In May 2014, Sierra Leone reported its first case of Ebola in Kailahun, a remote, marginalised, and impoverished district bordering Liberia. The district had one of the highest concentrations of Ebola infections during this outbreak. After this, over 1600 children were orphaned and gender inequalities were exacerbated . Public health control measures put in place by the government of Sierra Leone included closing all schools and prohibiting public congregation.
The educational programme “Getting Ready for School”, funded by the UK charity Comic Relief, had been operating since its launch in 2011 within 21 schools in Kailahun. While many other educational services stopped entirely in Kailahun, the Getting Ready for School programme was redesigned as a radio education programme called Pikin to Pikin Tok (PtPT), meaning Child to Child Talk, in Krio. The lead consortium partner was Child to Child, a UK based international child rights non-governmental organisation (NGO) (www.childtochild.org.uk), and the lead implementing partner was Pikin-To-Pikin (www.pikintopikin.org), a local NGO. The goals and objectives of the project changed in response to the circumstances in Sierra Leone; this required a substantially different approach by the redesigned scheme than in the original project. The entire effort, from starting the school project to the end of the radio project, ran from 2011 to 2016.
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