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William 'saddened' at Ebola deaths

The Duke of Cambridge has expressed his sadness after Ebola claimed the lives of two film-makers from Sierra Leone whom he had backed with a message of support.

Mary Sesay, 21, and Kadisha Monisha Conteh, 20, were part of the Future View team who wrote and filmed the educational song "Ebola is Real" to teach people how to prevent the spread of the disease.

William recorded and sent a video message to Future View last month, sharing his concern about the Ebola crisis and telling them: ''Keep safe - the world is thinking of you."

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke of Cambridge was saddened to learn of this."

Colin Stevens, associate producer at UK based charity Purple Field Productions (PFP) who worked with the group, said the young women died yesterday and called for people to back an appeal to help support their friends.

"Two of the young people died yesterday," he said. "We're desperate to raise money to help Future View. They're just terrified. They followed all the guidelines and this has still eaten into their group.

"All we can do as a very small charity is raise some more support financially. There's no work, there's no school. They're just stuck."

Mohammed ''Tyson'' Conteh, one of Future View's directors, paid tribute to the women - one of whom, Kadisha, was his sister.

"My lovely sister and a member of my film group FVFG rest in peace sister i will always remember you," he said.

He told of how Mary lost both her parents in the civil war and arrived in Makeni by herself. "She became an effective member of the group and since then she has been with us in everything we do," he said.

PFP, which is based in Ilminster, Somerset, makes films and videos for educational and humanitarian purposes.

They began working with Future View, who are based in Makeni, after meeting them while filming in Sierra Leone and have been keeping in contact with them via Skype, telephone and email.

PFP's appeal was launched in September to raise £3,000 to support the group with their film-making, but the emphasis shifted in recent weeks because of the Ebola crisis.

:: Donations to PFP's appeal can be made at http://bit.ly/PFPEbolaAppeal

The charity's Facebook page is www.facebook.com/purplefieldproductions

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