by Brian Smith, EPC Director of Communications
With the Ebola pandemic raging in the west African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and beyond, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help minister in Sierra Leone though its partnership with EduNations. A resident of Rokassa, Sierra Leone, where several EduNations students live and the organization operates a school, recently died from the virus and his extended family were likely exposed.
“This is the first time one of our villages has been directly affected by Ebola,” said Dean Weaver, Lead Pastor at Memorial Park EPC in Allison Park, Pa. “The family and village need our prayers.” Weaver is Board President for EduNations and also serves on the EPC Committee on Administration.
He noted that EduNations, in cooperation with the Presbyterian Church in Sierra Leone, recently held a weeklong community awareness program about Ebola. “It is our hope that we can continue to aid and educate these villages to prevent the spread of the virus in these communities.”
Gifts to the fund will help assist EduNations’ ongoing efforts to prepare and ship Ebola-prevention educational materials, water buckets with lids, bleach, gloves, masks, bathing soap, and Bibles. In addition, donations will be used to help pay salaries of teachers and staff whose schools have been forced to delay opening because of the health crisis.
According to World Health Organization estimates, more than 4,500 people worldwide have died from Ebola this year, including as many as 20 a day by October 21 in Sierra Leone.
Donations can be sent directly to EduNations at www.edunations.org/donation.php or to the EPC Office of the General Assembly at 17197 N. Laurel Park Dr., Suite 567, Livonia, MI 48152. Online giving through the EPC website is available here; choose “Emergency Relief” from the category menu, then “Sierra Leone Ebola Relief (501)” from the subcategory menu. All contributions received by the EPC will be forwarded directly to EduNations.
EduNations (edunations.org) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2004, it is devoted to building schools to make education free and accessible to children who otherwise would not receive one. The organization currently operates six schools in remote rural areas of Sierra Leone.