The Niapele Project

  • CA


Los Angeles

United States

About Us

'Niapele,' (pronounced nee-uh-peh-lay), means 'children' in Kpele, a Liberian dialect. The Niapele Project was founded by two former international volunteers who,after working with the Liberian refugee population in Ghana, were moved to pursue their engagement with this community. The Niapele Project - “the children's project” - is an effort to support and aid vulnerable refugee children, empowering them to become strong and able individuals

The Niapele Project’s mission is to promote sustainable strategies for the empowerment of vulnerable refugee children, through the development of community-based initiatives. The Niapele Project aims to have direct, meaningful impact in the lives of vulnerable refugee children. We achieve this by working in partnership with communities, assisting them to fulfill the needs they have identified, through the development and implementation of initiatives that aim to create the necessary conditions for children to move beyond survival and thrive.


We identify community leaders with a vision for socio-economic and human development, and who demonstrate a true commitment to their cause. By giving them the means to achieve their goals, we offer the support necessary for these community-led processes to succeed.

Because of our size, we offer great flexibility to our partners – each partnership is elaborated based on carefully evaluated needs, and benefits from constant dialogue, communication and feedback.

We tailor our services to the needs of each partner organization – we recognize that each grassroots initiative is defined by the vision of its leaders, and our support is adapted for each partnership.

The nature of refugee situations makes long term planning impossible without the prospect of returning to their home country. The Niapele Project establishes its partnerships in refugee contexts, and assists partner organizations in their transition home and in their reintegration efforts.

By establishing partnerships in refugee settings and promoting long term sustainability, The Niapele Project encourages a responsible and prepared return to home communities. Keeping this goal in mind further enables refugee children and the organizations that support them to envisage a brighter future.

Working with Refugees

The Buduburam refugee settlement was originally established in 1990 to accommodate Liberians fleeing civil war in their country.

Since then, it has grown to reach a population of 40,000 refugees, of which a significant proportion are orphaned children or unaccompanied minors. Refugees in Buduburam live in very difficult conditions, and face numerous harships on a daily basis.

Whether it be through lack of economic opportunity, health issues or scarce and expensive food and water resources, the children of Buduburam are often the hardest hit and bear the brunt of this daily struggle.


The Niapele Project - "The Children's Project" - is an effort to support and aid vulnerable refugee children, empowering them to become strong and able individuals. Because we believe in holistic, sustainable solutions, The Niapele Project strives to integrate best practices into all of our work, by encouraging women's empowerment, local ownership and leadership, as well as environmentally sound practices.


The Niapele Project engages in innovative partnerships with local community leaders and grassroots organizations who share our values and vision of a sustainable future for refugee children.

We work with local leaders in order to strengthen the fabric of communities, an essential element of a vibrant and open civil society. The services provided by local organizations are indispensable in places where government capacity is limited; in addition, by assisting the local leadership in developing a sustainable approach to community work, The Niapele Project contributes to the overall vitality of the communities in which we operate.

We aim to provide our partners with multidimensional support - helping them to develop long term strategies for sustainability and independence, assist them in strengthening their organizational capacity through the provision of skills and management training, expertise and advice, as well as vital financial support.


The primary objectives of the partnerships that we establish are to:

Develop strategies that ensure long term sustainability and independence for partner organizations. To provide partners with the tools needed to reach this goal.

To achieve these objectives, we:

Provide capacity building support

• Computer literacy training • Management/administration/leadership training • Skills training workshops

Provide financial support

• General and operational funding for partners, with the objective of achieving self-sustainability • Medical fund for project staff and beneficiaries

Provide expertise and advice

• Network with experts that can offer services in implementing strategies and identifying best practices • Emphasize skills transfers so that training is sustained


Abandoned Refugee Children's Home: ARCH is a collaboration between the Niapele Project and Ms. Regina Krangar, who has been taking care of abandoned children in her own home for many years.

School Nutrition Initiative: This initiative is the result of a partnership with Vision Awake Africa for Development (VAAFD), which runs the Carolyn A. Miller Elementary School (CAMES). CAMES was founded in 2003 with the mission to provide a tuition-free education for the neediest children living on the Buduburam Refugee Camp, as all other educational establishments in Buduburam have prohibitive tuition and other costs.

The Harmony Children’s Center working to serve the physical and educational needs of the handicapped children in the refugee community.