The Defense for Children International (DCI-Liberia), in partnership with Rural Human Rights Activist Program (RHRAP), has promised to provide at least 225 scholarships to Ebola- affected children.
DCI-Liberia seeks to promote a peacefuland cohesive environment for children’s survival and protection.
DCI-Liberia Director, Attorney Foday M. Kawah said his organization, through the coalition, is also providing an undisclosed amount of funds as livelihood grants for 700 households in five of the 15 counties.
The entire program, including social reintegration, hygiene and education support projects, will cost about US$150,000.
At a press conference in Monrovia last week, Atty. Kawah said the scholarships will target students affected directly or indirectly by Ebola virus disease (EVD) including Ebola orphans who lost at least one parent. The counties to be covered so far are Bomi, Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Margibi and Montserrado.
The social integration package includes the provision of school fees, uniforms and school supplies for the 225 school children.
“As we speak, there are new cases (of Ebola) that have emerged in Margibi County and robbed Liberia of being qualified as an Ebola-free country. We have embarked on the provision of hygiene kits to 40 schools where children are the most vulnerable,” he said.
He added that his entity was taking the new cases seriously and considering them as a challenge “because one outbreak could lead to a resurgence of the epidemic.”
DCI-Liberia program director Robert Konneh said the organization will take up to three months to roll out fully all the programs being promoted in the five counties.
“The livelihood grant targets elderly men and women heading households that have been made vulnerable as the result of the EVD and other homes that took in EVD-affected children but lack the means to fully provide for them,” he explained.
People who have suffered discrimination will also benefit.
RHRAP Director Lorma Baysah said the social integration package program, which was previously planned for child survivors and vulnerable households, will be conducted alongside of the EVD preventative campaign in the rural areas.
“It is frustrating to hear that new cases have emerged and we are going to galvanize all resources to ensure that we engage the process along with the social reintegration programs for the already identified beneficiaries,” he said.