Survivors of Ebola Virus disease in Sierra Leone, have expressed a desire to joyfully march through the streets of Freetown tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2016, "in order for the World to know how much Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors appreciate President Koroma's Recovery efforts".
Speaking to Awareness Times last night, Madam Glenna Evelyn Beckley, an Ebola Survivor who is the official liaison between Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES) and Government, explained their reasons.
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"The last time the public saw a gathering of Ebola survivors out on the streets of Freetown was in the first week of April. We were all out in a state of anger and frustration with Government especially the Ministry of Social Welfare. In the second week of April, our President gave us a new minister of Social Welfare, Dr. Sylvia Blyden. She has restored hope amongst Survivors and made us believe that we are indeed special heroes and heroines of the President," Glenna Beckley explained.
The Survivors therefore say they now wish to joyfully rally through the streets of Freetown from Brookfields to Cotton Tree tomorrow as a sign of their pleasure with President Koroma.
It can be recalled that the Government of President Koroma recently provided a brand new jeep for Ebola Survivors to use to travel to seek welfare of survivors in all remote corners of the country.
Furthermore, a brand new 7 roomed office complex with conference room was recently rented and paid for two years as National Headquarters for survivors.
There are also ongoing arrangements that have seen offices continue to be rented in provincial locations for Ebola survivors.
Survivors in very remote areas like Nieni, Koinadugu and Dumagbe Makpele, Pujehun are being tracked, traced and served.
Livelihood skills training has also been secured for survivors in seven of the most heavily affected districts. The remaining six districts with estimated total of 1,705 survivors will now benefit from a whopping 1.1 Billion leones of World Bank funds that was this month transferred to the Ministry from UNICEF coffers.
In addition, an online database is being actively worked upon which will ensure all survivors can be tracked and traced with service deliveries to them, actively monitored.
Another source of inspiration to entire survivor community has been the efforts of President Koroma through the Ministry of Social Welfare, for leaders of Ebola Survivors to travel out of Sierra Leone to United States of America and to Europe.
Currently, the President of Ebola Survivors association Mr. Yusuf Kabba is at Harvard University in Boston, USA where he has given a talk on importance of international community to remain engaged in supporting the call of President Koroma for assistance to post Ebola Sierra Leone.
From there he is flying to Washington DC where he is going to be joined by Survivors Spokesman Daddy Hassan Kamara this weekend.
They are all set to be guests of White House officials of President Obama's administration. They will also meet officials of other American institutions who assisted Sierra Leone to end the Ebola crisis.
The survivors will then fly to the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia to meet officials there. The role of the CDC in ending the crisis in Sierra Leone, was legendary. The survivors are expected to express thanks to all who assisted to end the outbreak whilst calling for continued support.
The US Embassy in Freetown under leadership of Ambassador John Hoover, USAID in Washington DC, Sabeti Labs of Harvard University and Plan International have all worked hard to ensure the survivors can travel to America. Meanwhile, the survivors PRO/Spokesman Daddy Hassan Kamara has been in Europe engaging stakeholders since September 12th. He returns tomorrow and he will be joining their president in America. Mr. Kamara is flying out of Amsterdam today to arrive back in Lungi tomorrow morning. The very next day Friday, he again flies out of Lungi heading to America.
"Before our Spokesman flies out again to America, he will be joining us on the streets of Freetown to joyfully thank our President," assures Glenna Beckley adding, "Our president Yusuf Kabba will be addressing us live by video from Harvard University on Thursday when we all assemble at the YWCA Hall".
It is now a fact that lives of Ebola survivors around the country have seen tangible changes for the better and their welfare remains to be amongst priorities of the Head of State. However, this media is informed that one of the intense focus of the President is now the welfare of Orphans who lost parents to the Ebola disease. The lives of survivors themselves are improving slowly due to efforts of the government but many of the children of those who did not survive the disease, are now left in precarious situations.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.