The Ebola epidemic began in March 2013, and has shown few signs of abating.
Although multiple stories have emerged in the media about the epidemic, very few have provided any narrative other than the death and destruction caused by a slow international response to the virus.
But, like all stories, there is another side to the Ebola epidemic that has been ignored: the stories for resilience, survival and brave caregivers.
These stories inform a new interactive platform called #ISurvivedEbola, which seeks to place “Ebola survivor stories at the center of efforts to inform, protect and spread hope.”
The site says its intention is that the interactive nature of the storytelling will “inform, engage and empower audiences to tackle Ebola”.
The campaign, which according to the website, is “funded by campaign partners, the Paul G Allen Family Foundation and Vulcan Productions and being implemented by PCI Media Impact in collaboration with Unicef, part of the broader #TackleEbola initiative”, seeks to remind readers of the human story behind the monstrous statistics and fear-mongering that have come to be associated with Ebola.
Take Decontee Davis, a 23-year-old Liberian survivor, who was treated for Ebola at a centre for three weeks in late August 2014. She now works at a centre for children who have come into contact with Ebola and need support. A mother of one, Decontee says she feels she can work there “because I have passed through it. I know the pain it can cause.”
Another survivor, young father of two Abdul Rahman Sanu, also tells a remarkable story of resilence.
A military nurse in Sierra Leone, he detected his symptoms early enough and isolated himself at a treatment centre, where he recovered from Ebola. He is now happy and healthy, with a bouncing new baby son and a secure career. He remains a role model in his community and country.
To join the movement and learn more about Decontee, Abdur Rahman and other Ebola surviors, visit #ISurvivedEbola.
– Featured image: Screenshot from the #ISurvivedEbola website.