AFRICA/SIERRA LEONE - Orphans who survived Ebola are marginalized for fear of witchcraft and black magic

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - In West Africa there are about 7,200 people infected with Ebola and deaths exceed 3,330. In addition to the collapse of the health system and economic development of these countries, there is the serious reality of orphans due to this virus, which they must cope with the loss of family members and even overcome the preconceived notions of tribal culture that separates them for fear of witchcraft and black magic. The Government, with the help of NGOs, have launched a register of orphans due to ebola: so far 310 boys and girls, who have not been infected, have been identified, to which are added other 600-700 that remain in quarantine.
The Salesian Mission in Sierra Leone opened the first home for orphans who survived the virus a week ago in Monrovia. What was once an elementary school has become a service center for 60 children between 2 and 17 years of age. Most of them arrived at the center through a call from some distant relative who is unable to give look after them. 12 people work in the center in Monrovia: 5 Salesians, 2 nurses, 2 social workers, 2 teachers, a doctor and a music and dance therapist. The Salesian Mission is funded through donations managed by its various centers in various Countries. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 09/10/2014)