Establishing VCO in Liberia, West Africa
After five years in Liberia Kent and Landis decided to address what people were asking of them...
It was in 2006 that Kent Bubbs and his wife Landis Wyatt left Vancouver, Canada, for Liberia, West Africa. Their goal was to build a school, that turned into two, and then they worked on a water and sanitation program.
Kent is the son of Kent Bubbs Sr, the Founder of the Universal Outreach Foundation (UOF), Vancouver, Canada. UOF is a humanitarian organisation dedicated to providing quality educational opportunities and economic development initiatives in some really poor countries – notably Honduras and Liberia.
In 2006, because of neighbouring civil war, Liberia was the fourth poorest country in the world. There were hardly any sealed roads, no police force, no military, and the elected government had only been in place for a year with no infrastructure or resources to speak of. Unemployment was very high.
After five years Kent and Landis decided to address what people were asking of them: Jobs!
In 2011 they started their economic development program, a social enterprise called Liberia Pure, with a focus on training villagers in improved honey production. This became a great success with the establishment of good markets. It led Kent and Landis to look for other local sustainable agricultural resources that could generate higher incomes.
In July 2014 Kent visited Kokonut Pacific in Australia and was inspired by KP’s ‘Direct Micro Expelling’ (DME) technology for the production of virgin coconut oil. It was a village-based process that aligned with their business model and was a natural fit for Liberia with its long tropical coast-line, and access to both international markets and to those of its three neighbouring West African countries.
In 2017 Liberia Pure ordered two DME press kits and put considerable effort into growing a robust, sustainable community-based virgin coconut oil industry. In early 2020 they ordered a further five DME presses. Given the difficulties of transporting goods from Australia to West Africa by sea, and the excessive delays involved, the Niulife Foundation covered the cost of air-freighting these to Liberia.
Liberia Pure is a 100% Liberian-owned quadruple bottom line business, structured as a social enterprise. This means that the company considers People, Planet, Profit and Purpose at all levels of the decision-making process.
Such a social enterprise has, as its core value, helping to improve incomes and stability in the lives of subsistence farmers and their communities so they can fulfil their financial priorities such as food, shelter, and education.
They say, “Our goal is to one day see Liberia recognized as a producer of high-quality coconut oil on both the local and international markets. In addition to this, Liberia Pure Coconut Oil is committed to donating its profits to an after-school Resource Centre named Strive, in Paynesville, Liberia. The Resource Centre is a place for kids of all ages to come and have a space to learn. There are programs in reading, maths, music, skills training, dance, IT and much more.”
Kent and Landis know that for Liberia to rise up every person must contribute. The Liberia Pure family is firmly committed to seeing this happen.
You can download Liberia Pure's Business Model Attributes here: