This is the story of Isata Koroma, age 26, from the Colbot Community in Sierra Leone. She is now a Peer Educator to help train and educate her community about how to help prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.
I am a member of the Community Based Disaster Management Committee (CBDMC) in Colbot Community, Cline Town in Western Sierra Leone. We have been doing the wrong hand washing process in my community because of a lack of knowledge. Elders as well as children and school pupils even do not know how to wash their hands properly. Our children cannot wash their hands properly after using the toilet. As a result of this, the community suffers very much in times of Cholera outbreak and will suffer from Ebola. I want to thank the YMCA for conducting this important training on Ebola prevention and control for us in this community, especially on proper hand-washing. The training has improved the knowledge of those who attended. After the session on proper hand-washing during the training, I was able to do a demonstration in the presence of ninety-two (92) participants from four communities (Colbot, Oloshoro, Dworzack and Kroo Bay). As a result of the knowledge gained during this training, I will also teach other members of the Community Based Disaster Management Committee who were not present for this meeting. Secondly, stakeholders and other community members will also benefit from my peer education outreach work. I thank the YMCA for organizing this important training on Ebola for us. I now know that Ebola is not a political tool used by the government to reduce on the country’s population. When I get home, I will tell my community that Ebola is real, and it kills. Therefore we must all join to eradicate it from our communities and Sierra Leone in general.