LEADERSHIP & EDUCATION
FOR AFRICA PROJECT
The Leadership & Education for Africa Project (LEAP) is committed to develop leaders in developing African nations through efforts in education, health, agriculture, and business development.
LEAP was formed in 2009 to administrate fundraising efforts for Light Stream Academy School in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa.
Liberia endured a bloody civil war through the 1990’s and 2000’s, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocents. Once peace was restored to Liberia in 2005, the country was left with its entire infrastructure in ruins – its utilities and public services, its schools and universities, its hospitals and clinics, its economy, and even its culture.
The country is in rebuilding mode, and desperately needs educated & motivated leaders to help take the next steps in nation-building. This effort requires effective in-roads to developing education, healthcare, economy, and culture. Led on the ground by passionate Liberians, and assisted by fundraising efforts in the US and the UK, LEAP exists to facilitate this movement, a movement to build a healthy and prosperous Liberia.
In 2005, David Fatorma, a civil war victim and survivor, founded Light Stream Academy in order to educate some of Liberia’s poorest children and war orphans who would otherwise be unable to afford an education. The school now educates over 350 students in grades K-8, preparing them for high school and university as well as careers to come.
Many Light Stream alumni have gone on to succeed in high school and universities in Liberia and and gone on to join the workforce in this developing nation.
The Academy employs 15 teachers and administrative staff. The staff salaries and the school’s operational expenses are supplied almost exclusively through the generosity of LEAP sponsors.
In order to properly contain its growing number of students, in 2014, LEAP initiated a school building project on the Light Stream Academy land which will create over 8 new classrooms, staff offices and bathrooms. The project is currently nearing completion, and will be ready for the start of the Ebola-delayed 2014-2015 school year in February 2015.
Liberia’s decimated post-war healthcare system has yielded one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. LEAP volunteers have coordinated efforts to aid in the training of midwives and assisted many pregnant women in the safe births of their children.
LEAP volunteers have performed outreaches into the community to offer basic healthcare assistance to many who can’t afford other healthcare options. More efforts are in the planning phase – we’ll be excited to announce them as we are able!
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has hit Liberia particularly hard – virtually shutting down the whole country, its economy, and education efforts for months, while taking the lives of thousands, and leaving hundreds of orphans. LEAP formed Ebola Response Teams to educate Monrovia communities in Ebola prevention, while supplying basic necessities like rice and water along with critical Ebola-preventing hygiene supplies. These efforts were massively successful, as there were no Ebola-related deaths in the communities they reached.
LEAP is currently in the process of acquiring land and expertise to develop agriculture projects which will feed surrounding communities, create vital career skills, and economic opportunities in the market sales of produce. More news to come!