The deadly Ebola virus has killed nearly 10,000 people, but the negative effects go beyond those numbers. Tens of thousands of survivors and family members who have been quarantined, including orphaned children, have been shunned and left to face the stigma associated with Ebola. Even though a person in quarantine is declared Ebola-free after 21 days without showing symptoms, neighbors are reacting with fear.
EBOLA STIGMA STATISTICS
It’s time to stop the stigma!
Stigma flourishes in an environment of misunderstanding. Raising awareness and educating people about the actual risks are key to helping those who have been affected return to normal life with dignity and the love and support of their communities.
Local churches in Sierra Leone and Liberia are beginning a campaign called “21 and Free” as a way to educate their communities and support their neighbors and members. At the same time, churches and individuals around the world are invited to participate alongside brothers and sisters in West Africa in an act of support and solidarity.
There are 4 ways to get involved through 21 and Free:
PRAY. Quarantine lasts 21 days. Pray for those affected for 21 days. You’ll find a prayer guide in the 21 and Free guide, which you can download below.
GIVE. Use your resources to support the church’s efforts to respond to Ebola. Funds given to the
Ebola Response Fund will go toward education programs prevention and hygiene supplies, and food and vitamins for people in affected communities.
WEAR. Make and wear a bracelet with 21 beads as a reminder to pray and as a conversation starter.
SHARE. Use your voice to fight the fear and stigma. Mobilize your church, youth group, or small group in making bracelets and praying together.
The outbreak of the Ebola Virus has left a devastating impact on local families and communities in West Africa. The World Health Organization estimates that over 8,000 people have died and over 21,000 people are infected with the disease.
The Church of the Nazarene continues to respond with compassionate care and service to those in need. Through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and local church partnerships, we are providing education programs, prevention and hygiene supplies, and food and vitamins. Your donations have made these programs possible; however the need for resources is still great.
During this time of great need, we ask that you would join us in standing together with our sisters and brothers as we pray, fast, and give for the needs in West Africa.
"We don't want the church to lie dormant during this time. We want to participate in any way possible so that our communities will know that as a church we care, not only about their spiritual life, but their health life also."
© 2017 Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.