Since the outbreak of Ebola, filmmakers at the WeOwnTV’s Freetown Media Center have been producing educational videos and public service announcements to help sensitize the country about the crisis, teaching critical information about preventing the spread of the disease. The objectives of the campaign were to raise awareness within both rural and urban population across communities in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea on the Ebola virus symptoms, prevention and care for Ebola survivors. Now that the epidemic is close to being contained, we have begun to shift our social impact activities to address more complex psychosocial issues affecting the country.
There is a clear opportunity to foster positive change out of the devastating health disaster by providing forums for expression and peaceful debate through authentic Sierra Leonean reporting and expression. Because the most immediate paralyzing fears about the disease are beginning to dissipate, frustrations and social tensions that have been pent up during the outbreak are now emerging. Our most recent campaign NOW THE HEALING BEGINS: LIFE AFTER EBOLA addresses these pressing issues by creating new educational media directly and through supporting and engaging Sierra Leonean media-makers. In addition to educational media, they are producing a documentary series that will provide forums for political discourse and the sharing of Ebola-related experiences that is so critical for the country’s healing process. This work is adding a much needed authentic African voice to how the history of this crisis is understood and written.
LONG TERM IMPACT OF THIS WORK
This project will help establish trust between the community with health and government officials to avoid future health issues. Because of the attention the country received, local journalists have an opportunity to share stories about their country that celebrate the heroic acts of local medical staff and volunteer. They can create a portrait of the region that celebrates resilience and creativity and writes a history that moves beyond being singularly defined by tragedy.
Thank you to all the generous donors who have supported us in this effort. This campaign is supported in part by grants from The Bertha Foundation, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation and The Fledgling Fund.
PRESS & MATERIAL
08/20/14: The Daily Beast
08/23/14: BBC World Service NewsHour