Nearly half the population of Sierra Leone is under the age of 18 years and the impact of the Ebola crisis on their lives now and on their future opportunities has been far-reaching: no school; loss of family members and friends to the virus; and changing roles and responsibilities in the home and the community.
While the priority now remains meeting the goal of zero cases, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) is also developing a comprehensive strategy aimed at supporting communities to recover from this crisis, to put the country back on track to meet development targets. The Ebola Recovery Strategy – currently being finalised by the GoSL – represents a potentially transformative framework to support the immediate recovery of children from the crisis and to ensure their place in the future development of Sierra Leone.
To date, there has not been a formal process for children to outline their own priorities for recovery to decision-makers. In mid-March 2015, child-centred agencies conducted a Children’s Ebola Recovery Assessment (CERA) in nine districts across Sierra Leone to create a mechanism for more than 1,100 boys and girls, to discuss issues of concern; assess the impact of the crisis on their roles, responsibilities and future opportunities; and to formulate their recommendations for recovery.
Lancet Global Health Volume 6, ISSUE 2, Pe146-e147, February 01, 2018
The community based programme aims to address the psychosocial needs of children and youth through helping to rebuild peaceful child- and youth-friendly communities through the use of cultural, creative, recreational, sportive and social activities. Within War Child, the community-based approach is relatively new and Sierra Leone was the first self-implementing War Child Programme Area (WPA) applying this approach.
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