Three children who lost their parents to the Ebola virus months ago in Caldwell, fear the worst if urgent aid is not forthcoming to alleviate their suffering.
The Passawe children, Ahmed, Bendu and Mohammed, have not smiled since they lost their parents back in June of this year. Forgotten about and not registered by the Ministry Of Health or Gender as children in need, they have been struggling to survive day by day for the past five months.
“ It’s not easy for us getting up everyday to go and beg,” they stated.
Their father, who was a medical assistant at the T&M Neighboring Clinic in Caldwell, is said to have contracted Ebola during the second outbreak. Following his death, three other members of Mr. Passawe’s family passed away, including his widow, son and nephew.
“When Mr. Passawe died, his body was seized by the government after his family tried to bury him in Cape Mount.
Another health practitioner who was treating Mr. Passewe also died. He died a week after Mr. Passawe,” stated a community resident who did not want to be named.
The children have been on their own since then, and, according to residents, after they were released from their 21 day quarantine, they never stayed at home much.
“Early in the morning the three children would go to look for food, and by night they would return home. No one used to see them. Their situation made them afraid of everyone” stated the resident.
As things got worse for the children someone notified Madam Tenneh Sette who claims to be their grandmother.
“I was out of town and after the death of their parents I was called back to town to take care of them. Unfortunately, half of the market their mother was selling was damaged during her illness. The little market that is left can’t even provide for a single individual, let alone three children,” Ma Sette explained.
According to Ahmed, who is in his mid-teens, Ma Sette is having financial problems taking care of them.
“Many days we have to beg for food and other needs from relatives, and I know when school starts, it will be hard for us to go,” the sad faced teen stated.
Ma Sette, who thinks she’s unable to take care of them much longer, craves for help. She says the children are traumatized, sad and hungry.
“I’m finding it difficult as a single person to provide for these children on a daily basis. They often go to bed without food and in their situation, that’s the worst thing that could happen to a child,” she tearfully added.
According to the family, they need assistance from the government and other humanitarian people.
“I need aid to provide education and other basic necessities for these children. We are in a complete level of hardship,” Ma Sette cried.
Meanwhile, Caldwell Township administrative assistant, Madam Hawa Johnson, noted the lack of progress for children who have lost their parents to the Ebola virus.
“We’re finding it difficult to get proper support for them in our township. Most of them are now spending their days in video clubs, play station booths and on the streets,” Hawa worried. ”These children have been stigmatized by their communities and having lost parental attention and without homes, they are looking ragged,” she lamented.
According to the township administrative assistant, there is an urgent need for aid in Caldwell for these Ebola orphaned children.
“Help us,” six year-old Bendu Passawe said as tears rolled down her face.