A former Lytham couple are to open the first orphanage for children who watched their parents die from Ebola.
Cyrilyn Moore and her husband Brad setup Operation Orphan when they were both living on the Fylde.
Now Nottingham-based, but supported by Blackpool-based accountancy firm Danbro, the charity has established the first home in Sierra Leone for children orphaned by Ebola.
Children whose parents were killed by the disease are forced to spend 21 days in quarantine in the family home after the adult’s bodies are removed.
Left without food or adequate water supplies, many of the children are dead before completing the quarantine period.
Once allowed out, they are shunned by former friends and neighbours who are scared they could be contagious.
Cyrilyn said: “The children we are taking in are in a terrible state.
“Some of them were found eating soil because there was no food left for them during the quarantine.
“Our partners in Sierra Leone were able to get some emergency food parcels to them and we felt it was urgent to find a safe place for them. The people in their villages are scared of them, even thoughthe children are immune to Ebola.
“We are now celebrating the imminent building of the very first home for Ebola orphans.
“I am proud to be able to say that this is the first home for children orphaned by ebola and we plan to open enough homes to house 36 children to begin with.
“We are committed to supporting these children until they are adults.
“Operation Orphan is a charity set up by myself and my husband Brad and is completely underwritten by Danbro Ltd. This ensures that 100 per cent of donated funds are used to help the children on our projects.
“We set up the charity when we were living in Lytham and still receive a great number of donations from the Fylde coast.
“Looking after orphans is what I have always wanted to do. As a child in South Wales I attended a visit by the African Children’s Choir.
“Some of the singers stayed with my family and it changed me as a person.
“It inspired me to do something to help children like the ones I had met.”