Francis Cole is a World Vision burial worker in Sierra Leone. He is one of 803 burial team members who serve with SMART (Social Mobilisation And Respectful Burials Through faith-based alliance), a UK government-funded consortium headed by World Vision in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. Since November, he and his colleagues have conducted safe and dignified burials for more than 16,100 Ebola victims and others.
When Francis joined the burial team, his wife and two children left him and friends rejected him. His spouse has since returned and has a better understanding of the service he is providing to his country as a burial team worker.
Francis knows the war against Ebola is not over yet. He worries about the future of his country, as children and their families face challenges including disrupted education, food shortages and unemployment.