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Getting children back to school after Ebola

Plan International is helping send children back to school after the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. We are providing cash grants to women who have lost their livelihoods to support them to generate an income so they can send their children back to school.

Ebola, Education, Orphans
A young orphaned boy holds his school book in Liberia.

More than 11,000 people have died from Ebola since December 2013, including 4,000 in Liberia.

In January 2016, Liberia was declared Ebola-free for the third time.

Beyond the Virus

Our study, ‘Ebola: Beyond the Health Emergency’ has shed light on the wider impact that Ebola has had on children and their families.

The deadly virus has had a devastating economic impact; there has been a widespread and substantial loss of livelihoods and household income.

Because of this, many families, particularly those who have taken in orphans, cannot afford to send children back to school. In many cases, children themselves have been exposed to child labour so that they can contribute to the household income.

Cash grants can help kick start income generating activities, which will help women care for their families and make sure their children return to school

Although schools in Liberia reopened after 6 months in February 2015, many children are still unable to return because of financial restraints.

Children have a fundamental right to a quality education, and we are committed to helping them access this right amidst the devastating aftermath of Ebola.

Cash grants

As part of Plan International’s emergency response in Liberia, we are providing cash grants to women in Nimba, Lofa, Bomi and Montserrado, to kickstart businesses.

These cash grants will help struggling families get back on their feet, and allow them to send their children to school.

“We will continue to support women who survived Ebola and whose families have been affected,” Plan International Liberia’s Country Director, Koala Oumarou, said.

“Cash grants can help kick start income generating activities, which will help women care for their families and make sure their children return to school.” 

Supporting Children's Education

Ebola survivor Fatta Sheriff is still picking up the pieces after losing her husband and son to Ebola.

Education, Ebola
Many children are unable to re-enter school after the Ebola outbreak.

Fatta was left with her 2 daughters and 4 adopted orphans, but no source of income as her husband was the breadwinner of the family.

In the aftermath of Ebola, Fatta was given 110 US dollars emergency cash by Plan International Liberia, in partnership with the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee.

She used the money to open a local restaurant, and uses the little earnings from her business to help pay for her 2 daughters' school fees.

However, Fatta wants all of her children, including those she has adopted into her family, to go to school and learn.

“I am hoping to start a bigger and better business venture with the hope the profits will help me pay my children’s school fees, buy property and build our dream house. This was the future plan for me and my husband before he died – and I have to see it through.”  

Our cash grants are making a lasting difference in Liberia, and are making sure that more and more children can return to school and access their right to education.