Last Christmas, millions of children lived in fear of the deadly virus. Today, Ebola has taken the lives of over 11,000 people, many of them mothers and fathers across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa.
At least 12,000 girls and boys have lost at least one parent to Ebola.
Vulnerable orphans are often ostracised by their communities, who fear they may still be contaminated with the deadly Ebola virus. Abandoned and alone, they face a bleak future.
We’re working hard to provide clothing, food, and shelter to these desperate orphans. By reuniting families and finding caring foster parents, we’re helping children feel loved again. And with our projects to help girls get back to school, we’re giving girls a brighter future.
There are thousands of orphans we simply cannot reach without your help. Please donate now.
The scale and spread of the outbreak means that Ebola is affecting some Plan-sponsored children and their families. Read the latest updates on our Ebola page for child sponsors.
A report by Save the Children, World Vision International and Plan International and UNICEF.
After over a year, Liberia has finally been delared Ebola free. Koala Oumarou, Plan country director for Liberia, reports from the ground.
Plan UK’s Calvin Laing offers his updates and refletions after two months on the ground in Sierra Leone, helping to co-ordinate our Ebola response.
It’s one year since the Ebola outbreak officially began and the crisis is far from over. The spread of the disease has slowed but not stopped, and the long-term effects of the outbreak are devastating.
Plan’s Ebola response includes food distribution, contact tracing and decontamination. But the disease also has many other impacts, showing why we must remain focused on Ebola.
Schools are reopening across Liberia this week after months of closure due to the Ebola crisis.
Plan UK's Calvin Laing surveys our work on the ground in Sierra Leone and warns against complacency in the fight against Ebola.
Plan UK's Calvin Laing is in Sierra Leone, coordinating our Ebola response. This includes running Community Care Centres, where Calvin met medical staff and found out what life is like inside a centre.
Henry, 18, blogs from Liberia on the Ebola crisis that has engulfed his country, the terrible toll it is taking on families – and how youth activists are supporting those in need.
Plan's Ebola work in Sierra Leone includes supplying quarantined families. It's vital work, but poses many challenges, as Calvin Laing saw first-hand.
Plan UK's Calvin Laing is coordinating our Ebola response in Sierra Leone, where we are helping to stop the spread of the virus and supporting quarantined families.
Ebola has killed more than 8,000 people across parts of West Africa. It has also halted education, with potentially disastrous consequences for children.
2014 was a tumultuous year for the people of Sierra Leone. How has life changed for people since Ebola gripped the country?
Plan’s Ebola Community Care Treatment Centres are a key resource in the fight against Ebola.
In Sierra Leone, children orphaned by Ebola are being isolated and stigmatised, writes Plan youth blogger Allieu.
More than 2,500 quarantined people in Sierra Leone have received vital supplies after distributions by Plan.
“Many of my friends are getting pregnant now schools are closed in the Ebola outbreak – and some have been forced into marriages”, blogs 17-year-old Christiana from Sierra Leone.
Plan is using posters, broadcasts and even comic strips to raise awareness of Ebola across West Africa if the virus should spread from the countries currently affected.
Misinformation about Ebola in West Africa is causing children to be stigmatised and ostracised from communities.
A Plan staff member from Sierra Leone has presented a petition of over 165,000 signatures at Downing Street, calling on world leaders to step up their response to Ebola.
Young people are taking action across West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak. Saatah, 16, from Liberia, is among the young Plan volunteers helping affected communities to control the spread of the disease.
Plan is highlighting how women have been affected by the Ebola crisis. Varnetta Johnson Freeman, a radio broadcaster in Liberia, explains the issues.
Girls in Sierra Leone are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a variety of risks as a result of the Ebola crisis, which has closed schools across the country.
The Ebola crisis has closed schools across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Youth advocate Kamanda blogs from Sierra Leone, highlighting the impact on young people.
New care centres run by Plan have opened this week in one of Sierra Leone’s Ebola hotspots.
Guinea is one of the countries worst-affected by the Ebola crisis. Plan's Rino Sudibyo blogs from Conakry, the capital city, and explains the challenges facing the country.
Update 30/10/14: Ebola orphans in Liberia
At least 3,700 children in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have lost a parent to Ebola. The number of orphaned children is soaring along with the death toll. Plan is fighting the outbreak and supporting vulnerable children.
Last month the Sierra Leone government enforced a 3-day curfew to fight the Ebola outbreak. Kamanda, a Plan youth advocate, was stuck in his house. He blogs on life after lockdown.
Medical workers in Sierra Leone are facing extreme challenges in the fight against Ebola, including stigmatisation and isolation as well as a high risk of exposure to infection.
Henry, 18, blogs from Liberia on the Ebola crisis that has engulfed his country and the terrible toll it is taking on families.
This year's World Food Day reminds us that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could quickly turn into a food security crisis. We must prevent this.
Dr Unni Krishnan, Plan's Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response, has stressed the need for a speedy and concerted response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
He recently appeared on BBC and Sky News channels, urging major international donors to commit more funding and technical support to the fight against Ebola.
"To date, the Ebola outbreak has always been one step ahead of the response", explained Dr Krishnan. "However, we now have a chance to shift the gears, as long as funds and technical support for the affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – are released quickly."
An insider's view of the crisis from an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia’s busiest city
Ebola has so far claimed 1,677 lives in Liberia alone (WHO, 21 September 2014), among them scores of single mothers who have left young families behind. Liberia has many one-parent families; a legacy of the civil war that ended in 2003, which caused a generation of traumatised, unemployed men to reject marriage and traditional family values.
Now, according to government sources, up to 300 children are struggling to cope after losing their parents and care-givers to the spreading epidemic.
At first Mary, 52, didn’t believe that Ebola was real. She’d heard the rumours going around town that Ebola was just a ‘government plot’ to frighten the population.
It was only when she listened to a patient talking about the virus on local Radio Kintoma that she realised Ebola was real, it was spreading – and it could kill.
Kamanda, a Plan youth advocate, lives in the north of Sierra Leone. He describes the increasingly desperate situation in a country gripped by Ebola.
Fears are growing that people could die of hunger in Sierra Leone as food supplies run low, due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Ebola outbreak.
Constraints on people's movements and the establishment of quarantine zones to contain the spread have led to panic buying, food shortages and price hikes
Plan’s Dr Unni Krishnan calls the Ebola outbreak a global wake-up call, urging fast and sustained action to control Ebola and prevent future epidemics.
Plan is fighting the Ebola outbreak in Guinea by spreading health messages to affected villages. Radio and mobile phones are key tools in the battle, blogs Plan's Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response, Unni Krishnan.