With Ebola Fading, Students Return to School in Sierra Leone


After almost 10 months of school closure due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, schools across Sierra Leone re-opened today. Though the government has declared it safe enough to begin classes, the threat of Ebola is not completely stamped out in Sierra Leone. The first day of school at COTN was a mix of joy and precaution. Here are some photos from the day:

Ebola cases are decreasing in Sierra Leone, but the country continues to take precautions. Children at COTN's school had their temperatures taken on arrival to class.

The COTN school campus is now dotted with hand-washing stations. Students washed their hands between classes, another important precaution in preventing the spread of Ebola.

                                            Preschool students lined up before their class began.

                  Henry Tower, a former student who is now one of our top teachers, prepares for his class. 

Becky, like all the children in our homes, has been studying and learning through informal tutoring and classes in our Children's Homes this year. But this is the first time she's put on her uniform, walked to our school, and seen all her friends and classmates from the surrounding villages. 

   Students have a lot to catch up on, since they missed almost an entire year of school. "We sat for such a long time, not learning anything," says Bernadette, a student. "Everyone is so happy to be back in school."