LIBERIA — They are the living victims of Ebola –the children left orphaned by the disease. Many are stigmatized by their communities.
“Ebola is separating families because when your family has come down with the virus, nobody wants to touch [you]. Nobody wants to interact,” says New Georgia, Liberia Pastor John Ghartey.
Some, like Pastor Ghartey are trying to change that stigma. To prove they aren’t infected, he has welcomed kids whose parents have died from the disease into his home and has even held their hands. He’s talking the talk and walking the walk.
“They come to my house. They sit in my living room with my family. They are like a family to us now,” he says.
“This virus has impact [that’s] much greater than the direct number of people immediately impacted. For each mother there’s a child, for each father there’s a child,” says Sheldon Yett with UNICEF.
The United Nation’s Children’s Fund estimates that at least 2000 children have been orphaned in Liberia alone.