UVF Alum Fights Ebola in Liberia

by Office of Marketing | Nov 25, 2014
Katie Meyler
Thirty-two-year-old Katie Meyler walks through the slums of West Point in Monrovia, Liberia, seeing the evidence of the Ebola virus among the corpses on the ground and on the faces of terrified orphaned children and overwhelmed doctors, nurses and volunteers. Ebola was confirmed in Liberia this past August, and the community of West Point was quarantined by the Liberian government in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. Because Ebola continues to be a threat, Meyler and her staff joined others to combat the disease and help the impacted communities. 

UVF had the opportunity to speak to Meyler through a live Skype call during chapel on Nov. 17. President Meyer asked her about her work in Liberia and the Ebola outbreak. She shared that although she is there in a time of crisis and she is afraid, she believes that "Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in spite of it." 

Meyler, an American from Bernardsville, N.J., attended the University of Valley Forge (UVF) her freshman year of college during the 2003–2004 school year. When asked about her experience here, Meyler said that attending UVF helped her mature because it was her first time living away from home. She was involved with the homeless ministry and other outreach ministries, which helped her see a world that was much bigger than she was. 

After college, Meyler traveled to Liberia for the first time to run an adult literacy program in a remote village for a few months. Once there, Meyler learned that as a result of a major 14-year civil war in Liberia that ended in 2003, the country went from having 2,400 schools to 480. Most children in Liberia had not received an education. Meyler went to West Point, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital city of Monrovia. Once there, she was deeply touched by the children living in impoverished conditions and felt that she had to help. She never looked back.

A couple of years later, in 2009, she founded More Than Me (MTM), a nonprofit organization whose message is about living for something greater than yourself. MTM means, in her words, "letting God live in me and through me every day." Specifically, MTM’s mission is to make sure “education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls in the West Point slum of Liberia.” 

Meyler opened the MTM Academy in West Point in September 2013. The Academy is the first tuition-free, all-girls school in Liberia. The staff also provides the girls with two meals a day, access to healthcare, a computer lab and a library. There is also an after-school program to ensure the girls are off the streets. In its first year, the Academy welcomed 100 young girls. The official language is English, and only a few people are literate. At the school, two teachers instruct the girls in how to read and write in English. The girls are enthusiastic and energized in the classroom, always eager to learn.

Since the Ebola outbreak, the Liberian government closed all of the schools, leaving Meyler with a building but no children. Meyler and her staff decided to join with other organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization to combat Ebola on the ground. MTM’s mission has evolved to: "ending this epidemic that terrorizes our children and the communities in which they live.” 

More Than Me and Meyler have received national exposure in the news in the last few weeks. NBC, CBS, TIME, The Washington Post and other national networks and publications have published articles about the Ebola virus' impact in Liberia and the organization's involvement in the community. They have also published interviews with Meyler about the status of the orphaned children and how she has been able to help them.

In the interviews, she shared a few stories about the girls she has met, including Esther. Meyler met Esther at an Ebola health clinic. Esther had recently become orphaned because Ebola killed her family. Esther had nowhere to go — she was outcast by her community in fear that she could be a carrier of the deadly disease. Meyler’s heart broke for Esther; she asked the social worker in charge of Esther if she could house her until her relatives were located. The social worker agreed, and Meyler took Esther to the MTM Academy building. She transformed the school guest house into a quarantine area for children undergoing testing for Ebola. 

Meyler’s next goal is to house and educate as many as possible of the orphans at the MTM Academy whose lives were forever changed because by Ebola. She is raising funds for this purpose while identifying orphans who need housing in West Point.

For more information on the organization, how it is combating Ebola in Liberia and how you can be involved, please visit or visit its Facebook page at