As you may have heard Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are Ebola free, which is great news, but unfortunately it has, once again, really devastated these fragile countries. The hardships the locals have gone through and continue to go through weigh heavily on our mind and heart at The Greener Diamond.
"I know my brother and sister died from hunger and it makes me scared, I need food and clothing but my uncle has very little." - Jane, 8, an orphan in Sierra Leone
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the most affected countries, but a few cases have popped up in the US, Spain, Nigeria and Senegal. The virus was first discovered by an outbreak in 1976, which up until now had been the worst outbreak on record.
While past efforts for The Greener Diamond have been mainly concentrated on agriculture and creating job skills, we felt that switching gears with our next project to help with the effects of Ebola on diamond mining communities was the best way for diamond consumers can give back.
What you will not see in the press are the side-effects of the Ebola outbreak and the detrimental effects it is having on the already fragile infrastructure. Effects that are sure to be felt for years to come. The Ebola outbreak has affected the normal lives and activities of people by restraining movement, affecting businesses and crops, loss of jobs, stopping education, causing more financial difficulties, instilling fear and panic which in turn creates violence, and sadly creating even more orphaned children.
"Many communities were put under quarantine due to Ebola so they could not tend to their crops and could not plant before the rainy season. As a result they have lost their harvests and children are dangerously hungry." - Anna-Mieke Anderson
Unicef reported almost 18,000 cases and more than 6,000 people died from Ebola, creating 7000 orphaned children. Let us say that again...7000 ORPHANED CHILDREN, which is just heartbreaking. This is not including the estimated 12,000 children that lost at least one of their primary caregivers.
Most orphanages are full and lack the funding and supplies to support any additional children, so local families are stepping up and taking in extra children. These families have come to The Greener Diamond asking for help, and with your help we have been able to give back to those families in Liberia. We have organized emergency supplies and are paying the tuition fees for many of the children who lost their parents as a result of Ebola.
Diamond consumers at MiaDonna made this happen - THANK YOU!/
This project was implemented by one of our partners, Youth Action International: http://www.youthactioninternational.org/yai/index.php/get-involved/donations/For more information: