A Brief History of CELDI-Liberia
The Center for Education and Leadership Development Initiative (CELDI) was established by a native Liberian, Rev. E. Alfred Walker, in the USA, when he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. This initiative was largely supported by high level administrative and faculty members of Princeton who thought that his vision to Change Liberia … one child at a time was an effort worth supporting.
On March 18, 2016, Rev. Walker brought together nine persons from the Princeton Community and it’s surroundings to make a presentation about this vision for Liberia and to make a request for CELDI’s US board members. During this meeting, the following persons were present: Rev. Deborah K. Davis, the then Director of Field Education, Dr. Chester Polk, Associate Director of Field Education, Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., Vice President for Diversity, Dr. John Bowlin, Chairman of Ethics Department, Rev. Bill Davis, Rev. Marsha Harris, Chairman of First Presbyterian Church, Moorestown, NJ. Dr. Chanon Ross, the then Director of the Institute of Youth Ministry, and Rev. Thomas Wilson. Five of the nine persons signed up to serve on the board. They were: Rev. Deborah K. Davis, Rev. Marsha Harris, Dr. John Bowlin, Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., and Rev. Dr. Chester Polk. Of the five persons that signed up, Rev. Davis and Rev. Harris were selected to serve as chair and vice respectively on the board.
A few weeks later, the board members began setting up speaking engagements for Rev. Walker to share the vision with their friends and members of their congregation. Those few weeks were golden moments for the organization’s initial fundraising campaign and they yielded really good fruits, financially.
On June 17, 2017, Rev. Walker returned to Liberia with his family of five to begin the work of CELDI, having studied and lived in the USA for 3 years. Within the first 3 months of his return, he incorporated the organization with the Government of Liberia and a few months later, he also registered the organization with the Government. He recruited and trained the first batch of staffers, who recruited 86 underprivileged children and 12 student mentors.
Today, CELDI is up and running. Within a period of a year, the ministry has served the needs of over 150 children through its afterschool, feeding, summer camp, and student mentor programs within the Fiamah Community.
CELDI’s mission is to “Change Liberia … one child at a time by developing underprivileged children, to break the circle of poverty through Christian education, and to raise up a new generation of servant leaders who will proactively transform and serve their communities with distinction and fear for God.