Kick Ebola Out of Sierra Leone

Filmmakers at the WeOwnTV Freetown Media Centre together in partnership the Sierra Leone Film Guild worked from the earliest days of the Ebola outbreak on educational public health content and short form documentary content that was shared both locally and internationally. Michael Khargbo, head of television at SLBC called our educational films, ‘by far the most effective material he has seen.” In Sierra Leone, now that the epidemic is close to being contained, we have begun to shift our activities to address more complex psychosocial issues affecting the country. At this time, it is more important than ever to provide forums for expression and democratic debate so that Sierra Leoneans feel that their voices are heard -- and thus, critically impact positive social change. In this way, this work not only seeks to educate and spread awareness about pressing issues facing Sierra Leone, but also fosters empowerment while creating agency.

Our new campaign NOW THE HEALING BEGINS: LIFE AFTER EBOLA addresses these pressing issues by directly supporting and engaging Sierra Leonean media-makers and community members to play a part in writing this chapter of their country’s history. We look at the Survivor film as the centerpiece of this multi-platform campaign engaging conversations and facilitating a global dialogue. The three new components of the campaign are: (1) a short documentary portrait series, (2) our citizen journalism project ‘Street Soldiers’ (3) the continued educational video and PSA campaign. Both the short documentary portrait series and our citizen journalism project ‘Street Soldiers’ provide forums for political discourse and the sharing of Ebola-related experiences that is so intrinsic for the country’s healing process. The documentary portraits will also feature nurses, doctors, and ambulance drivers, among others, showcasing the heroism waged by so many Sierra Leoneans in the face of catastrophe. While the documentary series will work with our core team of media professionals, our citizen journalist program calls upon the wider network of storytellers with whom we have been working for the past two months.

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