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Korto's story: How Ebola destroyed my life

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 04:14

In the slum community of Clara Town in Monrovia, many families were affected by Ebola. Lives were lost and families were left devastated. One of the families that were affected was the Kokar family. After losing loved one to Ebola, they have been subjected to stigmatization and hardship. 

ActionAid recently found out about the family’s situation and visited the family to provide food and sanitation supplies. When our team arrived at the family’s run down home, located right next to the community toilet, we were moved by the horrible conditions. Korto agreed to share her story with us.  It has been translated from Liberian English.

My name is Korto. I am 35 years old and I sell charcoal for a living. In June of last year [2014], my sister-in-law became very ill with a terribly high fever. We all thought it was malaria and took her to a clinic in the neighborhood for treatment.

As we were taking her, she asked me to look after my niece, [3 year-old Khadi], saying: “please take care of my child, because the sickness is giving me hard time”.

A few days later, my sister-in-law came home, still weak. Then she began to have diarrhea and vomit blood. Shortly after, she passed away.

 The Ebola team came to our house after she died. They sprayed the entire house and told us to stay indoors and not come outside for 21 days. We only had a little food in the house and that quickly ran out.

During the time we were under quarantine, it was hard for us. Since that time, nobody has died from us. Now I am the only person who is taking care of little Khadi. Her father, my brother, also survived after the quarantine period, but he is not working.

Even though we completed the quarantine, people are still afraid of us. My business is struggling because people are afraid to buy from me. The last few months have been very tough.

When ActionAid called me to find out about my family’s situation, I was so happy. It made me feel that despite all the troubles and hardship my family has been through and is still going through, someone cares.

I am grateful for the support that ActionAid has shown me and my family. 

I am also appealing to ActionAid to help me to send this child to school when school opens.