×

Restoring Hope After Ebola

“Ebola took loved ones from each of us. Once they went to that big white building we never saw them again.”

ZOE group, God’s Choice officially began in August 2016, only a few years after the Ebola crisis ended in Liberia. The reminders of Ebola mostly live on in the hearts and minds of those who were left behind in its wave of catastrophic destruction.

On a recent Zoe Empowers vision trip, the team of visitors met many children who had been quarantined in their homes for twenty-one days after their parents were taken to the Ebola Treatment Center. As much as we try, it is impossible to imagine any child living alone in a small room for three weeks without anyone there to console them, calm their fears or even explain what was happening.

Alone, scared, hopeless, fearful and devastated were words the team heard over and over during their visit to Kakata, Liberia.

Hope arrived on July 1, 2016, when Legacy Collective committed to creating a Zoe Empowers partnership in Liberia. By July 14th a group of over 70 orphaned and vulnerable children from Ebola had been formed. They came together and chose to call themselves, “God’s Choice”.

On July 14, 2017, they will take the time to celebrate the first anniversary of when their group formation. They believe they have become empowered by knowledge. They describe themselves:

“We are like a fishing net; we are collecting children in our community who are in need. Now we are equipped to help each other.”

A Zoe Empowers partnership includes a commitment from the community where children live. Local leaders will donate a piece of land for the children to farm as well as a place for the children to meet each week. God’s Choice group was given a large piece of land to farm that will yield a healthy harvest. But this particular piece of donated land had a special meaning. The group explained that the big white building sitting on top of the hill overlooking their farm project had once been the Ebola Treatment Center during the epidemic. Every one of them had a loved one who had been taken there and never returned. They said,

“It is like our loved ones are watching over us as we become empowered. They see that we now have a hopeful future.”

We think their future is very hopeful. It is beautiful to see a building that once held such traumatic grief, has now become a beacon of light overlooking happy days ahead.

 

Phillip

Phillip’s parents left behind a home when they died of Ebola.  When he joined Zoe Empowers, he learned how to put the property in his name as the legal owner.  After his group had assessed his living situation, they determined the home was in desperate need of repairs.  A plan was made by his group to request the necessary funding from Zoe Empowers for the materials to make the repairs. His new Zoe Empowers family came together and constructed the improvements to make Phillip’s home safe once again.

Phillip has a thriving coal business that his very own. He is happy that he longer has to pick coal for another person’s profit. He now makes $20 in profit for the same amount of work that paid him $1.80 when he worked for others.

 

Joyce

After losing both parents during Ebola, Joyce and her younger sister found themselves exploited as laborers by a woman who had agreed to take them into her care. She shared that on many days she did not think she would make it.

Today, She has a safe place to live, is enrolled in school along with her younger sister, and she dreams of someday becoming a doctor.

“I am now happy because after Ebola, I was stigmatized but now I have friends and a family!”

 

Evelyn

After Evelyn’s father had died when she was very young, she moved to Kakata with her siblings to live with an aunt who promised to send her to school. Instead, she used Evelyn to work long days. Even now, Evelyn has no idea where her mother is. When Ebola came, her aunt died and so did Evelyn’s only source for shelter and food. She ended up living on the streets making money by washing clothes and clearing land. She was paid .25 cents for her work, which was only enough for a cup of rice.

Evelyn is now living in a home and has the beginning of a small business. Her singing voice is as beautiful and healthy as she is.

 

ZOE

Enter your keyword(s) below and hit 'Enter'

Free Download Request

Enter your information below for access to this free resource.

Share This