On 7 November 2015, Sierra Leone was officially declared Ebola-free. It seemed as though the country had put the epidemic behind it, but the fallout was far from over. Trust in the health care system and government agencies was deeply shaken. The virus had torn families and entire villages apart. Suspicion was everywhere — as was grief for the thousands of lives lost.
The ON THE MEND project played a critical role in Sierra Leone’s reckoning with the consequences of Ebola. 24 young Sierra Leonians were trained as filmmakers during a two-week workshop in Freetown. Together, they worked on turning their own ideas and stories into screenplays, while also exploring the role of media in times of crisis.
Following this training, the participants created eight short films, which were shown both in Sierra Leone and internationally with the goal of healing the wounds of the epidemic through dialogue. Part of the project involved the acquisition of film equipment that will remain in Sierra Leone, creating a sustainable future for further film creation.