This is the story of Bossou, a village in Forest Guinea at the very epicentre of the deadly Ebola outbreak.
As COVID-19 takes hold in the UK and elsewhere, we’re being asked to put our faith in our government, our health officials and security services. To put our lives on hold, to stay at home, and to trust that this is the best way to slow the spread of the disease. It’s hard to overstate how important this trust is, because in West Africa we experienced what happens when this trust isn’t there – and just how vital local peacebuilders are for building a bridge between communities and government institutions.
The Ebola epidemic that struck West Africa three years ago impacted every section of society, but it was often women who were most affected by the tensions and conflict that the epidemic caused.
In August 2014 the World Health Organisation declared Ebola a ‘global health emergency’. Two years on, the health crisis has passed but the epidemic caused social divisions and tensions that are still having repercussions today.
For decades the border regions of the Mano River region countries have been prone to instability and insecurity. Conciliation Resources and our national NGO partners have been working for the past eight years to help alleviate these tensions at a local level.