Towards the end of 2019, Caritas Freetown, through mobile clinics, treated 1,263 Ebola survivors drawn from members of 10 communities who were provided with accessible and free of cost medical services at the comfort of their varied localities.
Those treated, Fr. Peter told ACI Africa, had various symptoms including headaches, chronic pain, ocular problems, lack of erection, loss of hair, early menopause and ear problems.
The project was also aimed at enhancing psychosocial support including trauma healing, counselling and body mapping for survivor’s children and adults.
During the implementation of the project, some 50 women drawn from impoverished backgrounds were taken through six months of intensive skills training in catering, event decor and cosmetology, practical sessions and apprenticeship and allowed to graduate in a colorful ceremony.
The women were then awarded certificates of completion and equipped with start-up kits to set up their income-generating ventures in their specific areas of training.
(Story continues below)
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After reviewing the progress of the 50 women, the leadership of Caritas Freetown has embarked on a market assessment process to find out the ventures that are more profitable for the women.
“This week, we have been conducting a market survey in five communities including Waterloo, Rokel, Looking town Allen Town and Portee with the help of the survivors,” Fr. Peter told ACI Africa during the Friday, August 14 interview.
“The survey continues through next week and a few more days thereafter,” he said, and added, “The aim is to identify commodities that are essential commodities that move very fast. Already, we have discovered that household food items and charcoal move very fast and would fetch money for the women.”
With a main objective to improve income-generating, educational opportunities and the well-being of 1,950 Ebola survivors and their families by December 2020, the “bridge project,” according to Fr. Peter, also aims at providing access to health care services for an additional 900 Ebola survivors and their families, among other objectives.
This story was first published by ACI Africa on 17 August 2020
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.