Robbed of her mother by Ebola, Fatumatta dreams of helping other children
It is months now since Liberia was declared free from the deadly plague of Ebola which struck West Africa early last year.
The mass appearance of people wearing PPEs (personal protective equipment) in communities is no more, the increasing daily sound of ambulances has significantly reduced too.
But the impacts of the virus, one may say, will remain indelible in the minds of Liberians, especially those hard-hit by the plague.
There are some that are left to live with lasting psychosocial trauma as a result of the immense loss the virus has caused them.
Little Fatumatta Ngonbu is no exception. The 10-year-old is one of the beneficiaries of the Post Ebola Student Assistance Program (#PESAP) launched by the non-profit organisation YOCEL (Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia) that is targeted towards assisting children orphaned by Ebola.
Fatumatta is one of those who greatly suffered at the merciless hands of the virus. She is like other children across the country who were robbed of the privilege of motherly love and care by the deadly virus.
She can no longer feel those warm hugs she once enjoyed from mommy upon her return from school. This little kid is now placed far from experiencing mommy’s fingers button her uniform during her early-morning preparations for school.
The whereabouts of her father, who should possibly be her alternative supporter, is not known. How can she work to make this world a suitable place for her?
Living with her grandmother now, little Fatumatta is attending a local public school (Voinjama Public School). She walks a fairly long distance to get there every morning.
She has to stand the psychosocial oppression from friends who still believe she is not safe to play with. With whom does Fatumatta mingle during recess hours?
In spite of all this, Fatumatta still believes she can make it on and break through the storm. She believes that if she puts behind her the sad story and studies her lessons, she can grow up and make a difference and be like famous women like Nobel Laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee.
She has a dream of growing up to become a medical doctor. She can help save lives and help stop many children from losing their parents to sickness and becoming orphans like herself.
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