These stories were collected on the ground in Liberia and Sierra Leone in April 2016 by staff from BRAC USA and the BRAC microfinance team based in Bangladesh. Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, these stories accompany a retrospective case study that documents the recovery of BRAC's microfinance institutions after the Ebola crisis that devastated West Africa from May 2014 to January 2016.
Ahead of the Ebola outbreak, BRAC had been active in West Africa since 2008 running diverse programs including microfinance, skills and livelihood development, agriculture, poultry and livestock, adolescent empowerment, and community health worker initiatives.
BRAC staff and volunteers worked tirelessly during the outbreak to educate their communities about how to stay safe during the crisis. Supplies were distributed to BRAC's clients including chlorine, buckets, gloves, and hand sanitizer. BRAC's frontline healthworkers assisted with national quarantine efforts and some risked their lives persuading patients to seek medical help.
Over the course of the last two years, BRAC has focused on providing long-term support to families whose lives and livelihoods were dramatically affected by the outbreak. The stories on this site are illustrative of the resilience of so many women who are driven to keep moving forward, providing for their families despite severe hardship. This site is dedicated to them.
All photos are © Emily Coppel/BRAC 2016