The 21 Scary Days of Ebola: Saa’s Narrow Escape

Saa wants to change the lives of children through sports.

As I finish writing this email, I will rush to attend the funeral of the most senior health worker in the district I leave. He got infected with Ebola and did not survive. This morning and as I write now, there were 16 dead bodies abandoned on the streets of Freetown. – Moses Saa, Director, Score Sierra Leone. Thursday, October 17.

My friend, Saa wrote this email to me last week. He did this from an Internet café where his connection got disrupted multiple times.

Saa, like so many others in Sierra Leone is just surviving- trying hard to stay away from Ebola.

Just recently, he and his wife had the scariest 21 days of their lives. His wife,  a trained nurse with about 15 years experience did a blood test on a pregnant woman for malaria on September 8. Four days later, the woman died of Ebola.

“My wife became very worried she was not eating properly and not sleeping well because of the fear that she might have been infected and would have possibly passed it on to me.”

She was traumatized.

“On the 15th we isolated ourselves from our children. We tried to do some tests but there were no Ebola signs and symptoms but we were both still scared.”

What was their biggest scare? Not just death. “But who will take care of our children? Those nights I looked at my youngest son- aged 11 in his eyes and imagined he will be an orphan at any moment. It was stressful but thank God the 21 days have passed and both of us did not develop any signs. We are okay.”

Saa is a social worker who wants to redefine the way his people live and work in Sierra Leone. A committed nonprofit advocate, Saa’s organization, Score Sierra Leone  is  using the power of sports to bring discipline among young people. He wants  youngsters to break the barriers of tribalism, ethnicity and regional divide.

The easiest thing I can do for Saa is to build a website for his organization, Score Sierra Leone. Once we launch it, I’d strongly urge you to take a look at the amazing things he is doing for children, despite the odds.

India is a Favorite Destination for Global Corporate Giving

India topped the list of countries where most corporate giving went from international businesses in 2012, according to a recent report by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP). Among 60 large multinational companies that gave a total of $6.8 billion, nearly 70 percent earmarked a share of   their corporate giving to India.

The study, authored by CECP’s Carmen Perez found that most large businesses chose to invest their  funds in geographical neighbors and emerging markets. The study  tracked giving according to three categories, namely direct cash, foundation cash and in-kind contributions.  Total giving per company ranged from $450,000 to about $1.5 billion. The median total giving was $29.25 million.

Below are key points from the study that show trends in global corporate giving :

  1. Global corporate giving remains unevenly distributed. Some companies elected to give large contributions to a select few countries while the others received much less.
  2. A company’s strategic business needs dictate corporate giving, especially among multinationals investing in emerging markets.
  3. Corporate interests govern giving and funds typically flow into neighboring countries or to emerging markets.
  4. Emerging markets namely India, Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico received larger charitable contributions in 2012, driven largely by robust economic growth.
  5. Businesses gave less in countries like Turkey and Venezuela citing instability and political turmoil.