On Friday, the Guardian’s Lisa O’Carrol published this account of her day working with Kelfa, in the Waterloo area of Freetown, one of the country’s major ebola hotspots. She met children who have been orphaned by ebola – and are now being supported by Street Child.
Her report is one of the most moving and detailed depictions yet of the suffering of these children. It deserves careful reading by everyone who is interested in the plight of these children – not least in the wake of Street Child’s recent reports that the numbers of these children have hitherto been vastly under-estimated by official sources. These are not sad but isolated stories – this suffering is happening on scale, across three of the world’s very poorest countries.
On the same trip, Street Child also introduced Lisa to Dauda, the young man whose anguish at the loss of his family and the plight of his younger siblings was captured on film by Street Child and subsequently broadcast around the world - playing a major role in bringing the tragedy of ebola orphans to global attention in October. Whilst Dauda’s story went on to feature prominently on news programmes on Sky, ITV, BBC’s Newsnight, CNN, NBC and Channel 4, it was first picked up by Lisa and the Guardian and shown on their website. Lisa’s account of her meeting and Dauda’s story can be read here. She focuses on Dauda’s status as a survivor and the important issue of stigma that attaches to ebola survivors.
And finally, Lisa also ran a feature on Will Pooley, the British nurse who contracted and survived Ebola earlier in the year and originally treated Dauda. Lisa was present when Dauda and Will were reunified in Freetown.