"We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school!"
-Famatta, child from New Hope Children's Home
Ebola. The deadly virus that prowled West Africa last year, dominating the news and our newsfeeds. In Liberia alone, taking the lives of over 4,000, and leaving in it's wake sons and daughters to be orphaned and alone.
Meet three of those children: Famatta (14), Olbed (13) and Delight (8), son and daughters of George and Oretha Kanwah, whose lives were taken by the Ebola virus.
In response to this catastrophe, Lifesong staff in Liberia have established New Hope Children's Home, a home to not only provide shelter for 10 children orphaned by the Ebola virus, but also to give caregiver jobs to Ebola survivors.
Fametta graciously shares the devastation they have saw and felt, and of the hope that is slowly shining through...
"My father got the virus when a lady in his church was sick and he took her to the hospital. While at the hospital, the lady died and my father was sprayed with antiseptic and sent home. The next day he started getting sick and when he got to work, they told him not to come back. They also put us out of the company house where we were staying. One week later, my father died in his car and the Ebola burial team came and carried him to be burned in the fire.
Few days later, our mother got sick and she couldn't eat, but cried all day. She was taken to the Ebola treatment center. Later, the center called our aunt and said our mother has died.
My siblings and I were put into quarantine at the treatment center for 21 days. We did not get the virus, so the health workers took us back to the community, hoping someone will take us in. No one was willing. We were given a little food supply and some protective Ebola materials.
We were left alone in the community. Everyone is afraid of us. We were not allowed to play with other children or go to other people's houses or buy food from others with money from our hands. I am the oldest, so I tried to watch over my brother and sister.
But now we are have been taken in by Lifesong's New Hope Children's Home. We have a new family and a new home and we are now back in school."