Liberian Assistance Program, Inc.

Building schools and hope for Liberians

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LAP welcomes support in any amount to further our mission. To make a tax-deductible contribution, click on the Donate button to the right or send a check, made out to the Liberian Assistance Program, Inc., to:

Liberian Assistance Program, Inc.
4001 Hiawatha Drive
Madison, WI 53711
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Unique connections lead Liberian school principal to UW Health Eye Clinics
Read about the amazing help Principal Jesse Kekula received when visiting Madison for the 10-Year celebration of LAP. 
Dr. Nork, Judy Reed, Jessie Kekula
Give a friend the gift of MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Honor a special friend or family member by making a gift to LAP. Send us the name and address of the person you have chosen to honor and we will send a note informing him/her of your generosity.
Donation from Fort Myers, Florida High School Sunday School Class
LAP received an unexpected and very generous donation from teenagers at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Ft. Myers, Florida in the fall of 2018. The Church's Sunday School teacher DeWitt Salters said that after the class had read about the American Colonization Society’s efforts to help former slaves return to Africa in the 1820s, the 14-18 year old young people wanted to help children living in Liberia today. He said they completed various fundraising projects to raise more than $1,000. They found LAP on the Internet and decided to send the money to us for our projects in Liberia.  

A special thanks to these organizations for making grants to LAP:
Bourke Family Foundation, New Port Beach, CA
The Rust Foundation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of WI-Madison
Rotary Club of Madison West
Friends of Liberia, Washington, DC
Grace Episcopal Church of Madison, WI
The Milwaukee Peace Corps Association
The Herbert H. Kohl Charities, Inc.
Federated Church of Green Lake, Green Lake, WI
The Episcopal Diocese of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Friendship International, Beaver Dam, WI
LAP is using the Sunday School class’s gift to set up a Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating ninth grader from the Barack Obama School.
The 2019 recipient, shown here, is Harriet Harris, a 17-year-old who hopes to become an agriculturist in Liberia and eventually become the country’s Minister of Agriculture. The scholarship will cover all three years of her high school studies.

We are very grateful for such generosity from the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church young people. They are making a big difference in Liberia. 

Fundraising Ideas to Help Support LAP

Help Liberia Party

Judy's niece hosted a party to raise money for LAP when she wanted to do something important to mark her 30th birthday. She served a Liberian meal and asked guests to bring a small donation for the Obama School instead of a gift for her. 

Jane's daughter donated the proceeds from her yard sale to LAP. Volunteers in Madison raised nearly $2,000 in each of the last two years through garage sales.

Hot Chocolate Sale
Judy's two great nieces, ages 12 and 8, held a hot chocolate sale on a not-so-cold winter day in NC. Here it what they wrote:

We had so much fun raising money for LAP.  The scholarship sounds like an amazing way to use the money.  It is hard to believe that will pay for a whole year!  
We have looked at the LAP website a lot.  It is very informative and we used a lot of what we learned there to make a poster display for our stand and a PowerPoint presentation which we also displayed at the stand.
LAP is an amazing program that seems to be helping so many people and we are glad we could help a little.    
Good luck with LAP this year.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of WI-Madison
LAP has received eight grants from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of WI-Madison. The first grant was in 2008 and was used to purchase a manual mimeograph machine and typewriter for the Tubman School in Gbonkonimah and to help begin the Obama School in Cow Field. The 2009 grant was used for building the walls of the Obama School and hiring local carpenters to make new desks, chairs and tables for the school; the 2010 grant was used to build a septic tank and bathrooms for the school; the 2011 grant supplied the funds for building a water pump for the school; the 2012 grant made it possible to build bookshelves for classrooms and send a shipment of books to the Obama School; and the 2013 grant allowed LAP to buy picture books of African children and teaching supplies to send to the school for a summer Story Hour. 

In 2015, LAP received support to buy textbooks for the newly added 7th and 8th grade classes at the Obama School and for purchasing the four sets of nine story books about Liberian children for the younger grades. In 2016, the RPCVs provided a $1,000 grant to fund a pilot project at the Obama School in vocational education for adults. Five sewing machines were purchased, as well as materials to use in the class. In a second round of gift giving in 2016, the RPCVs of Madison provided LAP another $1,000 to purchase an efficient, woodburning stove to be used in the Obama School’s food program. LAP bought a second stove and both stoves were shipped to Liberia and have been used since January of 2017. (see photo on Projects’ page.) In 2017 the RPCVs’s $1000 grant went to purchase the initial round of new textbooks recommended by Liberia’s Ministry of Education. In the spring of 2019, LAP received a $1,000 grant from the RPCVs to be used toward building five latrines at the Tubman School in Gbonkonimah. LAP paid the remaining $2,000 for the latrines which were completed in September, 2019. 
Sending Materials to the Obama School

LAP sent 70 boxes, as well as gardening and carpentry tools, and chairs to the Obama School in the fall of 2017. The shipment included: fabric, two sewing machines, scissors, needles and thread for the adult vocational education sewing class; school supplies, hundreds of books, a microscope, musical instruments, sports items, and clothing for students; and reading glasses for adults. All these materials were donated by LAP supporters, including many from the Monona, Wisconsin Senior Center’s sewing group. LAP also added a desktop computer and a PA system that the school had requested. 

We were able to send all these items to the Obama School thanks to our friends at Friendship International (FI), a non-profit group located in Beaver Dam, WI. FI has sent containers to Liberia for several years– providing beds and supplies for Liberian hospitals, desks for schools and many other items. They gave the Obama School 40 metal desks in 2015 and carried the Obama School’s two stoves to Liberia in 2016.

Previous Shipments
It has been very difficult to send materials to Liberia in the past, due to the high costs. Too, we prefer to buy materials in Liberia when possible, as a way to support the Liberian economy, and, because it is faster. 

We have prioritized sending books because they are hard to find and very expensive in Liberia. Books are bought at local library sales in Madison, at garage sales, at the Children’s Cooperative Book Center at UW-Madison and occasionally on Amazon or Ebay.

Stella Marie and Tyler McKittrick, who learned of the Obama School through our LAP website, have also sent materials to the school. They have sent two barrels, with lots of school materials such as pencil sharpeners for each child, 700 pencils, paper, and DVDs. Their last barrel included badges for all the Obama School students. They had had them made at the request of the principal because most schools’ students wear badges identifying their school.

Purchasing Materials in Liberia
Since LAP prefers to buy materials for the Obama School in Liberia when possible – to help the economy, to avoid shipping costs, and for speed – we have purchased many different items there. They have included: textbooks for all the students, school supplies, a laptop computer, two printers, a camera, 15 manual typewriters, sports equipment, and material to make school uniforms. We were even able to buy nine manual sewing machines (made in China) right in Monrovia for our adult vocational program. We also bought books in Monrovia from One Moore Books, a company that publishes books about Liberian and Sierra Leone children. Now students at the Obama School can see faces like their own and read stories of children living in various places in Liberia. We’ve also had items made in Liberia when possible, so that local carpenters have a way to earn income. They built the 250 chairs for Obama’s students and 10 larger chairs and tables for teachers right before the school opened in 2011 and later made cabinets to hold books and school supplies, and book shelves.

Dresses for girls at Obama School
Seamstresses in Madison, led by Madison board member Linda Grimmer, made 71 dresses that are each different, for all the girls at the Obama School who are in kindergarten through the fifth grade. The fabric for the dresses came from colorful pillowcases to which the seamstresses added elastic, rick rack, buttons or pockets to complete each dress. The dresses were sent in the container shipment in 2017. 

LAP board members prepare for the annual garage sale.
Friendship International workers pack boxes for shipping to Liberia.
Encyclopedias and other books
Story books for Summer Reading Program
Girls at the Obama School wearing dressess made by seamstresses in Madison, WI.
photo by David Korte©dkortephoto
Solar Lights
LAP has received two grants of solar lights for students at schools we serve. One grant was from the Liberian Energy Network, a company begun by former Peace Corps volunteer Rich Fahey. A light went to each of the 250 children at the Obama School. The second grant came from the Bourke Family Foundation. It included 250 lights as well and nearly half were given to junior high students at the Tubman School in Gbonkonimah. The rest will be distributed to new students at the Obama School.
Seamstresses preparing dresses
One of the solar lights and the solar panel provided by the Bourke Foundation rest on wall of the porch at the Obama School.
A student uses her solar light to read in a classroom on a rainy day.
​Button Bracelets
As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Alexandria Bassett, Ambassador Girl Scout, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, completed a special Gold Award project for the Obama School in the summer of 2013. Alexandria made 250 button bracelets for the children at the school and mailed them, along with more than 50,000 buttons and 1,250 skeins of thread to make more button bracelets. She provided written instructions on how to make the bracelets in each student's button kit and even sent a DVD showing how she makes them. Alexandria suggested that the students make additional bracelets to help them support their education, and earn money for school projects, such as the meal program.
Alexandria Bassett, a Girl Scout from Illinois, displays the materials she was about to send to the students at the Obama School.
The trunk of bracelets and materials arrive at the Obama School.

On her 2014 visit to Liberia, Judy compares the button bracelet she made with those of two Obama students.