Last month, we asked you to help us alleviate the suffering in the Ebola-stricken community of Buedu, Sierra Leone, where Andando has a long history. In addition to fighting the terrible disease that has already claimed thousands of lives, many in this area are struggling to carry on with day-to-day life, now threatened by hunger. With limited resources, those who are surviving are now going hungry as farmers we unable to plant their fields this year because of the risk of infection and illness.
Further, the quarantine of entire towns and regions necessary to help slow the spread of Ebola has impacted trade and trucks carrying food cannot reach isolated areas. The United Nations has reported that over one million people now face major food insecurity.
You responded and within two weeks we had enough funds to send rice and oil for 250 families. Our contacts got the necessary documents, organised the distribution and brought a little hope to this bereft town that they were not forgotten. It took our team a week to get there because of the poor road condition and difficulty with driving through quarantined areas.
When they arrived, community leaders had already registered the neediest families and the distribution took place quickly. People were overcome with gratitude for this relief that can alleviate the suffering temporarily.
William (pictured in brown shirt) is an eight year old boy from Buedu who tragically lost all his family members to Ebola. He is now alone and often goes hungry. Our colleague - Tamba Allen Boakai - managed to connect him with one of the families who received food and can stay with them until a proper solution is found.
Tuwor (pictured in white shirt) lost her husband and their four children to the disease, but was extremely grateful for the assistance and helped with the food distribution.
Another woman (pictured with her children) lost her husband and eldest daughter to Ebola and now faces the daunting task of raising her children on her own, compounded by the loss of the two people that worked her family’s field that provided them with food.
It is stories like these - and so many more - that demanded action. Andando is primarily involved in development projects - not relief - but this was an obvious emergency situation, a call for help from a community that we had worked with in the past, where we still have many friends that we could not let suffer like this.
The community of Buedu is very isolated in the corner of Sierra Leone, near the border of Guinea and Liberia. It is located about twenty miles from ground zero of the current Ebola outbreak and seventeen miles from the nearest Ebola treatment center on virtually impassable roads.
Only emergency supplies can get through to Buedu as it is in a quarantined area. Through these efforts, we were able to bring a little hope to this devastated community.
But there is still so much that needs to be done. We would like to repeat this process, this time on a larger scale. Since it is so difficult to get supplies to Buedu, we would like to do a larger shipment in December. This would alleviate hunger until the farmers can plant again.
Our goal for this effort is $10,000.
Please consider a donation to this overlooked side effect of the ebola crisis. The people of Buedu have been through so much sickness death and despair, and now they are faced with battling hunger. A little can go such a long way to helping alleviate suffering, and is something that you can do directly to help a family that has suffered through this unimaginable crisis.
Click here to donate. Thank You!
To read more about our efforts in Buedu over the years, click here. To read more about Andando and other ways to get involved, click here.