In times of intense public health crises, disease isn’t the only thing that spreads quickly—fear does, too. We’re often overwhelmed with stories of the large numbers of people who don’t make it. But survivors of epidemics like Ebola have powerful, important stories to share. American photographer Daniel Jack Lyons partners with survivors to help them tell their own stories in ways that are significant for them and their communities. Even before he begins taking portraits, Lyons works closely with people to understand their unique perspective and equips them with cameras to express their story on their own. And that ability to identify the experiences that matter most for a survivor—and to share that insight with the larger community—is an essential part of the process of rebuilding stability and trust.
Incorporating survivors into the process of creating prevention messaging, they were really grateful for it. It was empowering to survivors, many of whom were young teenagers. It gave them a sense of a new role in their communities.
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