Young Life West Africa Regional Director James Davis says the recently organized Ebola Survivor Camp was done by his institution as oppose to claims made by Assistant
Minister Tolbert Nyansuah that the camp was organized by the Ministry of health.
Minister Nyansuah responding to question on the survivors youth camp attributed the success of the camp to the Ministry of Health
“The Baptist Youth Camp you are referring to, the survivors there were taken there by our psychosocial team so it means we as a Ministry and a government cares for the survivors,” Nyansuah said.
Young Life West Africa Regional Director disagreed with the assertion by Minister Nyansuah adding that the camp was not sponsor by the government.
Davis said funding for the camp was provided by international Partners from America and Tanzania.
“The statement by the Minister Nyansuah was an embarrassment for our organization, we think the Minister made an error,” Davis said.
Davis said, in a telephone conversation Minister Nyansuah admitted that his statement was an error and will make the clarification anytime this week.
Davis said, the camp was meant to buttress government’s effort in the fight against Ebola adding that it also gives hope to survivors.
"In October, when people were dying all around us and bodies were left in the streets and nobody was allowed to gather or even shake hands, I never could have imagined that we would be having a camp in December; a camp full of Ebola survivors," James Davis said, choked up, "But it happened. It is a miracle. Only God could have done this."
Davis said, the camp put smiles on the faces of over hundred survivors and provided a fresh start for them.
Davis continues: “With tears of sadness and joy and smiles of hope, 117 Ebola survivors’ boarded busses on Monday and said goodbye to the Ebola Survivors Camp."
The Young Life West Africa Regional Director is currently travelling to Sierra Leone on an experience sharing mission.
“We are going to encourage and share our experiences and gains with the people of Sierra Leone. If Sierra Leone is not safe there is chance of Liberia having new cases,” Davis said.
One of the survivors narrating her experience at camp said the gathering has given her an opportunity to have a fresh start.
My life starts new right here and now," said 19-year-old Lorpu, who lost her immediate family of six people.
She survived the virus after spending the "worst days of her life" in the Ebola treatment center where she saw dozens of people die daily. "But these are the best days ever. I have a new family now."
The maximum capacity of the camp was 100, but the team had stretched the camp numbers to 102, along with 6 young children whose mothers or fathers could not go to camp unless the kids could join.
As the survivors gathered at the rally point to meet for the bus, 10 more survivors squeezed their way onto the busses and the Young Life leaders could not say no so the number was then 112 with 6 little ones.
Our Liberia Young Life team welcomed them with a red carpet (albeit a very small one) and a brass band. "When I saw the welcome I couldn't believe it.
The president doesn't even get welcomed like that," explained Ahmed Kamara, "It felt so good to be loved." Many of the survivors have been shunned by their communities, lost their families, had their possessions destroyed, and are struggling to find new life. After the welcome and dinner, an old taxi arrived and three survivors popped out, followed by a motorcycle with one more, and shortly after another survivor walked into the camp. They begged to stay.
"We looked at them and could not turn them away," James Davis explained--so the numbers were 117 campers and 6 little kids in a camp that barely holds 100. The United Nations World Food program donated two large tents that many of the team and survivors slept in.
Decontee Davis, one of our Developing Global leaders who herself barely survived the virus, was one of the campers. "It has been a while since I was a camper," she explained, "This was unbelievable. For the first time in months we felt like we belonged.