I remember how I started following her—it was a little boy named Henry who was donating his birthday money to her organization. I didn’t know what she did at the time, but I was touched and just started to follow her on Instagram. I don’t know how she does what she does. I just know that this is an amazing thing to watch—her posts every day from West Africa. Her photos and words and stories make me see Ebola in a new way. It is not an outside threat. It is happening to real people, moms, and dads and sons and daughters and friends. Katie Meyler is there. Helping. Doing what she can. Lamenting what she can’t. And right now she is giving us a window into the realities of Ebola. She is giving names and backgrounds to faces. She is blowing the entire idea of “us” and “them” away. And she is also bridging the gap between “here” and “there.”
She set out to build schools for girls. She is now on the frontlines of a global health crisis.
When asked how people could protect themselves from Ebola her answer was simple: “Help West Africa”
And that is what she does. Every day. She is there. She could leave. But she doesn’t.
She is brave, although she says she isn’t. She is wise. She is young. She is something to watch. She is humble. She is humbling.
Follow her on Instagram. Give yourself the opportunity to see what she sees.
I don’t know the answers—to any of the big questions really—but in particular about Ebola. All I know is that what I thought at first has changed and I know how it changed.
Learn more about how you can kick Ebola out of Liberia at More Than Me
Here are just some of the images from Katie's Instagram feed:
Kemah lost her father, sisters and brother and her 10-year-old son. She survived. Now, she works to care for the Ebola orphans. #hero
This grandmother quarantined herself in a mud house with no roof after losing her daughter in order to protect her grandmother.
Grace's mom is fighting #ebola let's pray she makes it. Grace didn't want to leave her side but she had no choice. Ice cream isn't helping.
His whole family died but he's a survivor. Big plans in store for this baby boy. #champion #real
Walking the children through the slum to the ambulance. I can't imagine how they feel. The neighborhood staring at them. I know they are happy to have a ride to the treatment center. ETU's only take in patients that come in an ambulance so ambulances are a huge huge deal. We need more. I'm looking at how we can convert cheaper trucks or SUVs into an ambulance for less $$$.
She's 16. She's now the oldest person in her family. @morethanmeorg has been helping her and her baby sisters and brothers with clothes and food. They'll be at the More Than Me boarding School.
She lost her dad to #ebola but she is lucky her mom is still ok!
The baby on the left has Ebola, the baby on the right was united with her mother in the Ebola treatment unit.
The mother of this child died and now this 19 year old woman is left to raise the baby without any job. They called the team to come see how they can help. #reality of #ebola
The baby boy and girl lost their parents and are under quarantine. Their grandma is watching them. @morethanmeorg supplies food, water, etc for families under quarantine in the hot zones we work in. (These kids want to come to the boarding school too).
This is my beautiful God daughter (her mom made me God daughter today), Miatta. She beat #ebola!! And came home today. She lost a lot of weight and her body has sores but she's happy to be home! (Dede, her mom has been with me all day, she was able to take things from the @morethanmeorg warehouse to start her life over again)!!!
Francis, Prince, James and Miatta & their mom (my neighbors) all had #ebola and they all survived. When I asked Dede, the mom, why, she said… “Because of the Grace & Power of God. She also said the quick ride with the MTM ambulance, the IV's at the hospital, the vitamins & the care & prayers of the MTM & friends made a difference. I'm so excited they all made it.
She always stares at me putting on my make up. Sometimes when I'm not home she gets into my stash and goes wild painting herself. Today I gave her some help. #fun
© All images are from Katie Meyler Instagram feed and are used with permission.