In our October 11 article, “Making UDS Known to the Surrounding Community,” we highlighted the different marketing strategies employed to encourage people to stop and visit our center. One strategy involves our students doing their practicals outside our center and this gets us noticed. An example of this occurred on November 21. A 68-year-old Ghana man named Joseph walked by and observed our electrician students struggling to do an assignment. The students needed to bend pipes into 90-degree angles to route electrical wires in a building. As he watched them fail at their attempts, Joseph wanted to offer his help.
He immediately approached Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director, and shared that he is an electrical engineer. Joseph then asked if we provided vocational training because he often sees our students at work. He further explained that he had a better way to bend pipes and wanted to demonstrate this to our students. Kelvin followed by welcoming him and stressing UDS is a school of learning. Also, he explained that we are always open to people willing to share their knowledge with our students.
Joseph proceeded to join our students and demonstrated his method for bending pipe. He first showed them how to fill the straight pipe with sand so it would maintain its round shape. Then, he put the pipe over the coal to heat it so he could bend it. The students watched in awe as he bent the pipe into a perfect 90-degree angle. Next, our students applied this low-tech process in bending pipes for their practicals.
Joseph expressed his gratitude to be able to teach our students an easier way to bend pipe. Kelvin in return thanked him for his help. He then explained our plans to install solar panels and some of the challenges with determining our needs. So, Joseph sat down with everyone and went over some of the basics for solar power. He plans to return soon to help our students and team to determine the number of solar panels and batteries needed to power our center.
Finally, our Liberian team’s efforts to advertise our students work outside the center paid off with the visit from Joseph. It is our hope that more people will stop in and learn more about our activities. We welcome anyone who loves to share their knowledge and improve the quality of our student’s training. Remember, the welcome mat is always out for you.