Uniting Distant Stars™, Inc. is co-founded by Kelvin Fomba (Liberian) and Heather Cannon (U.S. Citizen). We united together in 2011 because of our shared vision to give Liberian youth the resources they need to succeed. UDS became a registered non-profit in 2013 and received their 501(c)3 Tax-Exempt Status in 2014. UDS is an accredited and registered Liberian non-government organization (NGO) since 2015 and received their permit to operate as a professional and technical institute in 2016.
As a grassroots organization, we have taken small steps to grow our organization in Liberia from working out of Kelvin’s house (2011 to 2016) to securing our vocational training center in 2016. Our volunteer teams on both sides of the Atlantic work tirelessly to improve the quality of education for children and youth with the help of our global donor community.
Our programs include the following:
- Academic scholarships for students attending primary and secondary education (started in 2011).
- Annual school supply drives (2012 to 2016) – will restart when a new shipping partnership is confirmed.
- Global youth exchanges via Google Hangout including Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Being the Change Event held in Minnesota (started in 2014).
- Educational support with library and after-school study classes (2014 to 2016).
- Vocational Training Courses for teenagers and young adults started in 2014 with piloted projects like Backpacks for Peace (sewing recycled material into durable goods) and Auto Mechanics and Driver Ed. This expanded to eight courses in 2017 when the new training center was launched.