- Operate and maintain a treadle sewing machine
- Transform recycled material into backpacks that are needed by Liberian students
- Cultivate innovation with limited resources
- Build relationships beyond personal and national borders
Below are pictures of the first week of this training program. The main focus was to teach our students how to properly operate the sewing machines, because precision in pedaling minimizes the breakage of needles and thread. The second objective was to teach the initial stage of production, which is preparing the plastic.
Backpacks for Peace Sponsors:
- Sundance Family Foundation, based in Minnesota, gave a $3,000 grant.
- African Dream Academy supplies the recycled plastic and Liberia Partner.
- Uniting Distant Stars donors contributed $1,260 for this project.
Along with the Backpacks for Peace project, our 20 young trainees and 30 more Liberian youth will participate via Google Hangout in the Nobel Peace Prize Youth Forum on March 6. 2015, at Augsburg College in Minnesota. This forum will showcase our Backpacks for Peace project along with the other great service learning projects developed by youth groups in Minnesota.
Our youth will be involved in the forum for about three hours during the morning session, due to a six-hour difference between Liberia and Minnesota. Take a look at what happened last year during this program to connect youth on both sides of the Atlantic in a virtual environment. This year we are taking a more active role and will participate by:
- Listening to a speech by Leiv Sydnes of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2013 Nobel Laurette)
- Asking one question of Leiv Sydnes.
- Joining the World Cafe discussion that focuses on three questions about peace building in their communities and schools that can be turned into actionable initiatives.
This year Uniting Distant Stars will be the host for the forum in Liberia. We had a successful first test of the Google Hangout On Air platform with the much appreciated assistance from the forum tech crew this past week. Also, we raised $385 in four days for the March 6 activities that will be used to provide refreshments for the participants as well as logistical needs (projector, generator, etc) to ensure a proper connection.
youthrive is the producer of the Nobel Peace Prize Youth Forum and a Minnesota Partner organization for Uniting Distant Stars.
Finally, another important announcement: We are now registered as a non-profit in Liberia and anticipate that our programs will be accredited through the Ministry of Education by the end of March 2015. This was a necessary step to show our dedication to providing innovative youth-focused educational programing in Liberia.
We extend our heartfelt Thanks to all our sponsors and donors, who have graciously contributed to these projects!