Ebola aid appeal raises thousands in one week

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Warwick district’s link with Ebola-threatened Bo in Sierra Leone has led to thousands of pounds being raised for an aid appeal.

Since it was launched last week, One World Link’s appeal has now raised £2,000, through both members and non-members, which will help those most in need both during and after the crisis.

Meanwhile, Dr Paul Gully, one of One World Link’s founding members, who once lived in Leamington and has travelled to Africa to help the aid effort, has contacted members.

He said: “ We are flat out on the fight – I am working on Ebola treatment centres. We are supporting six new 100-bed centres, three in Freetown plus one each in Moyamba, Port Loko and Makeni.

“The biggest challenge is getting enough health workers, both international and national.

“There is no time for our normal programme work, although the waste management programme team have managed to keep the Bo project going somehow. They are a great bunch, but Ebola has subsumed everything including social life – the UK has removed dependents from Sierra Leone, so my wife is back in the UK - and the conversation is really only on Ebola.

“We are very low risk and the UK has beefed up its medical support for us through the presence of the military, so we are probably better off doctor-wise than before the crisis.

“I hope to be back in November for a couple of weeks but we seem to have moved to 24/7 working, which is quite tiring.”

Leamington-based charity Thare Machi Education has been providing DVDs on basic hygiene for Sierra Leone over the past few months and is now developing an Ebola-specific lesson to educate against some of the rumours and myths about the virus.

Rachel Butt, the charity’s chief operating officer, said: “Our lessons focus on key facts and are interactive, proving hugely successful with our target audience, which is primarily uneducated women and children. The lessons are translated into community languages, and put onto DVDs to be distributed for free to partners around the world.

“We have more than 30 lessons available, each in up to 50 languages – a total of 750 individual lessons with more waiting to be made, including four in Creole for Sierra Leone. We believe that these lessons could have a role to play within the context of existing projects, helping to educate community groups in their own language on a number of health topics.”

For more information about the charity visit tme.org.uk or to donate to One World Link’s Ebola appeal call 07775 853264 or visit www.oneworldlink.org.uk