We thought we had become accustomed to the human tragedy of the Ebola crisis until we met 16 year old Celina in late 2015. In the space of a month she lost her entire family to the virus. Every single living member died. On discharge from the Ebola treatment centre Celina spent six months living in an orphanage before being taken into the care of a friend of her late mother. With the support of Wharf Kids she is now back in secondary school, studying for her university exams, and with a room of her own in a safe and secure area on the fringes of Freetown. Seeing the intense joy on her face as she reads a card from her sponsor brings to life the extraordinary impact that our work has on youngsters like Celina.
The Tagba Family
Samuel Tagba is our brilliant in-country coordinator. An Ebola survivor himself, with a background as a primary school teacher, he lost his wife, brother and sister to Ebola in late 2014. In just a few weeks he became not only a single parent to his own four children, but the guardian of three nephews and nieces. Wharf Kids funds the education of all seven children, and is working now to secure a long term housing solution for the family after they were ostracised by their community – a sadly common ordeal for many Ebola survivors.
Fatima, Betsie and Jenneh
Little Jenneh, aged five, was the original Wharf Kid, who we first met in an Ebola treatment centre in July 2015, following the death of her mother and little sister. Placed into care on discharge from the centre, we helped her return to Magazine Wharf, safely in the care of her 21 year old half-sister Fatima and 10 year old sister Betsie. Today Wharf Kids funds the education and other livelihood costs for all three young women.
Sinneh and Memunata Kanu
Sinneh and his little sister Memunata are the only survivors from a family of nine. Sinneh lost his wife and children, while Memunata lost her parents, sibling, aunt and cousins to the virus. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of their charity sponsor, we now fund Memunata’s school fees, support Sinneh’s work to become financially independent again, and have rehoused them in a small, but dry, and safe house, in the heart of Magazine Wharf.