Operation Classroom

Operation Classroom It's not enough to just provide an education. We have to provide the RIGHT education. Operation Classroom helps young people in Liberia and Sierra Leone grow into educated and productive adults who can make a positive impact and end the cycle of poverty.

Operation Classroom United Methodist Affiliate Organization in Indiana, partnering with the United Methodist Churches of Liberia and Sierra Leone to improve Secondary Education - especially Vocational Education.

Operation Classroom United Methodist Affiliate Organization in Indiana, partnering with the United Methodist Churches of Liberia and Sierra Leone to improve Secondary Education - especially Vocational Education.

Mission: The Mission of Operation Classroom is to partner with the United Methodist Churches of Liberia and Sierra Leone to provide innovative education that changes lives.

Operating as usual

Taking notes... taking notes to remember...taking notes for future use...taking notes...notes that fill the entire noteb...
12/10/2020

Taking notes... taking notes to remember...taking notes for future use...taking notes...notes that fill the entire notebook.
Listening, remembering, and ready to put new learnings into action. Every student yearns for a better tomorrow. They are dedicated to doing everything it takes to excel. Thanks for your support of young people.
www.operationclassroom.org/take-action

TODAY is GIVING TUESDAY.  With the late start of the first semester, we will be sending scholarships this month to Liber...
12/01/2020
Operation Classroom - Education that Changes lives.

TODAY is GIVING TUESDAY. With the late start of the first semester, we will be sending scholarships this month to Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as the Taiama Enterprise Academy. We are also looking to fund various projects at the Taiama Enterprise Academy (computer lab, agriculture facility, textbooks). You can donate online through our website at https://operationclassroom.org/take-action, or send a check to Operation Classroom at 359 Franklin Street, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Thank you!

Operation Classroom is dedicated to helping students in Sierra Leone and Liberia to break out of the cycle of poverty by providing education that focuses on changing their mindset and providing real life skills.

GIVING TUESDAY is just around the corner.   Please remember Operation Classroom on that day.   There are several project...
11/20/2020
Operation Classroom - Education that Changes lives.

GIVING TUESDAY is just around the corner. Please remember Operation Classroom on that day. There are several projects waiting for funding such as the Computer Lab and textbooks and resource books for the various departments at the Taiama Enterprise Academy. Give any amount... online through our website.
https://operationclassroom.org/take-action
Or give directly by writing a check to Operation Classroom and sending it to 359 Franklin Street, Valparaiso, IN 46383.

Operation Classroom is dedicated to helping students in Sierra Leone and Liberia to break out of the cycle of poverty by providing education that focuses on changing their mindset and providing real life skills.

The students have gathered.   The TEA has opened for the 20/21 school year.   Just a little late but none the less excit...
11/16/2020

The students have gathered. The TEA has opened for the 20/21 school year. Just a little late but none the less exciting.
The first year of the Taiama Enterprise Academy was successful in spite of the pandemic that has created havoc worldwide. We credit the TEA leadership with keeping the ship afloat in these troublesome times. November 16, 2020 will mark a new beginning for the students just entering the school. It will also mark the 2nd year for other fine young people who are returning.
Thanks Duramany Massavoi for your leadership.

09/29/2020

THANKS to the person who raised $405 for Operation Classroom through Facebook. Much appreciated!!!

The entire month of July, the 12th graders in the Liberian secondary schools participated in testing.  in school six day...
09/22/2020

The entire month of July, the 12th graders in the Liberian secondary schools participated in testing. in school six days a week to complete the 2019/2020 academic year and to prepare for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) which
will be from August 17 to September 2.
Helen Roberts-Evans writes: "As the Associate Director for Supervision, I continued my visits to observe the students in class and meet with school staff. The teachers’ focus was on presenting and reviewing material for the WASSCE. "
Helen goes on to explain that "During July, there were 406 new cases; 670 persons recovered from the virus, and there were 75
COVID-19 deaths. July ended with 411 active cases and the total number of confirmed cases reached 1,186. The Ministry of Health is still advising that we wear masks in public, observe social distancing, and wash hands frequently. I’m now used to wearing a mask whenever I’m away from home."

Meet Mr. John Sam, the Agriculture/Science department tutor at the TEA.  He comes to the TEA with experience as a farm ...
09/21/2020

Meet Mr. John Sam, the Agriculture/Science department tutor at the TEA. He comes to the TEA with experience as a farm manager and most recently as the department head of Kori Community Education and Cultural Centre in Taiama. He is working on an animal husbandry proposal for an income producing project for the TEA. Stay tuned for more about the developing animal project.

Students in Liberia ... have received a blessing from USAID according to the Minister of Education in Liberia.  Being ou...
09/14/2020

Students in Liberia ... have received a blessing from USAID according to the Minister of Education in Liberia. Being out of school for extended periods of time is difficult regardless of the country of origin. Continue reading the news release.

The Minister of Education, Professor Ansu Sonii, has expressed the profound thanks and appreciation of the Liberian people to the Government and People of the United States for the 12th Grader Cash Stipend program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Under the program, about 42,000 12th graders from all 15 counties of Liberia who qualified to sit the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations were eligible for a stipend of US$50 (LD 10,000) to help them with some of the expenses associated with preparing for and sitting the Exams, including the costs of transportation to and from school, as well as their daily food and other basic needs.

Our dear, dear friend has been laid to rest in Sierra Leone following a week of remembrances.   From the new UM News Dai...
09/09/2020
Bishop Yambasu remembered as bridge builder | United Methodist News Service

Our dear, dear friend has been laid to rest in Sierra Leone following a week of remembrances. From the new UM News Daily I share the report from Sierra Leone. One of the speakers at his service of Remembrance was: East Africa Area Bishop Daniel Wandabula said he agreed with those who said Yambasu was “irreplaceable.”

“We should not despair. Our struggle should be to keep his legacy alive and to grow from his example. Our hope should be with the thousands of leaders, especially the young people that Bishop John Yambasu has trained, mentored, groomed and empowered over the years. It is our responsibility to take up the baton and run with it to the finish line,” Wandabula said.

How will we, Indiana United Methodists, move on and be part of the legacy that Bishop Yambasu has left behind? Our focus on the youth has always been secondary education in Sierra Leone and Liberia. We will continue with the words of Bishop Yambasu in our hearts to provide opportunities for Indiana United Methodists to partner with our friends in West Africa to support secondary education. Yambasu will be missed.

The Sierra Leone Area bishop was remembered as a natural bridge builder who brought people together in the church and in the world.

The funeral for Bishop John Yambasu, the late resident bishop of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, set for Sunday, Sep...
09/05/2020
Remembering & Celebrating Bishop John K. Yambasu

The funeral for Bishop John Yambasu, the late resident bishop of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, set for Sunday, September 6, 2020, will be livestreamed on www.umc.org/bishopyambasu.

Bishop Yambasu died in a road accident on August 16, 2020, on his way to attend a funeral of one of the pastors in the conference.

The livestream will be umc.org/bishopyambasu website. The Service of Remembrance and Rites of Passage will be held Sunday, September 6, 2020 at King Memorial UMC at 10 a.m. GMT – Sierra Leone Time (6 a.m. Eastern Time in U.S.) Click on this link to watch the livestream of the funeral.

The people of The United Methodist Church are putting our faith in action by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Bishop John Yambasu was so vested in the education of young people.  Through his vision the Taiama Enterprise Academy ca...
08/28/2020

Bishop John Yambasu was so vested in the education of young people. Through his vision the Taiama Enterprise Academy came into being.
If you would like to honor Bishop Yambasu through a memorial gift for the education with the priority given to the youth at the Taiama Enterprise Academy, you may send your gift to:
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana
8401 Fishers Center Drive
Fishers In 46038
or you can go on line if you like to the umfindiana.org/
For those who knew Bishop Yambasu and for those who have "grown up" with Operation Classroom, you know how important this vision, partnership and serving the needs of youth has been.
Joe Wagner, the founder and former director of Operation Classroom, has set up the fund to honor his very special friend which is exactly what partnerships are all about. Thanks for giving.

STUDENTS ARE BACK after a much longer break than expected...3 1/2 months longer ...to begin the 2nd semester of the 2019...
08/24/2020

STUDENTS ARE BACK after a much longer break than expected...3 1/2 months longer ...to begin the 2nd semester of the 2019/2020 school year at the Taiama Enterprise Academy. .
The TEA facility missed the students and all the attention it got when they first arrived. So as the students return, there is a bit of catch up to do around the campus. Narrative is with the photos.

In November of 2019 just 1 month after the opening of the TEA,  3 special UMC Bishops met for a meal and talked about th...
08/19/2020

In November of 2019 just 1 month after the opening of the TEA, 3 special UMC Bishops met for a meal and talked about the excitement of new school in Sierra Leone. The now late Bishop Yambasu was so pleased to have this school available to young people who hold such promise for the country's future. Yambasu wanted nothing more than to see this school in full swing.
At that time Bishop John Hopkins said, “It a was a joy to celebrate the opening of the Taiama Enterprise Academy with Indiana Bishop Trimble and Sierra Leone Bishop Yambasu. Operation Classroom builds relationships to accomplish great things for God.”
https://www.operationclassroom.org

What a sad day it is.  The world has lost a great leader of the Christian faith.  John Yambasu perished in an automobile...
08/16/2020

What a sad day it is. The world has lost a great leader of the Christian faith. John Yambasu perished in an automobile accident early this morning. Let us all pray for his family, the UMC family in Sierra Leone, and the world where his voice has meant so much.

The Second Semester is in full swing this week at Taiama Enterprise Academy (TEA).    Meet a few of the students who hap...
08/11/2020

The Second Semester is in full swing this week at Taiama Enterprise Academy (TEA). Meet a few of the students who happily returned to campus last week. Education is a priority with the our partners in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As a partner, through Operation Classroom, we assist students with tuition for their secondary education. Please consider supporting students wherever they are enrolled through giving to Operation Classroom. Visit us at https://www.operation.classroom.org and donate today. Any amount is appreciated.

School is back in session for the students of the TEA (Taiama Enterprise Academy). Second semester is beginning... a bit...
08/04/2020

School is back in session for the students of the TEA (Taiama Enterprise Academy). Second semester is beginning... a bit late but it is beginning. Please keep all the young women and men as well as the staff in your prayers as they return to the school.
For $425.one student can be supported by covering room, board and tuition for one semester. Families provide $50 per semester plus any personal safety gear and necessary supplies for their course work. Your help is needed in providing work/study grants Donations may be made through the Operation Classroom website. https://www.operationclassroom.org

GIVE TODAY. As schools begin to reopen in Sierra Leone, education leaders are planning for the 20/21 school year.   The ...
07/17/2020

GIVE TODAY. As schools begin to reopen in Sierra Leone, education leaders are planning for the 20/21 school year. The Taiama Enterprise Academy will be welcoming a new class of 60 young people some time around October or whenever school begins.
Operation Classroom has committed to have a set of textbooks for each student. For $75 a set of books will be given to a beginning student and these books will be used for the next 3 years. What great resources for the school. Please consider a donation to OPERATION CLASSROOM for TEXTBOOKS. Checks made out to Operation Classroom with Textbooks on the memo line and sent to Operation Classroom, 359 Franklin St., Valparaiso, IN 46383 or click on the Donation button found on the OC website. https://www.operationclassroom.org. You can use a debit/credit card or paypal. Make sure you tell us you want the funds to go for textbooks. Thanks for your support.

In the June Liberia Education Update Helen Roberts-Evans writes about 12th grade  students have returned to school late ...
07/17/2020

In the June Liberia Education Update Helen Roberts-Evans writes about 12th grade students have returned to school late June to complete their semester and take exams. A slow walk to full opening but this allows for students returning safely. She sates that’s the students we’re glad to return to school and are hoping for excellent results on the WASSCE Exam. She thanks all for their prayers and encouraged us all to continue to pray for students throughout the world.

Just a couple of scenes from Taiama.  They are in the rainy season so evertyhing is lush green.  The TEA campus remains ...
07/10/2020

Just a couple of scenes from Taiama. They are in the rainy season so evertyhing is lush green. The TEA campus remains closed until the government says it is safe to return. All the teachers of the school have remained in place to continue with the overall plan for the school. We are very pleased to share with FB followers that teachers are being paid during this time without students. They have made the most of this time in preparing for the remainder of this school year and the beginning of 20/21. Thanks for all those who are continuing their donations during this time. We need additional funds for work/study grants, textbooks and a new computer lab. https:/www.operationclassroom.org

A bit of an update... Liberia has extended the stay in place order until July 21 with the recent new cases of COVID-19 b...
07/03/2020

A bit of an update... Liberia has extended the stay in place order until July 21 with the recent new cases of COVID-19 being confirmed. They now have 37 deaths with just over 800 reported cases in a population about 2/3 the size of Indiana.
In a recent United Methodist Report, UMCOR is providing supplies to LIberia to assist their people with getting through the tough times of Stay in place order.
For more information, read the article published by UM News.
https://www.umnews.org/en/news/food-relief-helps-in-liberias-covid-19-fight?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWlRZM1pHRmxOVFU1WTJZNSIsInQiOiIxN3QzMTNkQm1WMWhmcjM4N0plY09qYVlsd1JHbUIzTVppTExiRVJ4OWRuQ3kxZm9qTCtcL3RjOHRsT3Jwc3hQbFVIN216WFJ1blpiTGdYRlJvZkZtSkkySm94V092ZFkxXC91U0dPWHNsUHg5MnM1Z3FaWE4zUmFJbXhBWU10TXZMIn0%3D

During the COVID-19 schools in both Liberia and Sierra Leone have been closed.  The Taiama Enterprise Academy (TEA) is a...
06/15/2020

During the COVID-19 schools in both Liberia and Sierra Leone have been closed. The Taiama Enterprise Academy (TEA) is a boarding school so all the students were safely returned to their home. A couple of students remained on the campus and have been assisting with important projects.
Please read look through the photos for the story. And keep the people of Sierra Leone in your prayers at this time.

COVID-19 has Liberia still under a Stay - at - home order.   Travel within the country is limited.  Helen Roberts-Evans ...
05/11/2020

COVID-19 has Liberia still under a Stay - at - home order. Travel within the country is limited. Helen Roberts-Evans reports the Ministry of Education has been teaching through radio classes on several stations throughout the country. So they have their version of "distance learning". It has been announced that Liberian Schools will not be open for the remainder of this school year. All non-government schools are asked to join in the discussion of how to proceed. Let's thank Helen for her leadership and deep interest in the education of the students under her care.
In some areas, notes, assignments and quizzes have been picked up by parents to help students get as much education as possible during this time of once again for being out of the classroom.
Our scholarship support will assist with paying teachers for the time students are not in school. Thanks for your support of Operation Classroom.

WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER...  NEWS FROM LIBERIA.  Helen Roberts-Evans wrote on April 24 "I am listening to the government ...
04/27/2020

WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER... NEWS FROM LIBERIA.
Helen Roberts-Evans wrote on April 24 "I am listening to the government radio station and just heard that there are now 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Liberia with 8 deaths. Yesterday, there were 105 confirmed cases with 8 deaths.
We are being told to wear masks in public, wash hands, and practice social distancing.
Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba, and Grand Kru Counties (where there are confirmed cases of the virus) have restricted movement and businesses close early so people can be home at 3:00 pm. The markets and stores are open until 2:00 pm and banks are open until 12:00 pm.
Several schools have done something to help students remain engaged in learning while schools are closed. J. J. Roberts UMS, College of West Africa, J. L. Morris UMS and Harriette E. Bailey UMS prepared notes and assignments for parents to pick up. Ganta UMS and Sanniquellie UMS (in Nimba County) gave students donated books to take home."
A day later she sent another update about what was happening, President Weah sent out a notice to remain in Stay at Home with restrictions regarding movement would be for an additional 2 weeks rather than 60 days he had just announced earlier in the week.
Our Missionaries are doing well but missing the normal activities of their work just as we are.
:

Returning home from a mission trip and telling the story is all part of the overall journey.  When they landed in Freeto...
04/04/2020

Returning home from a mission trip and telling the story is all part of the overall journey. When they landed in Freetown on February 25, they were check for signs of Coronavirus before entering Sierra Leone. Shortly after the team returned to the US on March 7, schools closed in the state of Indiana on March 19 because COVID-19 was on the rise here.
Leader Karen Gould shared the story of their Mission Journey to be with our Partners in Sierra Leone in the recent Indiana Conference Mission News on March 31... here's link in case you missed it. https://www.inumc.org/blog/operation-classroom-mission-team-returns/

04/02/2020

A note from Helen Roberts-Evans in Liberia this week.

Greetings from Liberia, where we have joined so many other countries in new protocols for protection against COVID-19.
In Liberia, schools are closed; no commercial flights can come in or leave the country. Water buckets for hand washing are in front of all businesses.
While church services in Montserrado and Margibi Counties are suspended, the folks who live in the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) missionary compound are worshiping on my porch and following the Revised Common Lectionary. We continue to thank God for His peace that the world did not give us, and the world cannot take from us.
Be well in body, mind, and spirit.
Blessings, Helen Roberts-Evans
Global Ministries Missionary

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Operation Classroom has its roots in Indiana. The program took shape in 1987, led by John Shettle and Bob Bowman, the newly-elected lay leaders of the Indiana North and South Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Operation Classroom would partner with UM Church in Liberia and Sierra Leone, with the mission of:

1. Upgrading UMC secondary education in Liberia and Sierra Leone

2. Being an avenue of renewal for the United Methodist Church

3. Providing hands-on mission experiences for United Methodists. In 1989 a civil war erupted in Liberia, causing people to flee and schools to close.

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The funeral for Bishop John Yambasu, the late resident bishop of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, set for Sunday, September 6, 2020, will be livestreamed on www.umc.org/bishopyambasu. Bishop Yambasu died in a road accident on August 16, 2020, on his way to attend a funeral of one of the pastors in the conference. The livestream will be umc.org/bishopyambasu website. The Service of Remembrance and Rites of Passage will be held Sunday, September 6, 2020 at King Memorial UMC at 10 a.m. GMT – Sierra Leone Time (6 a.m. Eastern Time in U.S.) Click on this link to watch the livestream of the funeral.
Operation Classroom mourns the untimely death of Bishop John K. Yambasu who was a faithful partner in the education of youth in Sierra Leone and a dear friend of Indiana United Methodists. To honor his commitment to the education of children in Sierra Leone, Operation Classroom has established the Bishop John K. Yambasu Memorial Scholarship fund to help youth receive an education. Priority will be given to youth at the Taiama Enterprise Academy in memory of Bishop Yambasu Bishop Yambasu worked closely with OC before he became bishop. When Carolyn and I were coordinators of Operation Classroom we planned and worked together. He was one of the speakers at our 25th anniversary and has spoken in churches across Indiana Almost every time he would stay with us. He called our home his Indiana home. We have had over 275 persons go to Sierra Leone on work teams. When we retired, Bishop Yambasu encouraged Operation Classroom to provide an opportunity for youth also get a vocational education and he assisted getting the school established. If you would like to honor Bishop Yambasu by a memorial gift for the education with the priority given to the youth at the Taiama Enterprise Academy, you may send your gift to: United Methodist Foundation of Indiana 8401 Fishers Center Drive Fishers In 46038 or you can go on line if you like to the umfindiana.org/ The Taiama Enterprise Academy is the new educational program of Operation Classroom designed with our partners in Sierra Leone to address unemployment and poverty. Bishop Yambasu was very much involved in the development of the school The TEA offers an innovative education with the potential to break the cycle of poverty through STEM (or STEAM) emphasis that will equip graduates to make a difference wherever they go. Preparation for the school as a business person, as a community worker, or a university are at the core of the TEA Please keep the family in your prayers and also his friends and the church of Sierra Leone Joe Wagner
Today we gave out the t-shirts from operation classroom. We also got pictures of all of the students individually! These bright, happy students are so excited to be here. Because they are carefully selected, and interesting fact is that many of them are in their 20s!
3 CHEERS!!! The schools of the United Methodist Church of Sierra Leone and Liberia are opening and some very excited young people are ready to start another school year. Our prayers go out to all who find the joy of learning wherever they are.
We are just getting a few photos and information from the Mission Team in Sierra Leone. Kids everywhere love their photo taken.
Early morning in Freetown. A new day brings new experiences. Team members have settled in and started the journey with a meeting with a Bishop Yambasu.
Jeff, Robert V. Coolman, and Trent Albert as well as 13 others arrived in Freetown safely. Pray for relationships to strengthen and develop around the Taiama Enterprise Academy. Watch for updates.