This morning, an international UDS board meeting was held. Kelvin Fomba, along with Godfrey Solomon and Roseline Sonday shared the successes as well as the current obstacles at hand in Liberia with board UDS members on the American end (via Google Hangout).

Kelvin brought to our attention the need for more materials for some of our vocational training courses like Cosmetology and Plumbing/Electricity. Some of the skills being taught, like braiding in Cosmetology, require specialized tools (i.e. mannequin heads) in order to best teach the techniques at hand. Because more and more students have been enrolling in these courses, a need has developed for more training supplies. Though these are real concerns to address, we are also so thrilled for the growth UDS has experienced in such a short time! There was talk of shipping donated supplies from the U.S. to Liberia, but due to the risks associated with trans-Atlantic shipping, and cost of transport, we are now turning our focus toward fundraising efforts on the U.S. side. Then, the materials can be bought in Liberia, which also benefits the local economy.

There are some youth in Liberia that are interested in taking classes at UDS, but who cannot afford the $75 registration fee associated (this includes $20 for the uniform and ID, as well as the cost for basic teaching materials). On a situation to situation basis, Kelvin has been accepting some of these youth anyway, and has had them doing volunteer work (such as janitorial and security) to compensate for the cost of their classes. We hope our fundraising efforts, which are currently being constructed, will help to resolve this matter as well.

Below are photos from today’s meeting:

Cynthia Asante (far left), Kelvin Fomba with Godfrey Solomon and Roseline Sonday (middle), and Anna Bertch (far right) all called in via Google Hangout.

Adam Pederson (far left), Miriam Monono (middle left), Philip Kaleewoun II (middle right), Dianne Anastos (far right), and Heather Cannon-Winkleman (not pictured) met in Minnesota.

We thank you for being our Star Supporter; it’s an honor to have you walk this journey right along with us!


Anna Bertch, Youth Board Member