seeks to provide livelihood support, psychosocial counseling, disinfectant materials and health care visitation (Checkup & Treatment on a monthly basis) for Ebola affected children from 10 months old to eighteen years.
He said the data collected during the needs assessment show that over 75% of the children lost both parents and other families’ members, while 65% of such children are being cared for by their foster parents in their various communities.
Mr. Grisgby disclosed that statistics gathered by the Young Women Christian Association prove that about 25% of the foster parents, who are currently providing care for Ebola orphans, are single parents and over 50% of them are unemployed, adding that the wellbeing of the children remains a major issue.
He said children affected by the virus needed the intervention of other international organizations, also emphasiizing the need for the Government of Liberia to ensure that they are reintegrated in the Liberian society.
The YWCA Program Officer stressed that “the welfare of Ebola Orphans, who are not benefiting from the project, remains a great concern, looking at their conditions and the lack of support for those children will help increase the current trauma they are already going through.
He called on other international organizations and the government to join the YWCA of Liberia in providing care for the children left homeless and vulnerable to the society due to the Ebola outbreak in the country.
Since the outbreak in the country, the Young Women Christian Association of Liberia has played a major role in combating the virus, by providing exclusive training for young women and girls across the country, as well as providing livelihood supplies for Ebola orphans.