If you could give anyone a hug right now, who would it be?
If you could get back in touch with an old friend today, who would you reach out to?
We are a group of community reporters from Sierra Leone. We have spent the past two years covering the Ebola crisis.
Ebola is a contagious and deadly disease that put our whole country on hold, and changed our mindsets forever.
This is a story about human connections in times of crisis.
Back in Touch is an interactive web documentary on love, loss and reconnection in post-Ebola Sierra Leone.
Produced by On Our Radar in partnership with the New Internationalist, it has been driven by a group of passionate and dedicated citizen journalists, whose stories offer a deep and unmediated insight into the aftershocks of the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
1. Finding My Father’s Grave
Reporter: Mariama B. Jalloh
The Ebola crisis may be coming to an end, but the search for those that died continues.
As numbers fade on poorly marked graves, time is running out for hundreds of families who may never find the final resting place of loved ones lost to Ebola.
2. Closed For Business
Reporter: Moses Fallah James
During the crisis, banks, borders and markets were closed for over six months.
Livelihoods were destroyed. The ban on Sunday markets is yet to be lifted.
3. Love in the Time of Ebola
Reporter: Bankolay Turey
For over a year during the crisis, physical contact was reduced to a bare minimum to avoid contagion.
No handshakes, no hugging, no kissing.
Can romance blossom on Whatsapp alone?
4. For Better or For Worse
Reporter: Moses Fallah James
Relationships are tested in times of crisis. Not all of them survive.
Ebola tore into the fabric of family life, and the relationships that bind them.
These are two similar stories, with very different endings.
5. The Baby is Ours
Reporter: Elizabeth Katta
Many families faced financial hardship during the outbreak. Girls felt the need to help take care of their families. Some men took advantage, offering support in return for sex.
My 12 year-old sister was one of many young girls who fell pregnant.
6. Clean Break
Reporter: Sixty Kamara
At the peak of the crisis, the government implemented a national lockdown. The entire population was forced to remain at home.
For one street beggar, the lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise.
7. Gaddafi and the Tripoli Boys
When Ebola entered an overcrowded Freetown slum, people feared the worst. However, a gang of unlikely heroes emerged to lead the fightback.
8. Football is Coming Home
Reporter: Amjata Bayoh
During the Ebola outbreak, all public gatherings were banned. After almost 2 years, the nation comes together once again to watch the national team play its first match on home turf.
Reporting by Amjata, Mariama, Med, Moses, Bankolay, Elizabeth, Sixty, Patrick and the rest of the On Our Radar citizen journalist network in Sierra Leone.
Produced, directed and filmed by Paul Myles
Edited by Davide Morandini
Web design by David Hill
Music by 19 Sound
Assistant Producer and Photographer – Laurence Ivil
Associate Producer – Hazel Healy
Production and Web Design Coordinator – Paula Hämäläinen
Production Assistant and Researcher – Jake Leyland
Consultant – May Abdalla
With thanks to:
NEON; Health Poverty Action; Morris and friends at the Sensi Hub
Flo, Erica, Georgina, James, Tiana, John, Sophie and Hana
And a special thank you to Libby, Adam and Tobias
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Access the interactive documentary on www.backintouch.org
Read more about our reporters and their stories on the June issue of the New Internationalist