Street Child deploys 2,000 ebola educators in slums and remote communities: reaching over 500,000 Sierra Leoneans
Ebola will not end when any number of hospitals or clinics have been built, as helpful as they are. Ebola will end when people stop touching ebola victims. But for that to happen, people need to know and believe that this is dangerous.
Alongside caring for ebola orphans, popularizing this message is the key element of Street Child’s Ebola crisis response.
Our Ebola education efforts have been dramatically scaled up in December. In addition to the 700 Street Child Ebola educators (mainly teachers in Street Child schools) who were active at the start of the month, the charity has added:
· An extra 800 educators to focus on educating remote and rural communities, mainly in the North of Sierra Leone;
· An extra 475 educators in six key communities in and around Freetown, as part of the ‘Western area surge strategy’ – a Government-led initiative over the Christmas period which aims to make a decisive impact on the Ebola crisis in Freetown
With each educator charged with carrying this critical information to at least 250 individuals, the Street Child ebola educator programme is now reaching at least half a million of the most at risk Sierra Leoneans, almost 10% of the population – in a sustained, one on one, manner. Our educators, always highly respected individuals in their local communities, do not leave a household until they are sure their messages have not just been understood but accepted. And they go back again and check too!
Street Child would like to put on record our thanks to World Jewish Relief and CAFOD whose funding has been vital in facilitating the expansion of this vital network in December – now one of the largest of its kind in the country.
To learn more about the importance of ebola education, watch this video of CEO, Tom Dannatt, talking to BBC World last week.