Press Release: WACC helps with education effort if the fight against Ebola
George Bright : 703-725-6968
Clarissa Bannor: 571-723-3005
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Ebola is a global issue; how a local African Organization is helping.
There is a high West African Immigrant population from the countries severely affected by the epidemic in Northern Virginia. According to the Brookings Institute, as of 2008 foreign born Africans make up 4% of all immigrants in the Washington DC region. Africans are scattered throughout the country, mainly in big cities, especially Texas, Maryland, New York and California.
As a global issue, Ebola is of concern to all Americans, the African immigrant community, especially. As citizens, neighbors, and parents, Africans in America are concerned about the Ebola outbreak, as the disease can affect loved ones here and relatives back home, in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks of this nature, and the West African Community Collaborative is doing just that, by reaching out and disseminating preventative information and facts about Ebola to the community, who can subsequently relay it to relatives back home.
The West African Community Collaborative (WACC) is a collaborative civil association of community organizations; nonprofit, faith-based and direct-service organizations that provide services to the African community in Northern Virginia. WACC specializes in helping African citizens in the area understand how to access information and resources available to them.
“We do not want West Africans in the Metro Area being stigmatized because of the fear of this Ebola disease,” says Mr Bright, WACC’s spokesperson. “This sense of stigmatization is raging across the nation in spite of assurances from health authorities that the virus is only transmitted through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. The fear has even more escalated with the death of a Liberian immigrant in Texas and the subsequent discovery of symptoms on some nurses who had contact with him.”
The collaborative, through it’s specialized programming, educates and provides workshops to Adults and youth in the areas of mentoring, youth programs, adult programs, county and community resources, to encourage and create cultural engagement in their neighborhoods. The Collaborative members serve on committees that address cultural issues, education, workforce development, human services, and community-building programs. Within this framework, the members in WACC strive to serve a broad range of closely inter-related challenges that face the West African community in America as a whole.