On the Mend

8 Short Films from Sierra Leone after Ebola

On the 7th November 2015, Sierra Leone was officially declared Ebolafree. That seemed to suggest that the country could now move on, but the epidemic had left its mark everywhere: people’s faith in the health service and the authorities had been shaken; the virus had torn families and whole villages apart; friends became enemies, as fear of picking up the virus spread; suspicion was rife and ubiquitous, as was mourning, for the thousands who had succumbed to Ebola.

The effects of the Ebola outbreak will be felt for a long time to come. In order to rebuild trust within the country, it is vital that people in Sierra Leone start to process the catastrophe and that they gear themselves up for a secure future – a future without Ebola.

The media project Sierra Leone on the Mend hopes to assist in this rebuilding. The first step was to organise a two-week workshop in Freetown, where 24 young Sierra Leoneans were given training on how to make films. They worked together on themes and stories that they felt were important, and then produced scripts. Alongside this, they were coached in Media for Peace, examining the role of media for positive social change and its practical applications from design to evaluation. After the workshop, the participants produced eight short films. You can now watch those films as well as a video documentation about the project here on this site.

The films will be shown in Sierra Leone and beyond: at events, on television, at festivals – always with the same goal: to heal the wounds inflicted by the epidemic by initiating an open public dialogue. The Sierra Leone on the Mend project not only promotes media-savviness and plurality of opinions. It also paid for film equipment which was left in Sierra Leone so that other films dealing with relevant topics can be made in future.

A project by WELTFILME.org and Culture Radio in cooperation with SLADEA, and Xchange Perspectives

With financial support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Brot für die Welt.