The last few months have been extremely busy for the LNP team as they have been working at full steam in response to the Ebola crisis which reached Freetown in September. Here are a number of updates of their hard work:
- LNP were invited to be part of the Social Mobilisation Pillar of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) which is coordinating the national response to Ebola crisis. Alongside government bodies, the UN and other international NGOs, Nehemiah staff have been able to give advice and suggestions, especially about how to communicate how to remain safe to the people who doubt government announcements, which have been adopted by the EOC.
- LNP noticed that one of the biggest problems involving the virus was that the government was struggling to answer questions and meet the gaps in information in local communities. LNP devised a short drama which was played over the radio. Actors played the roles of a sceptic, religious leader and an expert discussing Ebola which represented views on the ground with the opportunity for people to call in to the radio station and ask questions. It was so well received that a number of communities requested the drama to be performed live around local communities. LNP trained others (including religious leaders whose voices are respected) to deliver the performance.
- LNP designed an Ebola sensitisation prgramme and the team have been targeting churches in Kissy, Wellington and Waterloo, teaching about how the disease is spread, how to prevent it, how to identify symptoms and where to seek treatment. These have been well received by the communities.
- The BBC World Service asked to conduct daily phone interviews with some of the Nehemiah boys to show the impact of the 4 day Ebola Lock-down on the ground. The programme was aired in the UK on 29th September at on BBC Radio 4. Listen here to 'Inside the Ebola Lockdown'.
- During the Lock-down, the Nehemiah boys used their skills and creativity to communicate the dangers of Ebola and spread awareness, through songs, raps, poems, performance and stories. Listen to 'The Ebola Rap' by James Brown, one of the guys at the Nehemiah Home.
LNP have begun to extend their work and hope to continue in meeting the needs of locals who are willing to self-quarantine after a member of the family have died, supplinging water, food and other basic amenities.