This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
A Stockton man is sending out a message of hope about the fear surrounding the Ebola virus.
“In Sierra Leone, in my mom’s village Daru, they already had a quarantine there a long time ago. I mean it’s really disheartening to say the least,” John Terawali said.
Terawali was born and raised in Sierra Leone, where many of his relatives still live.
“They really try to keep things going, despite what they hear and see,” Terawali said.
In order to keep things going during the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Terawali’s relatives have relied on him for shipments of essential supplies. Their reality is not out of the ordinary. Many West African families depend on relatives from overseas to send money and help back home.
Terawali told FOX40 many companies will not ship goods to his mother’s village because of the Ebola outbreak. He says this will force many families to go out into the streets in search of food. Terawali’s family has asked him to stay in Stockton as a precaution. He typically visits Sierra Leone every year.
“Plus the stigma of coming back because the issue is gonna be ‘does he have it?'” Terawali said.
About 7,000 miles separate Terawali from his family. He may be disheartened that he can’t do anything to help them, but he has found strength in his voice.
“I wanted people to listen and go…there’s hope,” Terawali said.
That is why he wrote a reggae song about the Ebola epidemic, called “In my Nation.”
“If you noticed, it’s mostly parents dying. The next issue is gonna be orphans,” he told FOX40.
That is a reality Terawali does not like to imagine, having emigrated from Sierra Leone to raise his own 2 daughters in Stockton.
“This is our little family here,” Terawali said.
Terawali’s family back home would like to hear a different discussion in the media, one about the issues underlying the Ebola outbreak.
“The worst killer is the poverty. If we weren’t so poor, we’d probably have a better medical system,” said Terawali.