Nearly half the population of Sierra Leone is under the age of 18 years and the impact of the Ebola crisis on their lives now and on their future opportunities has been far-reaching: no school; loss of family members and friends to the virus; and changing roles and responsibilities in the home and the community.
While the priority now remains meeting the goal of zero cases, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) is also developing a comprehensive strategy aimed at supporting communities to recover from this crisis, to put the country back on track to meet development targets. The Ebola Recovery Strategy – currently being finalised by the GoSL – represents a potentially transformative framework to support the immediate recovery of children from the crisis and to ensure their place in the future development of Sierra Leone.
As Sierra Leone emerges from one of the most challenging crises in its history, boys and girls have clear views on what they need, want and expect from decision-makers in the community and government. Education, access to healthcare and a safe environment in which to grow up rank top of the list for children’s recovery from the legacy of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Isabelle Risso-Gill and Leah Finnegan on behalf of Save the Children, World Vision International and Plan International and UNICEF / 2015 / Save the Children