Help Children Learn Essential Messages on Ebola

There are  some essential messages and facts that children living in communities affected by Ebola need to know. Here are 20 messages to get you started. When children learn about Ebola they will be very effective in sharing this information with other children provided there is some adult support and provided the children learn the facts very well. ‘Vote with your Feet’ is a method to check that children have learned health facts well.

Before the Session

  1. Create 20 statements about Ebola starting with the phrase “Is it correct that…”
    1. Is it correct that there are medicines that cure Ebola?
    2. Is it correct that you must not touch the body or the body fluids of someone showing signs of Ebola?
  2. Prepare these in advance using our list of 20 messages and test them out too (on friends or colleagues AND children too) to make sure that children you are involving in this work will understand the statements.
  3. Create three signs by writing ‘YES’, ‘NO’ and ‘DON’T KNOW’ on three pieces of paper or card.

In the Session…

  1. Start the session by teaching children the facts about Ebola. This needs to be done using a mixture of:
    1. teacher directed learning
    2. pair work where one child acts as the teacher asking questions and the other answers them and then swap around
    3. group work whereby children ask and answer questions in groups of 5 or 6
  2. Conduct a whole group Q&A BUT have the CHILDREN ask the teacher the questions. It is VERY good to involve a health worker in this Q&A if at all possible. Try to dispel any myths or misinformation.
  3. Ask the children to stand in a circle & give the three signs to children standing at equal distances around the circle. Then, read out the statements about Ebola one by one. At the end of each statement ask the children to run and line up behind the signs saying ‘YES’, ‘NO’ or ‘DON’T KNOW’. You then follow this by discussing the correct answer.
  4. Continue the game until you feel that the children all know the correct answers. Make sure you read out the whole set of statements at least twice and ask the children holding the signs to swap over with other children after you have finished one complete set, so every child has a turn as a ‘runner’ (not every child needs to have a turn as a sign holder!)
Here is a photo of this game being used to help teachers check that children know the facts about how to feed babies and young children. It comes from a nutrition programme in Mozambique that Children for Health is helping. Vote with Your Feet This game can be followed by asking the children to do a Role Play where one person is informing another about the truth about Ebola. Click here for more ideas on how to do role-plays on Ebola. Other tools you can use include: These can be messages form the Children for Health 100 Collection or your own messages!