The deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus recorded is attacking Liberia. Ebola is an infectious and fatal disease that takes the life of approx. 80-90% of the people who contract the virus.
Ebola is gaining strength every day in Liberia and the longer it stays the faster the death toll will rise. The breakout has been declared a “National Emergency” by the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Co–discoverer of the Ebola Virus, Professor Peter Piot states two ways that we can combat the virus.
“The combination of quarantine of those with the disease and relatives to make sure they are not spreading the infection, and community mobilization. Information can save lives here. The fear of the virus and running away from health services contributes to perpetuating the spread of the Ebola virus.”
World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Dan Epstein recently said,
"It's very difficult for us to get into the community where there is hostility to outsiders. Our tactic is to get insiders, including organizations, community leaders, and people respected, who can go into the communities."
Over the last 7 years L.A.C.E.S. has built strong relationships through sports leagues with 4 communities throughout Liberia. In response to the outbreak L.A.C.E.S. will combat Ebola through community mobilization, sharing information to save lives.
Some of the communities they work with are situated in the Hot Zones (were Ebola cases have been reported), and L.A.C.E.S. will respond by using their existing network to carry out awareness activities. L.A.C.E.S. aim to spread information regarding what Ebola is, how it spreads, the symptoms of Ebola, how to prevent the virus, and what to do if infected.
L.A.C.E.S. will be raising awareness of the issue through a number of channels hoping to reach out to over 1500 people about how to fight the virus. L.A.C.E.S. will be:
- Training community leaders and coaches using materials provided by the Ministry of Health in Liberia.
- Work with L.A.C.E.S. coaches and staff to carry out house to house Ebola awareness starting with the homes of the children we are working with
- Hold community wide soccer games. During these events our children will share how Ebola spreads, we will pass out educational materials, and do demonstrations on how to prevent Ebola.
In 7 years L.A.C.E.S. has impacted the lives of:
- 700 Children
- 114 Coaches who are being empowered to positively impact their future generations.
- 14 staff employed in a country with an unemployment rate of 85%.
L.A.C.E.S. teach teamwork, mentorship, and sports to combat the various effects of unsupportive upbringings and environments. Practice time and game time develop both skill and character. We coach the player, mentor the person, and see the potential. In this way, L.A.C.E.S. fosters the development of young leaders on and off the playing field.
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