A one-day forum on Ebola Stigmatization has ended on Saturday 14th February 2014 at the Chukuma Johnson Memorial Field at Waterloo in Western Rural District.
This event was organized by a non-governmental charitable organization, Construction and Development Partnerships (CODEP) in collaboration with Build on Books on the Theme “the Negative Impact of Stigmatization on Ebola Survivors”.
The ceremony attracted several important personalities including the Chief Whip of Parliament, Hon. Claude Kamanda, the Chairman Western Rural District Council, Mr. Alhassan Cole, Hon. Amani Sannoh of the Parliamentary Education Committee, traditional healers, and rulers, MDAs, teachers, parents, pupils, youths and women’s representatives as well as other NGOs.
|cross section of the audience at the ceremony
In her welcome address, the Logistics Manager of CODEP, Mrs. Rosetta Kargbo said they were hopeful that schools are going to reopen soonest and as partners in educational development, they want to encourage all parents, pupils and the Western Rural community to kick against Ebola stigmatization especially in learning institutions.
“Discriminating our compatriots who are Ebola survivors or affected by the disease directly or indirectly will be disastrous” she echoed.
She went on, “at CODEP and its partner organization, Build on Books our mandate is to improve or develop education but when the Ebola outbreak hit Sierra Leone we diverted our course by organizing sensitization forum, supply anti-Ebola items to communities, feeding quarantined homes and giving care to children orphaned by Ebola.”
She informed that as an organization they are still providing support for 172 Ebola orphans on weekly basis but they are expected other big stakeholders to come and rescue them in the future.
In his statement the Chief Whip of Parliament commended CODEP and Build on Books for their immense contribution towards the fight against Ebola.
“CODEP and Build on Books were very instrumental in the fight against Ebola when Waterloo became a hotspot in Sierra Leone” he stated.
He said the forum on the condemnation of stigmatization against Ebola survivors was very vital to the Waterloo Community because the disease left many untold stories and almost everybody is affected.
“Ebola forced us to avoid our culture, tradition and norms across Sierra Leone with a heart rendering” he said in sad mood.
He commended President Koroma for the social community mobilization which he said yield dividend in the fight against Ebola in that part of the country. He thanked all other stakeholders including international partners, NGOs and lauded CODEP for completing government efforts in feeding Ebola victims especially children.
He categorically encouraged all community members to warn everybody against stigmatization and discrimination of affected Ebola persons everywhere and anywhere in Sierra Leone.
“They are the heroes of the Ebola war and history will count on them so much” he disclosed.
In his contribution, the Chairman Western Rural District Council said collaborative effort in the fight against Ebola was very essential in the fight against Ebola. He advised all and sundry to lend hands in the fight against stigmatization of survivors.
“Sierra Leoneans were not prepared for this kind of scourge but today we are struggling with it and it was not the wish of any of our compatriots to be victims so let there be no discrimination or stigmatization” he maintained. Other speakers including representatives of Parliament, Ministry of Education, Social Welfare and other NGOs made salient statements.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.