‘My husband was a dispenser giving out medicine at a government hospital when he caught Ebola. He set out one morning and then started feeling ill at work and so they admitted him right away, he died two days later so he never came home. We weren’t even allowed to see the body and it was only later that they told us where the grave was. As soon as this happened our compound was quarantined for 21 days, they placed a tape around the house and armed police guarded it to make sure that we didn’t leave. We had to rely on the government to feed us but we didn’t have enough food. We were stigmatised, the whole community rejected us. They looked at us like we were the virus. It was so sad. I would’ve preferred to be dead than live in that situation again. Then, whilst we were under quarantine, our eldest son got ill. He had high blood pressure with stress, the ambulance came to take him and he never came back. Later we learnt that he has died of Ebola so we were quarantined for another 21 days. The children weren’t happy, they couldn’t play with their friends, they felt the bond of the quarantine. They cried because they missed their dad and they didn’t have enough food. It is only recently that the children have stopped crying. Street Child has been such a solace for them, they’re no longer as traumatised as they were. As wives, we’re still not happy because our breadwinner is gone. The business grant from Street Child meant I started selling pepper, okra, palm oil and vegetables, the grant is a source of courage to me - it helps reduce worry. The business is growing gradually but it’s still tough when you have this many children and you have no husband. Life is still tough for us but I’m glad our children are in school, because at the end of the day, it’s the children that can make their story a different one.
Manu sells okra, pepper, vegetables and play oil.
- Manu Tommy - Family Business Scheme - Bo-5710.jpg
- Chris Parkes
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- Contained in galleries