Landis Wyatt (HS’89)

Landis Wyatt (HS’89)

With an insatiable love of the outdoors and a career in sales and marketing in that industry, never did this prairie girl think she would find herself living on the other side of the world, working in a field foreign from any of her long-held aspirations.

And never did she expect the leap to be so rewarding, both personally and professionally.

Yet after seven years, Landis Wyatt (HS’89) continues to call the West African nation of Liberia home. She and her husband, Kent Bubbs Jr., work for a registered Canadian charity, founded by his parents, called Universal Outreach Foundation (UOF). For the first few years, the foundation functioned solely as a donor for international infrastructure projects.

In 2006, they fundraised for a Liberian organization called Food for the Hungry, out of their home base in Vancouver, British Columbia. Then in 2007, they were invited by the Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, to live in Liberia and rebuild a school in a town called Royesville, near the capital of Monrovia. The couple were charged with the task of not only funding the capital project but also overseeing the build – and they needed to be on the ground to do it.

“This was a huge shift for us. I have to admit, the first year was pretty challenging for me, adjusting to the different culture and devastation,” says Landis.

“Liberia was still reeling from the effects of years of civil war. Much of the nation still had no power, buildings were riddled with bullet holes, and children hadn’t been in school for a decade. Because of the war and the ensuing unrest, skilled labourers fled the country looking for work and a future. Hence, the need for Landis and her husband to live in the community and oversee every aspect of the project.

Fortunately, Kent is a carpenter and has experience building houses. But the rebuild was not without its mammoth challenges. Some of these included: finding a skilled construction crew; rebuilding a bombed-out bridge (which they needed to get materials to the building site); and shipping a military-type truck to haul material.

“It was daunting. The first year was about the construction. After that I found my place and got more involved in the start-up of the school,” says Landis, who continues to be involved in the administration of the school. Due to their new-found knowledge and infrastructure, they built another school and, in three years, built a total of twenty buildings on two school campuses.

For Landis, the rewards far exceeded the perils of such an undertaking.

“Once the school is open and you get to meet the kids, that’s when you realize this charitable work we are doing makes a difference in the kids’ lives because they have ambition and opportunity. For us, it’s all about breaking the barriers.”

To learn more about what Landis and Kent are doing in Liberia, including developing a sustainable, local industry as well as her memories of Luther, please visit

“Because Luther has such an intimate environment, the relationships you can develop with the staff and students will nurture you beyond just academics. It allows you to develop as a person, not just a mind.”