Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - More than 5,900 Liberian children lost one or both parents to Ebola. According to information sent to Fides, some are with a surviving parent, others found loving homes with friends or relatives, but many have been left orphaned on the streets or are finding it tough to adapt to new lives with host families. These children are entrusted to unscrupulous people who mistreat them, do not give them food, do not send them to school. Often you see these small children go back to their former home to sleep and escape abuse. Other children live in orphanages but are stigmatized by their "friends" because they are Ebola orphans. Then there are those who do not have any kind of assistance and beg on the streets. More help is needed.
Currently, the Liberian government has partnered with UNICEF, Save the Children and Plan Liberia to provide basic services to some Ebola orphans, including help with school fees, food distribution centres and counselling. But the large number of orphans has made it difficult to follow up on individual cases. A lack of special programmes and the need for a government awareness campaign are common complaints. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2015)