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FIGHTING EBOLA THROUGH COMMUNICATIONS

Fighting Ebola through Communications During the 2013-2014 Ebola pandemic, Neelley led efforts to utilize practical technological solutions combined with effective messaging to help those affected by Ebola in West Africa. This work included twice daily text messaging via FrontlineSMS and TextIt  to United Methodist clergy and World Vision International staff as an alternative to Internet-based information that was not readily accessible by the most vulnerable people. Working with United Methodist Communications,  iheed, Chocolate Moose Media, and UNICEF Togo, Neelley served as the executive producer of A Poem for the Living, and In Praise of Prevention, animations which were used to teach prevention by health care and community workers throughout West Africa. As curfews prevented crowd gatherings, people lacked the electricity to charge cell phones and kerosene to light their homes. In partnership with the Liberia and Sierra Leone episcopal offices, Freeplay Assist Radios with solar cellphone chargers and solar lanterns were distributed to those participating in the free text-messaging program. This allowed trusted community leaders to continue sharing vital information and inspiration to their constituencies as was possible.