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23/10/2015 - RMG - "The young people, the doctors and nurses, were the heroes against Ebola"

(ANS - Rome) – In an interview with ANS, Fr Jorge Crisafulli, Provincial of the Salesians in English-speaking West Africa, said that after months and months of effort, with the decisive contribution of benefactors and the direct intervention of the Rector Major, the Salesian centre for Ebola orphans in Freetown in Sierra Leone has once again become a school, because all the children housed there are either reunited with their extended families, an uncle, a grandfather or entrusted to foster families.

"The commitment of the Salesians now, for the next three years, is to accompany and support these children and their families, making sure that they are well treated, that they go to school, and that they are happy ..." he says with satisfaction.

The aim of the Salesians is to put child welfare ahead of everything else, and this has resulted in a significant work effort with great use of means and resources. In some cases it was necessary to build small houses, provide legal assistance, and to provide support for foster families for three years.

Fr Crisafulli says "we have always tried to achieve a holistic, long term healing process. The children stayed in our centres for between three and six months. They were cared for by Salesians, teachers and social workers, and received treatment that included physical, emotional, and psychological recovery."

In addition, the Provincial noted "The young people, the doctors and nurses, were the heroes against Ebola (...) I also want to mention the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement. They were the first to help. Even before the Salesians and the bishops intervened, they were already on the streets and in the markets, distributing pamphlets and also preparing sketches and songs to explain how to prevent infection. The first song on the radio against Ebola was by the young people of the SYM.

The full interview can be found in the Service section of ANS

Published 23/10/2015

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