This little boy lives in an Ebola orphanage with over 15 other children who have lost their parents to Ebola. They live a few houses down from our country director Prisie, and she shared with me her observations. When Prisie first visited the home, according to the house mother, the children were shut down emotionally and struggling to cope with the loss of their family. The children in the neighborhood refused to play with them due to the Ebola stigma, and they would even come over to harass and bully the children in the house.
“Auntie Prisie when are you coming to play with us.” Not only are the children playing when Prisie is present, they have begun to create art on their own and the house mother says that their affect and behavior has changed drastically. They have learned to support one another and learned how to support their healing. Because Prisie brings them outside in the neighborhood to play, the neighborhood children are now calling on to play with them as well.
We are saddened to hear the news that recent news Ebola cases have been discovered in Liberia. The entire Playing To Live! team will continue to provide the care and support as the country deals with this recurrence. Our hearts go out to the young boy who recently lost his life and the family members who cared for him.
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We will be providing you with stories of the communities we support. The children and their caregivers featured in this blog have provided consent to share their art, pictures and stories.