YMCA volunteers ready at an Ebola information booth in the West Point slums in Liberia.

Lizz Harrison, Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergencies advisor at Y Care International, reports from Liberia as communities devastated by Ebola struggle to recover.

As we squeezed down alleyways as narrow as my shoulders in the Liberian capital Monrovia’s biggest slum, West Point, I ask Jerry from Liberia YMCA how he knows his way around what feels like a maze to me. He answered ‘I guess you get used to it’. I guess you would.

I guess you’d have to get used to a lot of things if you lived here. Poor sanitation, very little healthcare, hunger. The average income here is less than $1 (about 70p) a day – if you’re lucky enough to have an income that is!

The Ebola outbreak didn’t just result in the loss of friends, family and neighbours, but also jobs, markets and opportunities.

West Point was quarantined after a number of cases of the deadly virus were found here last summer. People were not allowed to enter or leave, and since then fewer people come to the market. The local economy has collapsed and people are struggling to recover.

‘Tools for Recovery’ is critical in raising funds to invest in creating opportunities for young people.

We need to stay here to help the young people of West Point rebuild their lives and livelihoods, by providing tools, training – and hope.

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