A football team in Sierra Leone is making a difference in the lives of Ebola survivors. Created by Ericson Turay, the team has already attracted about 150 people in the community.
When Ebola virus hit the shores of Sierra Leone some two years ago, more than 3,000 people succumbed to the deadly disease that spread fast and wide.
The scourge almost brought the economy of the country to a standstill. Although a number of people survived the ordeal, they had to face deal with the overwhelming emotions and mental wounds left by the virus.
In a bid to provide healing and bring survivors together, Ericsson Turay, one of the survivors, came up with an idea to establish an Ebola Football team to serve as a meeting point for survivors in the community.
In a recent interview, Ericson told Xinhua that he himself contracted the disease when he was called to take care of some relatives who were suffering from the virus in Kenema, a city about 300 kilometers from the capital Freetown.
"My father called me and said 'come everybody has got sick at home', and three days later I got the Ebola virus," Ericson told BBC in an interview in November 2015.
"I lost eight members of my family. It is only me and my mum who survived."
Before the creation of Kenema Ebola Survivors FC, Ericson admitted that people were scared of them because they feared being infected too.
"Now people are coming closer to us, little by little. Anybody that survived Ebola, it is a blessing.
According to the young man in his mid-twenties, the help of the “almighty together with medication” made him survive the virus but not so for many other relatives who died from it.
Ericson together with one of his friends, Nadia Wauguier, established the Kenema football team with other survivors with the aim of creating awareness of their plight in the county.
According to the founder of the team, about 150 have registered for the club.
Eric said that the Ebola survivors live in loneliness abandoned by their community and despised by the government.
He said that if successful, the football team will help ease the physical and psychological pain most Ebola patients are going through.
They also intend to use the football team to reintegrate the survivors in the community.
Image credit: BBC
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