By Sanya Younossi – Program Manager, Kidsave Africa Programs
In 2014 the Ebola crisis ripped through Sierra Leone. The world responded, contained the virus and left, leaving thousands of children orphaned in Ebola Care Centers and orphanages. These children have been living without hope of ever seeing family again.
Kidsave is working to help these children rebuild their lives, ideally with extended family in their villages, or with new families when reunification is not possible. In 2017 Kidsave helped 101 children return to family life. Most of the children, 66%, were moved into the homes of relatives or family friends. An additional 26% were placed directly into new families.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries on earth. Yet families, often women, are opening their homes to these children. However, their economic situations are such that feeding and educating an extra child can cause additional stress. Consequently Kidsave is implementing a microlending program for women businesses owners who have taken in children and are at the most risk.