Neighborhoods on the Roadway to Healing and Recovery In Post-Ebola Sierra Leone


Bintu Sandy describes how the CHD group assisted pay her child’s school charge– Picture: Abdul Samba Brima.

I have actually resided in Sierra Leone all my life, consisting of throughout the Ebola break out in 2014 that left neighborhoods damaged and despondence. Today individuals here are discovering a method to recover and to resolve neighborhood concerns, which is causing resiliency, and, eventually, more powerful community-based systems that satisfy individuals’s requirements.

The Ebola break out in West Africa had the exact same mental impacts on people as war.

Not just did lots of people lose friends and family, however numerous survivors experienced stigmatization and discrimination once they had the ability to go back to their neighborhoods. These tensions increased psychological health issue in Sierra Leone, where there are few psychological health suppliers and little details about mental discomfort.


Almost 30 kilometers from the district head office of Kailahun, in the heart of Kissi Teng Chiefdom, sits Koindu town, on the Sierra Leone border with Guinea. Prior to the civil war started in 1991, Koindu was a dynamic organisation center, however was fired by the rebels throughout the dispute.

Individuals had actually hardly recuperated when Ebola struck. As the center of the infection, the city was grasped with worry as households were wiped out and neighborhood relations shattered.

Acknowledging the preconception Ebola survivors dealt with, the USAID Advancing Partners & Communities job presented neighborhood recovery discussions (CHDs) to assist neighborhoods hardest struck, like Kailahun, to resolve their issues head-on.

As part of the National Mental Health Technique, CHDs use psychosocial assistance that is having a favorable result on the lives of survivors along with their neighborhoods.

CHD sessions draw in more individuals since of the influence on the ground. Picture: Abdul Samba Brima.

The CHDs were easily gotten since a lot of individuals had continuous aggravations and were prepared for services. When I went to, I talked to 25- year-old Taiwa, who mentioned her several injuries and how the CHDs assisted her.

” When my partner passed away of Ebola, my kids and I were tossed out of your house since everyone believed we brought Ebola,” Taiwa informed me. “When I went back to my own household, they too avoided us, fearing we would spread out the infection to them. We might not share anything, not to mention consume together; it was a tight spot for my kids and me.”.

Neighborhood recovery discussions are led by skilled facilitators who bring neighborhood members together to air issues and think about methods to settle them. The facilitators likewise refer neighborhood members to higher-level psychological health or social well-being services as required. Through these efforts, Ebola survivors who were stigmatized and ostracized are now being accepted back into their neighborhoods once again.

In Koindu, the conversation groups provided Taiwa an opportunity to discuss her issues in front of other member of the family and the neighborhood as a whole. With the neighborhood group’s assistance and therapy, they discovered a service. Today, Taiwa is reunited with her household. “My kids and I are back in my partner’s home, getting along effectively with his household. We work his farmland and more than happy to continue his tradition.”.

After Koindu, I went to surrounding Kondeboithu, where neighborhood members utilize the CHD sessions to raise awareness about severe issues impacting group members– like financial and income obstacles– and discover services within the neighborhood. A lady called Bintu discussed how a little microenterprise group came together and assisted pay her child’s school charge.

” My child passed the Standard Education Certificate Evaluation and was to advance to high school. However my partner had actually passed away throughout Ebola and I had no cash,” she stated. “I discussed the scenario to this group and they assisted me.”.

She stated that other members have actually likewise gained from the microenterprise group through various interventions.

To this day, more than 705 neighborhood members in 45 neighborhoods have actually taken advantage of this psychosocial intervention.

I might just appreciate the spirit and determination of this neighborhood– when a location of war and Ebola– as it discovers responses to the various psychological health obstacles and wider neighborhood concerns.

I am motivated to see neighborhoods recuperating and showing a lot durability in the after-effects of Ebola. With USAID assistance, neighborhoods are being changed and poised for a much better future.


Abdul Samba Brima is an interactions planner at John Snow, Inc./ Advancing Partners & Communities Job.