Nonprofits Team Up to Bring Help to Millions Affected
Oklahoma City, – Feed the Children and Curamericas Global are partnering to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, and to assist those areas already infected with the disease.
Up to 75 percent of those killed by the Ebola virus are women, many of them mothers who are leaving thousands of children orphaned. To prevent more children from becoming orphans, Feed the Children and Curamericas Global are combining forces with local volunteers in countries affected. Because of our decades of experience in international relief and partners already on the ground in affected areas, Feed the Children and Curamericas Global are able to bring help and assistance quickly to those in the most need.
“Feed the Children recognizes the extreme need to bring help to these populations who are already affected or at the most risk,” said Feed the Children president and CEO Kevin Hagan. “As an international relief organization, we want to be sure that the children who are most at risk are not left behind to fight this battle on their own. Feed the Children and our partners at Curamericas Global are working to ensure they have the resources needed to overcome this disease and prevent it from becoming a global outbreak.”
For the next year, Feed the Children and its partners will work through a network of hundreds of trained “Care Group Volunteers” to promote practices that reduce transmission of the virus and improve child survival, including hand washing with soap, proper disposal of feces, properly identifying symptoms of the Ebola Virus, and promoting rapid care seeking. These volunteers will also help families to recognize symptoms of Ebola, reject rumors and false beliefs about the disease, refer suspect cases, and coordinate with burial teams to avoid transmission of the virus. Feed the Children will also support Ganta United Methodist Hospital so that they can better care for the Ebola patients they are treating (based on the most urgent needs they identify).
In addition to increasing illness and deaths, the Ebola virus has also caused other problems for children in affected areas. Food markets are beginning to close, which has caused many families to struggle to find enough food for their children. Fear of virus transmission has also caused some families to stop taking their children who are sick with other diseases (e.g., pneumonia, malaria) to overwhelmed health facilities. These vulnerable children are now at risk of dying from other illnesses, as well.
“Curamericas Global is committed to continuing our partnerships and work in Liberia. We will prevent the further spread of Ebola through trust and partnership, building on the success of the past six years,” said Curamericas Global Executive Director, Andrew Herrera. “The opportunity to work with Feed the Children will ensure resources are quickly directed to a high-risk rural area and help our partners help themselves.” Brenda Booth, Chair of the Board of Directors of Curamericas Global commented, “I have seen firsthand the incredible success of our work in Liberia. Community Health Workers save lives every day, doing a job that is dangerous in the face of the Ebola virus. We will do all we can to support them.”
The new united programs between Feed the Children and Curamericas Global are also intended to help prevent the spread of the Ebola virus into currently unaffected areas like Kenya.
Kenya receives more than 70 flights per week from West Africa and has been designated a high-risk country for spread of the Ebola virus by the World Health Organization. Feed the Children will also set up a similarly-styled volunteer program for education in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, and one of the largest in the world. Due to the high population density, Kibera is at higher risk for rapid spread of the Ebola virus, should cases appear in Kenya. Trained volunteers will help thousands of mothers and their children to adopt important practices that can prevent and halt the spread of Ebola, like hand-washing, proper burial procedures, recognizing the deadly symptoms, and timely reporting of cases.
Tom Davis, Feed the Children’s Chief Program Officer commented, “This speed and power of this epidemic present a choice to the world – to respond rapidly and compassionately to halt the spread of Ebola, or to sit back and watch another epidemic reach the size and destructiveness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It will be much harder and more expensive later to wipe out Ebola if it becomes endemic in Africa. We must act now to stop Ebola.”
Find out more information on ways you can help stop the spread of Ebola and donate at www2.feedthechildren.org/ebola.
About Feed the Children
Established in 1979, Feed the Children exists to end child hunger. It is one of the largest U.S.-based charities and serves those in need in the U.S. and in 10 countries around the world. It provides food, education, essentials and disaster relief. Domestically, it operates 5 distribution centers (located in Oklahoma, Indiana, California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania).
In fiscal year 2015, Feed the Children distributed 107 million pounds of food and essentials valued at $302 million to people in the U.S., and internationally, it sponsored nearly 24,500 children, addressing the root causes of poverty through child sponsorship and school sponsorship. It is accredited by GuideStar Exchange and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance as well as is rated by Charity Navigator.
Visit www.feedthechildren.org for more information.