Ebola is putting everything we’ve done in Liberia at risk. A country trying it’s best to move forward after nearly two decades of civil war is now being ravaged by the ebola virus. School is cancelled for the fall semester and people are frustrated and scared. The government has little capacity to get the problem under control. They are calling for more U.S. government support, but it’s moving relatively slowly compared to the rate that the virus is. Aid groups are providing support, but more support is needed.
The situation with the government’s inability to respond is resulting in unrest, frustration, and fear–factors that could lead to civil unrest, and take Liberia in the opposite direction of where it’s been trying so hard to go.
As for the specific communities we work with in Liberia, neither have been directly affected by the virus, thankfully. But the situation is VERY vulnerable. Our school in Gardenersville is just outside Monrovia, and not at all far from where the virus is terrorizing people. It can spread quickly and easily, and our students and their families are all hunkering down at home in fear. No schooling happening.
Here is some additional background reading on the epidemic
The Worst is Yet to Come in the Ebola Crisis, WNYC Public Radio
Here are some charities to consider supporting, including one effort being led by a doctor from my hometown.
Bernadine Franciscan Sisters (this is the charity Dr Timothy Flannigan, from my hometown, is working for)
Or if you prefer to donate directly to FUEL Youth, we will make sure all funds go directly to the work being done to help with the epidemic in Liberia. DONATE HERE.
Supporting the effort to stop the spread of the ebola virus is important for Liberia, important for the world given the nature of the virus, and good for the work that we do as FUEL Youth in supporting education in Liberia. Thanks for your support.
-Sean O’Connor, co-director, FUEL Youth