In early 2014, West Africa was hit with the world’s largest Ebola virus outbreak. The two-year long epidemic led to more than 28,000 cases of Ebola and about 11,000 deaths around the world.
The CDC reports that at its height, 2 in 5 people who contracted Ebola lost their lives.
Men, women, and children were all affected by the deadly outbreak — families were left broken and thousands of children lost one or both or their parents.
The Ebola outbreak and the story of Garmai Sumo, a mother, caretaker, and an aid worker, is the focus of RYOT’s Oscar-nominated documentary short Body Team 12.
Garmai was one of the members of Body Team 12, a team tasked to collect the bodies of those who died from Ebola during the height of the outbreak.
The film explores the philosophy and heroism of those who worked on the ground in Liberia to stop the transmission of the disease.
In response to the lasting effect of the epidemic, Garmai founded the Ebola Orphan Project in partnership with Operation Blessing and RYOT Foundation. With Ebola at the brink of being eradicated in Africa, Garmai has shifted her focus from her work as an aid worker to helping orphaned children survive.
According to the United Nations, more than 16,000 children in West Africa lost parents or caregivers to Ebola.
The Ebola Orphan Project was created to help families — the aunts and uncles, and the goodhearted — who have taken in orphans that were affected by the outbreak despite the financial strain it could cause.
And with your help, Garmai has raised over $50,000 to fund her project that would allow 171 orphans to go to primary school for one year. The project will also fund school supplies and uniforms for these children. But most importantly, these children were provided a year’s worth of food thanks to Garmai and the Ebola Orphan Project.
But the work is not yet done and there are still more we can do to alleviate the strains that these children and their families are going through years after the outbreak.
This article is brought to you by our partners at RYOT. Click here to view the original article on RYOT.org